“Dancing in the Dissonance” – A Conflict Resolution Skills Activity

Designed by Audrey Williams

I. Introduction

The goal of the “Dancing in the Dissonance” activity is to introduce the concept of “dissonance” as a tool to build curiosity and respect for difference in shared meaning-making spaces. The activity draws on narrative and musical tools for conflict resolution to build a better understanding of how people make meaning both individually and as part of a group. By the end of the activity, participants should have a better appreciation for how curiosity, complexity, and difference relate to healthy experiences of conflict.

By working with a pre-selected song to make and share meaning around sonic representations of conflict, participants will have the chance to ponder how meaning making happens on multiple levels, including:

  • on the level of the individual;
  • on the level of the group; and
  • on the level of the message between artist and audience.

This activity can be carried out in settings where participants already know each other as well as in settings where participants are just meeting each other for the first time. This activity involves a pre-class work expectation, and so it should be used in contexts where the facilitator has enough advance connection with participants to send pre-class materials to them.

At each stage, the activity is designed to help participants build greater appreciation for the flexibility and adaptability of meaning while also exercising their curiosity about how people can have different experiences of the same phenomena. Participants will learn how to see dissonance as an invitation to curiosity, and will walk away with an understanding of how to use curiosity to navigate difference in a generative, rather than destructive, way.

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Critical Pedagogy and Peace Education in Early Childhood

Although the incorporation of peace education and critical pedagogical approaches are visible in certain spheres of elementary and higher-level education, entertaining the possibilities of implementing these in early childhood education is commonly absent from ECE spaces. Research on the human brain indicates that it is during the first five to six years of life that the vast majority of active brain growth and development occurs, with neural pathways forming and the brain essentially wiring itself as to how to know, relate to, and be in this world (Gramling, 2015). Further, evidence that children are aware of differences and begin to develop biases and prejudice during these early years (Pelo, 2008), including an awareness of structures of social dominance by as early as ten months (Christakis, 2016), suggest that the inclusion of peace education and pedagogical practices that foster critical thinking and a sense of ethnorelativism present as valuable concepts to bring to early childhood education. Ann Pelo, educational consultant and author, emphasizes the importance of rethinking early childhood education through the use of reflective pedagogical practice and social justice and ecological teaching. She asks, “What kind of people do we want to be? What kind of a world do we want to live in?” (pg. 37, Pelo, A., & Carter, M., 2019) and seeks to answer these questions through examining and reframing the purpose of education. Perhaps one of the most prominent examples of how critical pedagogy and education for peace may be translated to early childhood (and the pedagogical inspiration for Pelo’s work) exists in the infant toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, out of which the now globalized Reggio Emilia Approach to education emerged.

“This was the community’s response to the danger of totalitarianism and tyranny: create a school for the youngest of children.”-Anne Pelo

Following the devastation of WWII, the citizens of Reggio Emilia (specifically feminists active in the Italian Resistance and belonging to the Italian Women’s Union) sought to establish a school that recognized the right of every child to high quality care and education that imbued a sense of participatory civic consciousness so as to prevent any resurgence of fascist reign, war, and genocide as a consequence of societal conflict. With the guidance of Loris Malaguzzi, an educational practitioner who was instrumental in consulting a global network of educational theorists, philosophers, and social psychologists, the Reggio Emilia philosophy was developed as a new and comprehensive approach to early childhood education that sought to teach a sense of moral citizenship to the youngest members of society (Timeline | Reggio Children, 2020). Unlike other ECE approaches and curriculums that can be certified and implemented as is, the Reggio Emilia philosophy rests on a set of core values/tenets that are intended to be translated to work within the specific context of any given communal educational space. These foundational values mirror many of the pillars of peace education while also aligning with conceptual elements of critical pedagogical practice, and thereby serve as an example of the application of peace education and critical pedagogy to early childhood.

