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.

About the Curriculum

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.”

Heroes include Desmond Tutu, Malala Yousefzai, Sojourner Truth, Charles Perkins, Vaclav Havel, Dalia Landau, Dom Helder Camara, Ali Abu Awwad, Leymah Gbowee, and many many more!

For a full list of our heroes, please click here. For a sample lesson, please click here.

Curriculum Values
Affirms and preserves the human dignity of all people
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)

Why Teach Peace

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.

Our Peace Heroes Curriculum counters this fear as it gives school communities around the world the opportunity to reclaim the beauty of diversity by studying men and women who come from different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and ethnicities, but who all share the same value: The upholding of human dignity and a respect for all people, no matter who they are or where they come from. Furthermore, the Curriculum has the potential to connect classrooms around the world so that the diversity they are exposed to through the biographical sketches becomes a lived-out experience: the students not only learn about diverse and inspiring figures, they also encounter this diversity through sharing their learning with other students, both near and far.