Reflections of a Peace Educator: The Power and Challenges of Peace Education With Pre-Service Teachers

Sep. 01, 2014

Source: Curriculum Inquiry, Volume 44, Issue 4, pages 489–507, September 2014

The present study examines one long-standing peace and global education initiative for pre-service teacher candidates.
It probes the meanings of peace education and of global education embedded in the program, as well as the program's effects on the pre-service candidates' understandings of peace education.

Data were collected through the author's reflections which are based on her own experience as a coordinator of the program, as well as retrospective understandings derived from ongoing examination of questionnaires, focus group discussions, interviews, and almost 200 curriculum products created by pre-service candidates in a special “global cohort” and in the general pre-service population at the same university.

The article discusses two main challenges faced by the core faculty in this peace education program.
In particular, teacher candidates' understandings of peace education often seemed limited, especially in relation to their competence in developing curricula for other strands of global education.
Second, teacher candidates often had difficulty acquiring the relevant knowledge base and teaching materials necessary for facilitating the complex pedagogies associated with peace education.
The author concludes with some observations about how our program's pre-service teacher candidates seemed to understand and respond to the challenges of peace education.

Updated: Nov. 23, 2015