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OHASSTA Nov 2014 final

Journal of the Ontario History and Social Science Teachers' Association B1.1 assess the effectiveness of actions taken by one or more levels of government to address an issue of national, provincial/ territorial, and/or local significance violence on three levels: peacekeeping, peacemaking and peacebuilding. Galtung (2012) argues that peace education should go beyond such “negative” peace (absence of physical violence) to include “positive” peace (institutions and relationships to redress structural and cultural violence). Still more broadly, some see peace education as curriculum and practices that privilege interconnectedness and multiple perspectives. The definition of peace education can be so integrated as to follow Salomon and Nevis’ (2002) broad notion of an “educational orientation,” in which a varied tableau of subjects and interests can be incorporated into curriculum and practices. Nevertheless, not just anything is peace education, and certainly, curriculum which claims to be peace education must be labelled so. Further, for something to constitute Peace education, it must hold to some accepted definition with the curriculum demonstrating how one of these interdisciplinary themes actually constitutes a variation of peace education. Why Peace Education is Important: The current curriculum through its guideline statements is heavily freighted with war studies and needs to be balanced with topics that do not either celebrate or criticize war, but which allows for different ways of understanding Canadian and international ways of living. Further, peace education holds to a progressive pedagogy, which is to say, an interactive and personalized pedagogy that is compatible with, and supportive of the goals of the current drive to privilege historical thinking concepts, a framework supported by the Ontario Ministry of Education. As well, peace history/studies draw on collective memory and collective consciousness in our nation and elsewhere. It is accessed through oral histories and other strategies developed to ascertain the history of the masses Hence, peace education is important both for its counter-narrative to the “muscular nationalism” which so afflicts school history courses, and for its grounding in complex pedagogies which emphasize critical thinking, perspectivistic decision-making and other difficult and sophisticated pedagogical skills. Where Does/Should Peace Education appear in the new Canadian and World Studies’ Curriculum Documents? The short answer to this question is that peace education has seemingly been almost completely edged out of the current guideline statements. It is important to recognize that the Ministry of Education provides learning outcomes for pupils; teachers are free to use the materials they find useful to achieve those outcomes. Hence, even though the guidelines do not direct teachers to use topics and materials rooted in peace education, it is entirely possible that some teachers would choose to do so. Nevertheless, as noted, many kinds of education can be "peace education” but to rate as this, it must be named as such – by both the Ministry and teachers. I know from my content analysis of teacher education units of study that even when candidates think they are building peace education units of study, they very rarely link curriculum back to peace themes of any kind, or indicate how a given curriculum product might be defined as peace, or not. Hence, in this study, I have looked for overt instances where the Ministry of Education has named their intention as peace education, either through the outcome statement itself or the prompts. Because of space limitations, I have omitted the sample questions and examples, all of which could direct teachers to peace education, but do not. The generalizations that follow apply to grades 1 to 12 in the new curriculum guidelines for Ontario. The Primary grades of 1 to 6 in Social Studies have a good many curricular outcomes which could be called “personal peace,” prompts where children are encouraged to recognize situations characterized by conflict or power imbalances. In none of these, is the term “peace” used, “peace-building” or any other synonym. Exploring the inadequacy of public policy in some issues of social reform at Grade 5, pupils are encouraged to think of strategies and to create a "plan of action" to address social disparity. These instances of "negative peace" are never identified as such, however, with the resulting knowledge about what constitute peace, actions are lost. By Grade 6, students are exploring "A1.3 … how various groups have contributed to the goal of inclusiveness in Canada" with particular reference to Canada’s "founding peoples." Outcome A2.5 asks students to RAPPORT FALL 2014 7 RAPPORT FALL 20147