 At the heart of the Reggio Emilia philosophy is what Malaguzzi coined “the Image of the Child,” the belief that each and every child represent a whole human and citizen, capable, competent, and deserving of inherent rights, freedoms, and responsibilities. (Edwards, C., Gandini, L., & Forman, G., 2011). Understanding the Image of the Child requires one to acknowledge their personal subjectivity in how they have come to view children and others through their own life experiences and epistemological lens. It informs the daily practices and interactions of adults as they work collaboratively with the children and each other to create a learning environment that is relationship-based. The task of observing and honoring the essential worth and value in each and every child connects directly to many of the other foundational tenets of the approach. These include:

  • The establishment of democratic classrooms, whereby all stakeholder voices of the educational process (the children, families, educators, and greater community) are held as equally valued and heard.
  • The concept that children are active protagonists of their learning, which occurs largely through processes of negotiated learning and social constructivism.
  • A practice of teaching and learning that is founded on a Pedagogy of Listening, whereby the capacity for reciprocal listening and dialog enables meaning making processes that are collaborative, collective, and democratic.
  • The idea that children (and all people) learn and communicate through “One hundred languages” of expression and understanding, and that it is imperative to acknowledge and listen to these various forms and ways of “being” in the world.
  • Embracing an openness to difference, doubt, uncertainty, and diverse perspectives as a point of learning and recognition of the value in another’s point of view and interpretation.
  •  The environment’s role as the third teacher, supporting the development of curriculum that is contextual and emergent. (Edwards, C., Gandini, L., & Forman, G., 2011)

The pedagogical approach, which is constructivist in nature, pivots the role of the teacher from all-knowing keeper of information to co-discoverer, co-researcher, and co-learner alongside the children. This framing of the meaning-making process and role of the educator embodies a rejection of what Freire termed the “Banking Method” of education (whereby teachers deposit knowledge into students who are viewed as empty vessels) and assumes student-teacher, teacher-student relations that reconstruct traditional hierarchal structures of the educational process (Freire, 2000). Dedicated and astute observations of the children’s engagements and interactions inform the creation of documentation and reflective processes through which educators facilitate further learning that is responsive, relational, and centered on the children’s theories, inquiries, and quest for knowledge.

…a willingness to question all your own abilities, your knowledge, to become humble. Only then will you be able to listen to the child, to set off on a common search, to ‘educate each other together.'” -Loris Malaguzzi

While the Reggio Emilia philosophy embodies values that parallel many of the pillars of peace education (enabling multiple intelligences, community building, nurturing emotional intelligence, skill building, and serving as a nonviolent means of transformative societal change by fostering ethnorelativism and valuing difference and diverse perspectives), when translated to the context of the United States the approach may be coupled with an anti-bias curriculum to more explicitly address racial hierarchy, structural violence, and societal injustice, thereby providing a nonviolent means of actualizing a more equitable society based on the pursuit of positive peace.

“The relationship between peace and prejudice concerns the ability or inability to be good listeners. This is where education for peace begins.” –Carlina Rinaldi

Although this post barely scratches the surface of the Reggio Emilia approach and what peace pedagogy may look like as translated to early childhood education, stakeholders in the fields of both of early childhood education and that of peace building may find it useful to begin to examine the possibilities of reframing the purpose and potential of early childhood education towards transformative societal change. A more detailed lesson plan could be developed centering on any or all of the foundational tenants of the Reggio Emilia approach and how they correspond to peace education and the implementation of critical pedagogy in early childhood, to then be used as inspiration for teaching practices in any given early childhood education center.

References/ Resources:

Christakis, E. (2016). The Importance of Being Little. Van Haren Publishing.

Edwards, C., Gandini, L., & Forman, G. (2011). The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Experience in Transformation, 3rd Edition (3rd ed.). Praeger.

Freire, P., Ramos, M. B., & Macedo, D. (2000). Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 30th Anniversary Edition (30th Anniversary ed.). Continuum.

Gramling, M., & Jones, E. (2015). The Great Disconnect in Early Childhood Education: What We Know vs. What We Do. Redleaf Press.

Pelo, A. (2008). Rethinking Early Childhood Education (First ed.). Rethinking Schools.

Pelo, A., & Carter, M. (2019). From Teaching to Thinking: A Pedagogy for Reimagining Our Work. Exchange Press.

