Peace and Pedagogy Primer

by Molly Quinn (Author)
©2014 Textbook XII, 164 Pages
Series: Counterpoints Primers, Volume 31


What makes for peace as lived? What images of peace issue from examination of daily experience? What can be gleaned from reflection upon the topic for the meanings and makings of peace in our world? Considering that to work for peace, we must begin with ourselves and with our children, Molly Quinn addresses these questions through her own life and work. She does so with those who would, and do, teach children, and with the children they teach. The text is rooted in inquiry with aspiring elementary teachers through a university social studies course in New York City, where East Harlem first-graders engage peace curriculum, and in the South Bronx, where fourth-graders attempt to understand and respond to neighborhood violence. The author seeks to elucidate educational possibilities for dreaming peace anew, and passionately living and laboring, singularly and together, for its realization among us.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • Advance praise
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1 Picturing Peace: A Beginning
  • Beginning with Me: Problem-Posing for Pedagogical Studies in Peace
  • I/Eye on Peace & Subjectivity: Want of Peace, Wanting Peace, Want of Wanting Peace
  • Promoting Peace Pedagogically? / Politics, Plurality, and the Presence of Tension
  • Beginning with Children, through Those Who Teach Them: Toward Picturing Peace Pedagogically
  • Chapter 2 Why “Picturing Peace”?
  • On Purpose, Passion, and the Power of Imagination
  • Frames on, Frame-“works” for Picturing Peace: A Peace Pursuit Project Portrait
  • “Picturing Peace”
  • Chapter 3 On Re-Imaging Peace in Portraiture
  • The Eye/I of Peace Dreams: Imagination, Experience, and Subjectivity
  • Nature
  • People
  • Animals
  • Peace Places (Beyond Nature) and Objects Supporting
  • Symbols of Peace as Symbols
  • Picturing Peace’s Opposite and Other Eyes/I’s on Possibilities for Portraying Peace
  • Chapter 4 A Word Worth a Thousand Pictures
  • Peace, Subjectively Lived, Experienced, Defined
  • Peace as Temporally, Sensuous-ly, Engaged Experience – Experienced Consciously
  • Of Being, “In Time”
  • Of the Optimal and Affirmative
  • Of a Sense of “With-ness”
  • Calling for an Ethics of Responsibility in a World in Want of Peace
  • The I/Eye in Inquiry – Subjective Source of Peace and of Pedagogy
  • Chapter 5 On the Way of/to Peace
  • Re-Viewing Pedagogical Possibility and Praxis
  • Teach Who You Are/Be Peace With Students
  • Community as Curriculum and Person-Centered Pedagogy
  • Teaching Peace, Actually, and Practices for Peace
  • Re-Voicing Pedagogical Possibility and Praxis
  • “Take time to practice peacemaking.”/ “Work up your toolbox for peace.”
  • “That your questions are worth something is big”
  • Chapter 6 Seeking Peace Through Children’s Eyes
  • Designing Dialogue with Children around Depictions of Peace and Violence
  • I got excited about peace because…I am really good at peace,I am a peacemaker!
  • “My inquiry class…working on what might cause violence… Ways we might stop [it]”
  • Chapter 7 On Re-Imagining Peace and Pedagogies for Peace
  • On Being and Becoming Peace, Pedagogically
  • Peace, Pedagogy, and Self: Becoming “A Person Who Is a Person”
  • Consciously Cultivating Subjects of Peace and Personhood
  • Mind Matters in Matters of Peace and Pedagogy for Peace
  • Peace, Pedagogy, and Other(s): Becoming “A Person Who Is a Person through Others”
  • Embracing the Need for Love, to Love, and the “Unity of Life”
  • A Matter of the Heart: On Peace, Love, and Understanding
  • Peace, Pedagogy and the World: The Responsibility of Being Fully Human
  • Reimaging Peace, and Pedagogically: “Whole, Bright, Deep with Understanding”
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Series index

