Peace Heroes Curriculum Overview
Educate Through Peace: Transforming lives and inspiring people to be peacemakers in a broken world
To create a culture of welcome and nonviolence in school communities around the world by teaching historical and current narratives through the lens of peace; to encourage students to take action in upholding and restoring human dignity within and beyond the classroom; and to provide schools with an online platform that will connect their communities, offering students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to embody peace by studying together, side by side.
The Peace Heroes Curriculum is a unique study program that uses biographical sketches to instill in students and teachers alike the values and ethos of peace and nonviolence, thereby creating a culture of welcome within (and outside) school walls. Currently the curriculum includes sixty heroes representing every continent across the globe. The students first learn about the country and the social context out of which the peace hero emerged before delving into a study of his or her life. By attaching these (global) issues to the lives of the peace heroes, students gain a different perspective – one that approaches the world through the lens of peace.
We have found that by engaging with the life-stories of men and women whose choices have been instrumental in bringing about a change for good, we not only challenge our students’ conceptions of who is a hero but also re-build these conceptions on the foundation of human dignity and worth. By internalizing these inspiring stories, students and teachers learn that they too can be peace heroes, and that peace essentially begins “with me.”
Celebrates unity in diversity and encourages open dialogue with the “other”
Creates a space of emotional, social, and intellectual welcome
Exposes students to important world issues and propels them to positive action
Promotes integrated student learning (including artistic, kinesthetic, scientific, and literary integration)
There is no denying that the contemporary political climate around the world is one of fear, which lends itself to more radical voices that are quickly becoming mainstream. This fear is manifested in a growing suspicion of anyone who does not belong to the factions we associate ourselves with, causing people to move more deeply into their own groups and alienate anyone who is different, or “other,” than them. Current events around the world highlight the growing tendency towards nationalism and towards an enclosing of people within their own “tribes,” without the desire to reach out and engage with those who are not one of their own. Diversity is no longer seen as a gift to be celebrated; it is almost an existential threat, a word fraught with apprehension and fear.