Timeline | Reggio Children. (2020). Reggio Emilia Approach. Retrieved December 8, 2021, from https://www.reggiochildren.it/en/reggio-emilia-approach/timeline-en/

Conflict System Mapping

Background: In researching for my conflict resolution skills session assignment, I stumbled across a book, Making Peace Last, that takes the concept of systems thinking – one I originally grappled with during my master’s program in city and regional planning – and meshes it with peacebuilding. In the book, author Robert Ricigliano explains the paradox of macro-micro conflict, which is best summed up in this quotation he highlights:

All the good peace work being done should be adding up to more than it is. The potential of all these efforts is not being realized.” – Mary Anderson and Lara Olson

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Peace Education of Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi’s message of peace, love, forgiveness, and nonviolence is being ignored in some people, although it is still in all over the world. Gandhi was untiring and indomitable beloved idol for isolated weak class of people in India.

As violation is from people’s avarice, teaching of Gandhi should be in the education philosophy. Gandhi wanted to colonized people to be free from colonialism. Gandhi wanted to Asia and Africa to be free from colonialism. Leaders in United States and South Africa and several countries was successfully adopted Gandhi’s nonviolent values, but not in Asia.

The ideas of religious of Gandhi could de-escalate the conflict between different religions. According to Gandhi, “a curriculum of religious instruction should include a study of the tenets of faiths other than one’s own. For this purpose, the students should be trained to cultivate the habit of understanding and appreciating the doctrines of various great religions of the world in a spirit of reverence and broad-minded tolerance. This, if properly done, would help to give them a spiritual assurance and a better appreciation of their own religion. This study of other religions besides one’s own will give one a grasp of the rock-bottom unity of all religions, and afford a glimpse also of that universal and absolute Truth which lies beyond the ‘dust of creeds and faiths.’”

There was war between India and Pakistan, Iran and Iraq war. These wars destroy livelihood and made casualties. ASEAN region was the region where is the most peaceful region, except for the Rohingya community in Myanmar. They failed to assimilate and accept Rohingya community people.

For this article, stakeholders can be any countries which still in conflict such as Myanmar. Myanmar has conflict with Rohingya community, they do not consider Rohingya community people with Myanmar nationalities. I think the Myanmar government should embrace Rohingya community as a minority. People who are interested in peace education could get benefit from this article. This resource is well suited for all age of people and both gender who is interested in peace, and some countries which is still in conflict. Gandhi is a symbol of peace in the whole world, and his teaching of non-violence and peace is the best sources.


Contributor. “Mahatma Gandhi’s Message on Peace, Nonviolence, Inclusion of Minorities Is Pertinent.” The Independent News, 27 Oct. 2019, http://theindependent.sg/mahatma-gandhis-message-on-peace-nonviolence-inclusion-of-minorities-is-pertinent/.

Locating Education for Peace in Gandhian Thought – Articles : On and By Gandhi, https://www.mkgandhi.org/articles/peace_education.htm.

Gandhi’s photo from http://theindependent.sg/mahatma-gandhis-message-on-peace-nonviolence-inclusion-of-minorities-is-pertinent/

Video art and peacebuilding.

“A picture is worth a thousand words but a video is worth a million.”

In the realm of visual art, medium of photography has given an immense impact contributing in peace building throughout the history due to its unique traits of grabbing, maintaining, and retaining viewer’s attention. A new medium of Video has emerged that exceeds far beyond the limited capacity of photography. Video with its distinct feature that allows audience to “experience” the depicted stories which creates a subconscious space to delve into the core morals and messages of the content. Such transcended contemplation and emotional shifts may bring opportunities to alter traditional ideas, rules, patterns, and relationships.

Video in the form of art has not only the ability to deliver often isolated stories from the marginalized part of world but also used as a tool to emotionally connect with the audience with visual aesthetic, sound design, and convincing acting. Emotional connections are crucial that allows drastic, often radical, conversion in human cognitions and behaviors. Peace building, which harshly requires creativity and transcendence, needs such conversion to bring about possible solutions. Emotional connection can bridge as an opportunity for therapeutic strategies for traumatized groups and individuals. It can also be used for an attempts of convincing pursuing a space for reconciliation or resilience depending on the situation of the conflicts. Video art can come in many shapes each with different trajectories. These are few of the examples:

Non-Fictional Documentary

Non-Fictional Documentary videos can create strong narratives about causes and dynamics of conflicts. In real documentaries live actions and narrations are recorded that excludes the acting part of the filming. Keeping the fact is the most essential part of this form of video.

