What is Peace Education? - Objectives & Importance

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  • 0:03 Peace Education: Importance
  • 1:03 Objectives
  • 5:08 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Della McGuire

Della has been teaching secondary and adult education for over 20 years. She holds a BS in Sociology, MEd in Reading, and is ABD on the MComm in Storytelling.

In this lesson, we'll discuss why peace education is more important now than it has ever been. We'll also look at the ten primary objectives covered in a peace education program.

Peace Education: Importance

Strategies for achieving peace fall under three basic categories: peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peacebuilding. Peacekeeping generally involves police or military action and strives to achieve peace through strength and force. Peacemaking involves communication skills like conflict resolution and mediation strategies for interacting non-violently with others. Both of these categories are reactive approaches that kick in after a violent incident has occurred. Peacebuilding, on the other hand, is a more proactive approach that uses peace education as a means of creating a more stable and peaceful culture, thereby preventing violent incidents from occurring. Peace education is critical to creating a culture that reduces the need for peacemaking and peacekeeping by developing a comprehensive program that teaches people how to interact with others and avoid unnecessary aggression. Let's look at the objectives typically found in peace education.


There are ten primary objectives of peacebuilding, or peace education. These goals rely on the assumption that while violent conflict is unavoidable, there is a process by which we can address conflict and minimize violence. Peace education seeks to reduce violence and promote peacebuilding using the following objectives to inform the instruction. Let's review each one:

Appreciate the Concept of Peace

This objective is met by studying the arts and humanities as they relate to peace. Literature such as novels and religious text, films, and documentaries; fine art such as paintings and photography; and even performance art such as theater and music all provide a rich backdrop for understanding the concept of peace and appreciating the art created in its honor.

Address Fears

It is in the nature of warmongers to incite fear among people to generate support for their genocide. Dismantling this deeply ingrained fear is one of the goals of peace education. Peace educators are prepared to allay the fears their students have about both major world conflict and war, as well as their own interpersonal conflicts.

Provide Information about Security

Peace education students need to understand the way national security systems work so they can begin to conceptualize alternatives to war that will keep the nation safer in the future. Peace educators teach about the implications of the arms race and international policy, the nature of the military, the militarization of the police, and the prison industrial complex.

Understand War Behavior

Another objective of peace education is to understand the behavior of war and the conditions under which a group will seek organized violence as an answer to conflict. Peace education students gain exposure to several peaceful societies as well as the role of individuals like Hitler and Napoleon in historical conflicts.

Develop Intercultural Understanding

War is often a direct result of otherness, so developing a deep understanding and respect of other cultures is critical to promoting peace. War profiteers who make money from perpetuating destruction have billions of dollars invested in keeping up with the 'us vs. them' mentality, which prevents people from demanding peace and encourages them to support war.

'Explore the Long Range View

It is important that peace education students see the potential for a future without violence. Peace educators help to promote a hopeful optimism by showing students that it is possible to affect the future based on what we do today.

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