Why isn’t PEACE a part of the curriculum?

Project Peace

Today I launched Project Peace, a collaborative project where classrooms from all over the world can share peace videos of themselves. Watch the example videos there and download the songs/lyric cards and take pictures of your students. Put them together with the music and bingo! – you have a peace video. I’ll be adding up lots of resources for classroom teachers to access for teaching peace.

I launched this project today in memory of John Lennon. Killed Dec. 8th, 1980 – aged 40. His message had always been love, friendship and peace. Especially through the power of music. As a teacher, I remember my early years teaching in the Czech Rep. and every Dec. 8th, going to the John Lennon wall in Karlovy Vary with students (yes, we’d just leave class early!) and singing his songs. Holding candles of hope.

Why isn’t “peace” part of the curriculum in our schools? We have everything else it seems. Yet peace gets short shrift – however it is the MOST vital component of education. Presently, our curriculum is formed around teaching “differences”. It really truly is. Look at any science or math, or social studies unit. Look deeply and you will see how it is organized in divisions. We teach students from a young age about differences, to see and divide and delineate. Even in the Deweyian sense of school being a social and enculturating mechanism, we teach students about WE, our country, our difference. Nowhere is that most miraculous fact of life celebrated – that we are SIMILAR. Much more similar than different. Alligators, amoeba, Albert Einstein and Mickey Mouse are all more similar than different. We are all invested in LIFE, we are all on this planet earth, we are all part of the miracle that is our journey here……

Why don’t we teach similarities and by default PEACE? This age we live in, if you haven’t noticed, is an age of the eve of destruction. Death and war and annihilation are norms, you can’t turn your head from it , even if you live in a “peaceful” suburb. How do we get our children to stay as children (and this was Picasso’s point when he said, “the problem of life is not to become an adult but how to stay as a child”. ) and not grow into monsters of destruction? This is John Lennon’s message, “give peace a chance”. This is my own…… Decide today and participate in something peaceful. It is these small steps that make a difference….
Give Peace a Chance

Establishing lasting peace is the work of education;
all politics can do is keep us out of war.
Maria Montessori

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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