Recreated Documentary

Real person recreating the story.

Short Film

Professional actors re-creating the historical characters and events.

Therapeutic Video

Very subjective part of video art due to different perceptive points of healing of every individual. However, majority of people share universal axioms from the tiniest form. Possibly film, music videos, and any kind of serene or sensitive videos are therapeutic.

Visual Poetry

Extremely artistic approach that brings about human emotion which also covertly underlies creator’s desired messages.







[ Chanuk Barnabas In | Conf 340 ]

Japanese Military Sexual Slavery (known as Comfort Women) History Education: through e-Museum of the Victims of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery

Jiwoo Kim | CONF 340 | GMU

Japanese Military Sexual Slavery에 대한 이미지 검색결과

The current Korea-Japan relationship is so bad that it seems like there is no breakthrough. Issues of Japanese military sexual slavery, Dokdo, and the Yasukuni shrine which are the sensitive topics between Korea and Japan are unfolding all at once. The root cause of these problems is the distortion of the Japanese government’s perception of history, and the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery issue best illustrates this cause. The conflict over the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery issue has not ended, even at this point in the 21st century.

Japanese Military Sexual Slavery에 대한 이미지 검색결과

Japanese Military Sexual Slavery System

The Japanese Military Sexual Slavery system refers to crimes that the Japanese military committed from the 1930s to 1945 when Japan was in World War II. During that period, the Japanese military systematically set up ‘military comfort stations’ by recruiting women from colonized and occupied countries and forcing them to serve as sex slaves.

During the Shanghai Incident in 1932, rape by Japanese soldiers got more and more severe, and this led to an extreme anti-Japanese sentiment in occupied regions. Also, Japanese soldiers started to get a venereal infection, which interfered with the progress of the war. As a result, the ‘military comfort station’ system was established, and women from colonized regions were drafted against their will. According to the reports on the victims registered with the Korean government, the age of victims ranged from 11 to 27. Most of them were drafted by abduction and job fraud.

conflict between korea and japan comfort women에 대한 이미지 검색결과

The conflict between Korea and Japan over the issue of “Japanese Military Sexual Slavery”

The Korean and Japanese government failed to solve the sexual slavery problem even though prolonged effort over two decades. Postwar compensation has been a diplomatic hot potato among Northeast Asian countries. Specifically, in the negotiation of the Korean-Japanese naturalization of 1965, several problems such as forced laborer, victims of the atomic bomb, sex slavery were unsolved. After sex slave victims testified Japan’s wartime atrocities in 1991, civic groups, journalists, the ministry of foreign affairs, and the public engaged to argue on those complex issues. Due to the failure of solving those complex issues by government and judiciary sectors, the Korean civic groups and sex slave victims appeal to the international court and arena.

comfort women lecture에 대한 이미지 검색결과

The importance of resolving this conflict

The Japanese Military Sexual Slavery is concerned with the largest human rights matter because Military sexual slavery is a war crime and a crime against humanity according to International Law. Also, solving this problem is important for the peace order in Northeast Asia because South Korea and Japan should not only work closely together over the North Korean nuclear and missile issues but also play a central role in establishing peace order in Northeast Asia. Therefore, the restoration of Korea-Japan relations can bring peace to the international community. To resolve this conflict, the two countries should pursue mutual understanding and historical reconciliation based on a clear perception of historical facts. Therefore, educating future generations about the right history can be one important way to resolve this conflict. To restore the honor of the victims and enhance the people’s awareness of history and human rights, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family opened the ‘e-Museum of the Victims of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery.’ This website can be effectively utilized for history education and peace-building services.

 E-Museum of ‘the Victims of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery’

The resource provides various related materials and educational content, including general information to help understand Japanese Military Sexual Slavery. The resource is structured to expand understanding to the international community on the issue without being limited to South Korea by providing materials serviced in English, Japanese and Chinese. Also, this resource can be adapted for all age groups in various countries, but is especially suitable for primary and secondary school students in Korea, as it is designed to be used as a history textbook for them.

