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International Institute on Peace Education 2012
an article by IIPE

The 2012 International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE) will be hosted at the National Women's Education Center (NWEC) near Tokyo, Japan, from August 11-19, 2012. This year's Institute is being organized in partnership with the National Peace Academy (home of the IIPE secretariat) and the Global Campaign for Peace Education Japan (GCPEJ) cooperating witha consortium of other national organizations invested in furthering peace education in Japan including the Society for Building a Culture of Peace.

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For thirty years, IIPE has brought together educators, professional workers and activists in the field of peace education,gathered from around the world to exchange experiences and learn with and from each other in an intensive short-term learning community that embodies the practices and principles of critical, participatory peace pedagogy. IIPE 2012 participants, many whom will be drawn from Japan and S.E. Asia, will join with representatives from all other world regions. This residential learning exchange will weave together experiential and theoretical contributions of participants to illuminate diverse views, explore educational applications, and assess possibilities for practical steps toward a less violent and more just world security system.

Japan's recent coping with the environmental disasters of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and the consequent nuclear meltdown resulting in ecological health crises and economic emergencies are relevant issues for people everywhere. In light of these concomitant crises, the IIPE 2012 peace learning community will inquire into human security possibilities for addressing current global emergencies in ecological imbalance, energy reconfiguring, and gapping economic inequities. Human security and sustainability are fundamental to peace as "a long-term and gutsy project...[that] requires social conditions that foster individual and societal well-being...surfaces differing perspectives and needs...[and] is an opportunity to rethink and reshape the prevailing status quo."

IIPE participants are invited into an inquiry on how peace education and participatory learning communities can contribute to the human security and integrity of societies-regional, local and global; and what values, capacities, skills and practices can support protection, prevention and provision in emergencies. The IIPE program will comprise thematic and interrelated participant-led presentations, workshops and discussions with some special emphasis on learning from the Japanese experience. Sub-themes such as human security, the abolition of nuclear weapons, gender imbalance, capacity building, youth participation, and Japan-U.S. and Japan-Asia relations and their potential contributions to positive alternatives to the present interstate security system will be incorporated into the learning exchange.

Science educator Dr. Willard Jacobson asked, "What are our societal responsibilities? What responsibilities do we have for those who have less than enough? What responsibilities do we have to for the generations to come?" These questions can help formulate human security alternatives to the dominant security concepts and policies that effect emergency prevention, protection and provision for current global emergencies. Peace, human well-being and ecological sustainability are also under severe threat from multiple current wars and militarized conflict zones, the arms trade and proliferation of nuclear weapons, and rampant violence committed by state and non-state actors.


Question(s) related to this article:

How do we promote a human rights, peace based education?,

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Latest reader comment:

Question: what is the relation between peace and education?

We teach the science of war on an even and equal basis with the 3Rs and we maintain it with more resources than any other school. Further, we have done this consistently for a couple of thousand years, long before education was institutionalized for all children. And we have never questioned the wisdom of teaching millions of civilians how to kill while never giving the same credence, or any for that matter, to the science of peace, the study of anti-war, of reconciliation. With this inured mindset leaders choose to fund boot camps and officer training colleges and by omission deprive youth of the better choice.

If we can teach war and violence with such commitment to suit the purposes of generals and the arms trade, where are the rest of us who have a greater need for peace and conciliation than anyone anywhere has for the killing fields? Why have civilians not demanded peace education long ago and why don't we have it now?

This report was posted on February 4, 2012.