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Let’s start peace with children

Looking at the world's situation each passing day, I believe more and more that it is better to start peace with children, from childhood. All events worldwide show that the people who have assumed official and governmental responsibilities in different countries have not been familiar with pacifist ideas and have not been influenced by the culture of peace.

Looking at the world's situation each passing day, I believe more and more that it is better to start peace with children, from childhood. All events worldwide show that the people who have assumed official and governmental responsibilities in different countries have not been familiar with pacifist ideas and have not been influenced by the culture of peace.

Looking at the world’s situation each passing day, I believe more and more that it is better to start peace with children, from childhood. All events worldwide show that the people who have assumed official and governmental responsibilities in different countries have not been familiar with pacifist ideas and have not been influenced by the culture of peace.

Most government officials in many countries have been trained in behaviourist, elitist, individual-oriented and profit-oriented schools. Whether in capitalist countries, ideological countries, or dictatorial countries, they all studied in educational systems that did not teach or practice concepts such as shared interests, participation, living values, the culture of peace, etc.

These officials have learned and practiced more about how to compete, recognize, or care for their individual and their group’s interests, recognize what is profitable for them, how to dominate their surroundings and identify what will profit them faster and more.

Many educational systems teach their students that they have the right and are allowed to do anything for their success.

Those who fuel and encourage violence, domination, totalitarianism, more profit, and individual interests in some ways have undoubtedly been trained in systems that were competitive and based on personal interests. Otherwise, the world could have been much more promising than it is right now.

Therefore, revising children’s education and promoting the culture of peace and shared interests can be beneficial and valuable. It can help to expand peaceful and humanitarian programs in the coming decades.

Many educational systems teach their students that they have the right and are allowed to do anything for their success.

You may think it is the responsibility of global policymakers to decide on this matter. Having them should decide and determine the educational programs for children may or may not lead towards peace, participation, and shared interests. Hoping that it would, could be a false expectation. The powers that be, rarely want to acknowledge the people’s interests or alter the world’s programs in the direction where everyone has a decent life. 

We should not wait for global leaders and policymakers to decide because they have not been trained and prepared for this noble and human goal. Instead, it is the duty of people in every society to direct and shift children’s education toward participation, peace, and humanism.

People like:

  • Intellectuals, artists, writers,
  • Academics, education specialists, psychologists, sociologists,
  • Teachers, educators, librarians, managers of educational centres, child, and adolescent facilitators,
  • Non-governmental organizations, media, and civil institutions, and
  • Most notably, parents themselves should pave this path for children.

Wherever we are and in whatever position we are, we should help the process of pacifist education. I am sharing here below, uncomplicated and straightforward suggestions that can introduce our children to a peaceful world.

From Behaviourism Education to Humanism Education

Education in the world is still under the influence of behaviourist thinking systems. The behaviourism approach tries to alter children’s needs, talents, and abilities to fall in the direction that the powers like them to be by using predetermined agendas. Behavioural systems are fascinated by contest, competition, comparison, elitism, excellent grades, etc. They teach students that they can do anything to achieve personal interests and success. In these schools, teamwork, participation, cooperation, collaboration, collective benefits, and sustainable development for the benefit of all are not taught and practiced with students. This educational system is a symbol of violence against people.

The tendency to humanistic, democratic, and peace-oriented schools can be a way to overcome this collective violence:

  • Specialists in different fields can introduce and promote more humanist ideas,
  • Teachers, facilitators, and principals can start to educate themselves with the models and methods of humanistic education,
  • Parents and teachers should not cooperate with schools that promote competition and promote for individual interests.
  • Parents can support democratic and humanistic schools,
  • Families should encourage their children’s school to shift from individualism to participation and shared interests.

Promoting the Concepts of The Culture of Peace

Schools and educational authorities must include the concepts of the culture of peace in their academic programs. Everything that can lead us to a peaceful life is essential and is a way to preserve the planet, plants, animals, and humankind.

The culture of peace does not mean merely the absence of war. Rather, it is an aid in living a fair, non-discriminatory, conscious democratic life. All international documents, strategies and declarations point out that the culture of peace means paying attention to human rights, social justice, preserving the environment, preserving cultural and spiritual heritage, and respecting the rights of the generations that will come after us.

That is why schools must practice and share these concepts with their students.

Respect and A Decent Life for Humans

All human beings, with respect to all differences and diversities, deserve a respectful and peaceful life. Every decision, plan, and activity in our schools should be in the direction of how much it respects the interests of all and how much it helps to improve the life of humanity.

Are our programs and initiatives just and fair? We have to make sure that decisions we make based on equality. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce children and adolescents to equitable and equal solutions in schools. Finding the solution is not enough. We need to find fair and just solutions and ask how much our decisions can contribute to a decent life for everyone.

War is Not the Solution.

Education systems should not emphasize war, elimination, and violence as solutions. War and elimination are neither the first solution nor the last solution! We can teach children and adolescents that there are many alternatives so we can live together and succeed regardless of our differences.

Sometimes schools point out that they do not support war and armed conflicts, and we do not include war and armed conflicts in our curriculum. But war is not mere armed violence. It is a declaration of war when the education system promotes contest, competition, and comparison, fosters elitism, excludes individuals, or tells students that they can do anything for individual success. It is against humanity. With such education, children are prepared to separate themselves from others and dominate others.

Attention to Public Interests

We are successful together. Individual victory, success, elitism, etc., are useless without everyone’s well-being. Individualism and personal success tear us all apart and make us fall. Privileging and highlighting individual interests are a loss for everyone.

In schools, students should be encouraged to maintain their individuality through their talents, abilities and needs. However, it is necessary to provide them with the opportunity for others to also benefit from their decisions.

Educational systems can assist students to:

  • Pursue their talents, follow their dreams, and share them with others.
  • Participate in other people’s dreams and help others follow their talents.
  • Collaborate with others to build a better world.
  • Create new ideas for a better world and share their ideas with others.

The Importance of Emotional Development

The global society needs to improve its emotional development.  We must practice empathy, cooperation, care and support for ourselves and others. We need to recognize and understand our emotions and be able to choose the right name for our feelings and to talk about them with others.

It is equally necessary to understand the emotions of others. It will give us a chance to hear the feelings of others and put ourselves in their place. Emotional development can bring different people closer, wherever they are, more than any other initiative. Schools can take the lead in implementing emotional development.

Schools and all educational centres, businesses, and associations for children and adolescents can be transformed into peace-promoting centres. We, the parents, teachers, educators, and child rights activists, must defend and develop the path of pacifism in education.

Today, defencing humanistic education and any system that promotes common interests, fairness, peace, and a decent life for all is the most progressive, modern, and leftist strategy we can adopt.

https://childrenforpeace.ca

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