Peacebuilding Toolkit for Educators from the USIP
Global Peacebuilding Center at the USIP
The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is the independent, nonpartisan conflict management center created by the U.S. Congress to prevent, mitigate and resolve international conflict without resorting to violence. USIP works to save lives, increase the government’s ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs, and enhance our national security.
The Global Peacebuilding Center extends USIP’s educational work to new—especially younger—audiences, introducing them to key concepts and skills in conflict management and to the challenges and importance of peacebuilding.
Through multimedia exhibits, educational programs, and online resources and activities (see http://www.buildingpeace.org ), the Global Peacebuilding Center seeks to engage the next generation of peacebuilders.
A Peacebuilding Toolkit for Educators has been designed to support the work of educators as peacebuilders. It is a resource developed by and for educators, to enable you to help introduce peacebuilding themes and skills into the classroom. ( Download the Toolkit Brochure - PDF, 2.83 MB)
The Peacebuilding Toolkit for Educators can help develop students’ understanding of, and interest in, global peacebuilding, and develop their skills and capacities to act as peacebuilders. It can help teachers develop their own understanding of key concepts and skills, and enhance their capacity to teach about global peacebuilding themes and issues.
There are two volumes of the toolkit––one for middle school and one for high school. The content of the toolkit can stand alone, but is enhanced by reference to the range of other resources available on this website and at the Global Peacebuilding Center.The toolkit can be downloaded in its entirety, in sections or as individual lessons.
This toolkit is organized around basic themes within the field of international conflict management.
Theme 1: Conflict is an inherent part of the human condition.
Conflict is natural and is a normal part of everyday life. What makes a democratic society successful is its ability to deal with conflict, to allow and manage disagreement and dissent among people.
Theme 2: Violent conflict can be prevented.
Conflict becomes problematic when it escalates to violence. But violent conflict can be prevented. We can teach our students to assert their opinion while being respectful and open to the ideas others; to listen with care and attentiveness; to act responsibly when faced with conflict. Conflict need not cross the line to violence. Whether on a personal or an international level, peace is possible when parties in conflict with one another use peacebuilding tools to manage their disagreement.
Theme 3: There are many ways to be a peacebuilder.
Peacebuilding is based on knowledge, skills, and attitudes that can be learned. As such, everyone can be a peacebuilder. There are many roles involved and young people can make important contributions to building peace in today’s world.
Activities and Lesson Plans
Lessons and Activities from the toolkits are also available online. They can help quickly engage students in thinking about key concepts related to conflict management and peacebuilding. The activities available online can work well in workshop settings or in alternative learning environments, as they do not require as much time or preparation as full lessons.
Youth Virtual Passport
Another exciting resource for students is the Virtual Passport. This online learning pathway (available at http://www.buildingpeace.org/virtual-passport ) encourages students to earn virtual stamps as they explore peacebuilding concepts and take short quizzes or other learning comprehension checks.
National Peace Essay Contest
Each year over 1,100 students submit entries to USIP’s National Peace Essay Contest, while thousands more participate in related writing and other classroom exercises in high schools around the country.
The National Peace Essay Contest:
—Promotes serious discussion among high school students, teachers, and national leaders about international peace and conflict resolution today and in the future;
—Complements existing curricula and other scholastic activities;
—Strengthens students’ research, writing, and reasoning skills; and
—Meets National Contents Standards.
First-place state winners of the National Peace Essay Contest receive scholarships and are invited to Washington for a five-day awards program. The Institute pays for expenses related to the program, including travel, lodging, meals and entertainment. This unique five-day program promotes an understanding of the nature and process of international peacemaking by focusing on a region and/or theme related to the current essay contest. Get more information on the National Peace Essay Contest here.