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Teaching models and institutional models

Knowledge base

  • Four pillars of education, UNESCO, 1996
  • Plan d'Etudes Romand (curriculum for French-speaking Switzerland), 2011

Education theory

Graines de Paix uses an approach which is intentionally open to multiple theories and methods, so as not to be restricted to a single school of thought. We approve of all approaches which promote the development of students and teachers, and their capacity to listen, engage in dialogue, cooperate, reflect, observe, make decisions, draw conclusions, act in a responsible manner and foster understanding and reciprocity. There are a good many education methods which facilitate not only learning subjects but also “learning to be”. This is an innovation-based approach: seeing what we can use to increase academic achievement through a culture of peace, and vice versa.

Basic assumptions

  • Students’ level and potential
    One of the teacher’s responsibilities is to raise the level of all students, working on the assumption that every student has greater potential than may be obvious.
  • Child-centred learning
    A child learns better when they are placed at the centre of their own learning, as this enables them to move from a passive state to active personal commitment.
  • Education benefits from being engaging and enjoyable, so it sparks an interest in learning.
  • Education in sustainable development - in the widest sense
    Education for a culture of peace expands education to cover human, social and societal challenges, particularly concerns about sustainable development, sense of citizenship, and skills for inclusion. Because students spend a large proportion of their waking hours in the classroom, school has become the place to encourage openness, kindness and empathy towards each other, as well as real interest in the environment. It is up to teachers to stimulate their students’ capacity to address world problems, including the issue of sustainable development.
  • Competency-based learning
    Education for a culture of peace is particularly well suited to the practice of competency-based learning. This is because learning a culture of peace involves developing human and social skills (life skills), drawing on experience, sharing ideas and thinking about everyday issues. The students show a demand for information which will help them manage their interpersonal relationships. Experiential learning has the added advantage of encouraging activity, which enables students to get some fresh air and remain energised and alert. It works best when it is multi-sensory, because it is through seeing, hearing, reading, touching, doing, discussing, explaining, etc. that students of all ages can best learn, retain information and develop.
  • Practising human values
    The culture of peace approach widens learning to cover the human values which matter to children (acceptance, consideration, appreciation, inclusion, kindness, empathy, helping others, fairness, non-violence, etc.). This approach encourages them to demonstrate these values in their attitudes and behaviour towards each other, and to make the connection with living in harmony.
  • Non-verbal communication in education - the role of culture of peace
    The culture of peace approach encourages teachers to use body language based on these human values and to consider and value all students, enabling them to develop their self-esteem, ability to learn, and capacity to replace violence with active listening and dialogue.
  • Positive discipline
    Education based on a culture of peace enables authority to be asserted through positive discipline which raises all students up to do their best, without relying on sanctions or on hurtful or demeaning comments. The children are governed by a Charter, which they draw up under the teacher's guidance.

Teaching methods

An experiential learning approach is used. This combines multi-sensory stimulation, and sometimes movement, with various practices to encourage all children to express themselves and to flourish in their learning:

  • Active participation: a widespread practice which focuses on learning from each other, through listening to the responses from each student
  • Cooperative learning (Canada, Switzerland), eg. Howden and Rouiller, 2009
  • Democratic education (eg. Korczak et al.)
  • Resolution approach: Graines de Paix
  • Proactive approach: Graines de Paix
  • Reflective/metareflective practice: David Kolb (experiential learning), Michel Sasseville (philosophy for children), Graines de Paix (emphasis on current world issues).

Life skills

  • Numerous articles and books on emotional intelligence, the importance of self-esteem, and making students feel valued through empathy and kindness, as ways of ensuring academic success for as many as possible. See the extensive bibliography at the back of the “Growing up in peace” books.

Studies and analysis

A few examples:

  • ​Role of teachers, Learning for Peace, UNICEF Research Consortium, 9.2015
  • Studies into bullying in schools, UNICEF-MEN-France, 2008
  • Studies into factors for academic achievement, Hattie, 2008.

Institutional models

  • Definitions of culture of peace: UNESCO, 1997; United Nations, 1998
  • Definitions of education for a culture of peace: UNICEF, S. Fountain, 1999; Graines de Paix, 2009-2016
  • Definitions of quality education: Conference of Ministers of Education of French-Speaking Countries (CONFEMEN), 2012; UNICEF, 2013; Learning for Peace, UNICEF, 2015
  • Global Citizenship Education, UNESCO (various publications); Ottawa Forum, where we were asked to organise one of the conferences in March 2017 .