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Peace and Pedagogy Primer


Molly Quinn

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.
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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...

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