Peace education is not just lectures about laws, directives and treaties. It is thinking, learning and working together using participatory and co-operative methods.
Peace education aims to enhance knowledge, skills and attitudes. Peace education critically evaluates and discusses prevailing norms as well as various themes and values, including democracy, active citizenship, equality, anti-discrimination, racism, human rights and nonviolence.
Peace education happens in schools, youth work, leisure time and civic society organizations. In schools, peace education is often included in history and social science classes, but it is also important to include it in the teaching of other subjects. Respect for life, indivisibility of human rights, nonviolence and pluralism are topics that can and should be included and discussed in all teaching.
The aim of peace education is to awaken critical thinking in individuals as well as the ability and will to act just and fair. What can each one of us do for human rights, peace and more equal world? What kind of action increases interaction and understanding, and how do we learn to appreciate all cultures and world views?
Peace education is based on UNESCO’s 1974 recommendation concerning ’Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms’. Its aim is to create moral and social responsibility and educate people towards understanding beyond societal and cultural boundaries.