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Peace and Pedagogy Primer

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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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Chapter 1 Picturing Peace: A Beginning

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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)

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