*Ways to use this resource: Educating the next generation

One of the ideal ways to integrate this e-Museum into the educational context is through formal education of school institutions. Educational institutions can systematically use this resource for educational purposes. More sophisticated planning will be needed to educate students and people outside of Korea.

  1. To educate Korean students 

The resource can be effectively used in strengthening education for elementary, middle and high school students in response to Japan’s distortion of history. Korean website offers educational materials and videos for each age range from elementary school students to high school students.

Educational materials provided on the Korean homepage: http://hermuseum.go.kr/main/PageLink.do?thirdMenuNo=&subMenuNo=030700&menuNo=030000&link=forward:/PageContent.do&tempParam1=&tabNo=2

1-1 Free textbook

[To know exactly what Japanese military sexual slavery (is)] is an educational textbook developed by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. The textbook, “to know exactly what Japanese military sexual slavery” is a free one that can be downloaded from the online site. The textbook contains major issues to help us understand the whole issue. It consists of six types of powerpoint materials that could conduct in classes according to the level of elementary, middle and high school students, and workbooks that are used for students’ study and activities. The government needs to provide support for the classes and teacher training so that related history education can be actively conducted in front of education sites by utilizing such materials.

comfort women lecture에 대한 이미지 검색결과

1-2 A group special lecture

This resource supports special group lectures related to the issue of ” Japanese Military Sexual Slavery”. Educational institutions can apply for these group special classes to educate students. It is only supported in Korea, and the organization should pay for the preparation of educational venues and the fees for instructors. Educational applications/question can be made by e-mail or phone.

(e-mail: hermuseum@Koreakr. / 02-2100-6428)

For more information : https://www.crezone.net/?programs=%EC%9D%BC%EB%B3%B8%EA%B5%B0%EC%9C%84%EC%95%88%EB%B6%80-%ED%94%BC%ED%95%B4%EC%9E%90-e-%EC%97%AD%EC%82%AC%EA%B4%80-%EC%9D%BC%EB%B3%B8%EA%B5%B0%EC%9C%84%EC%95%88%EB%B6%80-%EB%AC%B8%EC%A0%9C-%EB%8B%A8&tab_act=listing_description

2. To educate international students

To use this resource to educate international students, a variety of language support and content supplementation are first required. Although English-language sites exist, English-language websites do not have the same educational materials and contents posted on Korean online sites, and there are many services such as group special lectures only supported in Korea. So far, for example, only 10 victims’ testimonies have been translated into the English-language website of the e-history. In addition to Chinese and English, there should be a variety of language support and sufficient and diverse content delivery as much as Korea so that people around the world can view the resources and refer to them in education. It is also necessary to provide appropriate educational materials for international students.

*The following resources can also be used as educational material for international students to understand the problem more easily.

Subtitle support services are needed to target the international community.
This image is a scene from a webtoon
called ‘A Story of A Comfort Woman – Tattoo.’ This link allows you to view the English translation of the entire webtoon
. https://foxtalk.tistory.com/98

An effective way for educators to use this resource for international students is to suggest a link between the ‘Japanese military sexual slavery ‘ with a country’s current issues. Japanese military sexual slavery issue has many connected themes such as patriarchal system, colonization, imperialism, and misogyny. Also, unfortunately, these problems are still ongoing in so many countries. Therefore, linking ‘Japanese military sexual slavery to the country’s problems will be a good foundation for international students to understand.

For example, in Uganda and Congo, the Japanese military sexual slavery issue can be incorporated into the issue of wartime sexual violence. Also, the State of California proposes to teach Japanese military sexual slavery issue for women’s rights issues, while the San Francisco Board of Education proposes to teach it concerning the issue of women’s rights. Through the correlation between ‘Japanese military sexual slavery ‘ and facing problems, educators can make this resource a very effective educational tool.

Resources used for this article


What is Japanese Military Sexual Slavery System

Arts in Peacebuilding

Hyun Gyu Jeon / CONF 340 / Dec 3, 2019

Along with the other kinds of peace building theories and practices, arts have been used as one of the ways toward building peace. Arts have been used to serve as a means of making people aware of the impacts of violence, expressing their different cultures, providing opportunities to collaborate interculturally, as well as engaging and healing the traumatic experiences of victims. On the other hand, it also has had potential to serve different objectives. For example, it has been used to re-traumatize victims of conflict in some cases by propaganda.

