On the Lives and Education of Children
Edited By Paul L. Thomas, Paul R. Carr, Julie A. Gorlewski and Brad J. Porfilio
Chapter Sixteen: Peace Education About the Lives of Children
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Peace Education About THE Lives OF Children
CANDICE C. CARTER
Childhood is a very critical time in human development. Exposure to violence interferes with children’s healthy development. It has deleterious physical and psychological effects besides normalization of harm. Even when they are not working as child soldiers, or trying to survive in the midst of direct violence, children endure other types of harm. Society, schools, families, and media expose children to several forms of violence. Children observe and experience indifference to injury as a conflict response. Many cartoons and games present violence as amusement. Voice tone and body language in addition to stated messages convey threats. While inundated with displays of disrespect and unkindness, children observe expressions of peace in temporary trends or movements. During them, peace is a fashionable word in attire, made by people, including children, who nearly starve in the production process. Meanwhile, adults have seen the need for education about peace.
Awareness of children’s need for peace in all aspects of their lives is not new. During the past century, advocacy for and approaches to peace-oriented education emerged as responses to wars. Organizations worldwide called on education to teach about it. The Hague Agenda for Peace and Justice in the 21st Century (Hague Appeal for Peace, 2000) stimulated The Tirana Call for Peace Education (Hague Appeal for Peace, 2004). These followed the declaration by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural...
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