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GLOBAL MOVEMENT FOR A CULTURE OF PEACE

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Peace Education
an article by T. Barber

Imagine a child who is never taught to hate, but to understand and co-exist. Envision a child who is educated about community and social justice instead of divisiveness. Picture the adult this child will become; imagine a world filled with these adults.

You have just shared our vision.

Global Village School (GVS) is a non-profit, distance-learning K-12 school. Grounded in the belief that access to information and peace education are the keys to ending prejudice, we offer a full diploma program and college preparatory classes to that end. To accomplish our vision, a dedicated team created a program that integrates Peace and Diversity Studies with the core subjects of Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science. Our mission is preparing people for a life as informed leaders and effective agents of social change.

GVS believes in education through action. Students do research and choose where to volunteer their services. By expending their own time and energy, students learn about real world dilemmas and solutions firsthand. Our first student Sreymol was living in a Cambodian orphanage before an American adopted her. Having spent years of her life under challenging circumstances, Sreymol realized that helping others is very important. At seventeen, she hosts her own web site, where she sells homemade clothing and pies, donating the proceeds to the homeless. Michael, a recent GVS graduate, is Native American. Although highly intelligent, Mike was not succeeding in public school. Attending GVS allowed Mike to earn his diploma while studying in ways that were better suited to his learning style and interests. One of his government class projects was to accompany his parents to Washington, D.C. where he observed them testifying before a congressional committee. The experience helped him gain a deeper understanding of tribal issues and served to prepare him for his future role as a leader in his community. GVS acknowledges a broad range of backgrounds by offering elective credit for different kinds of life experience.

GVS represents a new model of education that incorporates distance learning in the form of Internet and/or text-based instruction. The Internet provides an ideal means to do this - students who would otherwise be isolated from each other can build community regardless of where they live. Please help us spread the word by distributing this information to friends who share our commitment to changing the world one child at a time. We invite you to learn more about us at www.globalvillageschool.org and address issues related to peace education on this forum. We are looking forward to learning from your experiences.

DISCUSSION

Question(s) related to this article:


Internet schools: replacement or compliment for public schools?,

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LATEST READER COMMENT:

Greetings!

I'd like to address some of the issues raised by the two posts (intro and response) we've had thus far.  I think that initiatives like GVS *can* be an effective and indeed a superior replacement for the public school system.  Why?  Because we are interested in engaging students in studies that inspire inquiry, encourage communication, and foster cooperation.  As Bertrand Russell said, “We must have some concept of the kind of person we wish to produce before we can have any definite opinion as to the education which we consider best.”  Unfortunately many public schools are woefully under funded and hamstrung/distracted by federal control.  One such example:  How many schools are preoccupied dealing with the controversy  surrounding a stipulation (In the Bush Administration's "No Child Left Behind Act") which gives military recruiters increased access to information about public school students instead of addressing any number of problems plaguing the school?  See www.rethinkingschools.org, Special Article on Bush's No Child Left Behind Act   as a starting point for research on this legislation.

That being said, is it *necessary* to abandon the public school system?  Certainly there are situations in which the two systems can compliment each other, and indeed GVS offers courses to students who are dual enrolled.  But there is no question in my mind that a system which endeavors to support the development of thoughtful, compassionate and aware human beings through cooperative learning - encouraging students and their families to take an active role in planning education - is far superior to a system in which rote learning is employed to turn out students with degrees, most of whom know little about the world in which we live, thanks in part to sterile, mass-produced text-books.  Worse yet, the public school system (the government, by extension) routinely denies claims that the indoctrination of certain values goes on in public schools.  Can this really be so?  Is it possible to say or do anything that is "value-free?"  Which leads to another question:  My child spends six hours a day, five days per week being educated by other people. . ...more.


This report was posted on March 4, 2003.