← viii | ix → Illustrations

Illustration 1:
Sunflower and Child Celebration

Photographs by Lauren Perovich

Illustration 2:
Tree amid Water and Grasses

Photograph by Lauren Perovich

Illustration 3:
Peace Friends and Laughing Toddler

Photographs by Eunice Yun

Illustration 4:
Happy Puppy

Photograph by Lauren Perovich

Illustration 5:
City Skyline

Photograph by Lauren Perovich← ix | x →

← x | xi → Acknowledgments

I began this work challenged by the notion that peace must begin with me, in working from within. Through it, I was drawn further as well to the claim that to realize peace in our world we must begin with children, which took me also to engagement with those who would and do teach children. In reflecting on what I had discovered from and through and with them all, I concluded here with the profound and abiding call of personhood, realized ever in relationship, in the transformation of relationship, in transformative relationship. As in the Ubuntu tradition, beseeching us ever to take up the challenge to be and to become fully human, I was reminded that a person is indeed a person through others.

There are so many others through whom I have found and sought to cultivate and continue to pursue my own personhood – too many truly to name – through this project. Yet, among the many “peacemakers” who have succored me in manifold, varied and nearly infinite ways, I want to specifically acknowledge: Emily Smith, Molly Cutler, Callie Heilmann, Lauren Perovich and Eunice Yun for invaluable research assistance; Jai Jackson, my angel of technology; and all those at Peter Lang who have labored much and most patiently on my behalf – Sophie Appel, Phyllis Korper, Stephen Mazur and Chris Myers. I also cannot thank Shirley Steinberg enough for the honor of inclusion in this Primer series, and much besides. I have been the recipient of unspeakable support, as well, in the completion of this work from Petra Hendry, Ann Trousdale, Kenny Varner, Marianne Frye and Steve Triche. I am most grateful, too, for the inspiring scholarship and feedback of Dale Snauwaert, Monisha Bajaj and Hongyu Wang concerning the pursuit of peace, justice and nonviolence.

Originally planning to limit my inquiries into peace and possibilities of teaching for peace to my photography project studies with pre-service teachers in my social studies education courses, I am especially indebted to Debbie Sonu – inspired, tireless, brilliant and soulful colleague and friend – who through her own work and hospitality in recruiting me to it gave me the opportunity to carry this study forward into classrooms with teachers and children. She has ← xi | xii → also been an ever-present source of insight, inspiration and encouragement. And, this inquiry and the insights, questions and directions issuing from it would not have been possible without all the aspiring teachers, practicing teachers and children with whom I worked, and their generosity in offering their participation, experience, thought and reflection to such study. Though they must here remain unnamed, in their very persons in both their visions and voices they saturate this text.

← xii | 1 → Chapter 1

Picturing Peace: A Beginning

Many of us worry about the situation of the world. We don’t know when the bombs will explode…. As individuals, we feel helpless, despairing. The situation is so dangerous, injustice is so widespread…. if we panic, things will only become worse. But if even one person…can remain calm, lucid, knowing what to do and what not to do,…. one such person can save the lives of many.

  Our world is something like a small boat. Compared with the cosmos, our planet is a very small boat. We are about to panic because our situation is no better than the situation of the small boat on the [stormy] sea. You know that we have more than 50,000 nuclear weapons. Humankind has become a very dangerous species. We need people who can sit still and be able to smile, who can walk peacefully. We need people like that in order to save us…. You are that person…each of you is that person.

Thich Nhat Hanh (1987/1996, pp. 11–12)

Beginning with Me: Problem-Posing1 for Pedagogical Studies in Peace


XII, 164
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2012 (April)
work neighborhood violence daily experience
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2014. 164 pp., num. ill.

Biographical notes

Molly Quinn (Author)

Molly Quinn, PhD, is a visiting scholar of the Curriculum Theory Project at Louisiana State University. A founding member of the International Institute for Critical Pedagogy and vice president of the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies, she is the author of Going Out, Not Knowing Whither: Education, the Upward Journey and the Faith of Reason.


Title: Peace and Pedagogy Primer
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181 pages