As more and more people find the importance of arts in conflict resolution and peace building, scholars in fields of conflict and peace are contributing to the development of peace education through arts and are drawing attention to its application on a lot of cases. Now, it is not only used by the artists but also by professional practitioners in conflict resolution to capitalize on arts in building peace.

One of the cases of arts in peace building took place in Nairobi. As a result of an informal settlement of leader in Kibera, the post-election violence happened as a form of aggressive protest. Here, the art was not used as a means of peace building in the first place. People began painting and writing slogans, such as ‘Keep Peace,’ ‘Peace Wanted Alive,’ ‘Keep Peace Fellow Kenyans’ everywhere in the city. They believed that such visual expressions were more powerful than their voices. Then, a coalition government was formed at the end of February 2008, following the protest, which ended the violence. Afterwards, all the paintings and writings were left and made people be traumatized of the experience. Under the lead of artists group called Maasai Mbili in Kibera, a temporary art museum, basing the whole area, was created in the city. People came out and expressed themselves in arts for a few weeks after the end of the violence. It later found out that the drawings of the people were about what they wanted to see or do in the future, their hopes, and wishes. Such a harmonious nature was viewed through paintings and writings in the city, which gave them a feeling of value. It worked as a means of healing.

Likewise, conflicting parties can make use of arts in different ways, and it can be carried on by various groups of people, including artists and conflict resolution practitioners in the field. It is true that arts do not always work successfully in all cases of violence and it is not always applicable as well. However, it does have an impact on conflicting parties, and that it is important to note because not only artists and those professional practitioners can use it. Anyone, whether professional or not, can implement arts in cases of conflict, like the way people of Kenya dealt with violence.


Female Education in South Sudan: Through Media and Cash Transfer

Seoyeong Jo/ CONF 340

south sudan girls education에 대한 이미지 검색결과


The article focuses on female education program called Girl’s Education South Sudan (GESS) in South Sudan and how it helps to educate girls and other vulnerable classes who don’t have access to proper education. GESS’s two main activities for promoting girl’s education in South Sudan are radio programe and cash transfers.  Through these two main activities, the article will address how GESS reduces the gender gap in education and helps children to get away from the post-war trauma and to have the right to receive education.

The purpose of this article is to propose effective way to implement programs to regain the educational rights of the vulnerable classes, especially to the South Sudan’s educational officials, teachers, non-governmental organizations and international organizations, as well as countries at all levels. Furthermore, this article shows the direction of how to recognize the importance of female education in the community, against patriarchal system, early marriage, and gender discrimination.

Importance of female education

South Sudan is a country that newly emerged in 2011 and still struggling through the pain of civil war. Trauma by civil war and the collapse of social infrastructure have threatened South Sudan’s economy and exacerbated poverty. With this humanitarian crisis, education for children in South Sudan is not secured. According to UNICEF, more than 70% of South Sudanese children, or which is 2 million, are out of the school. Education for children between the ages of 6 and 13 is free and compulsory education in the country, but the nation’s severe famine, unstable security, and low-quality education system are depriving children’s educational opportunities. Among them, the most marginalized children in education are girls, with about 70% of the female population being illiterate. Also, it is very difficult for girls to even access education facilities due to poverty, early marriage, and cultural/religious norms. Thus, the enrolment rates of girls are lower than for boys of all grades.

I think education is the most effective way to solve the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan and it helps to overcome trauma caused by past civil wars. I believe that intensively supporting the education system for all children, especially the underprivileged, will be of great help to the future of South Sudan. There is still a widespread social and religious norm in South Sudan that against female education. However, children where born to an educated mother have a 50% higher chance of survival, and girls who attends school have a lower risk of early marriage, early pregnancy, and sex crimes. Also, educated parents are more likely to send their children to school, which could raise the education rate in South Sudan in the future. Therefore, supporting female education contributes to eliminate early marriage and sexual violence in South Sudan. It can also helps to remove socio-cultural barriers of gender towards education and help girls gain that they hae right to participate in the Sudanese community.

GESS SOuth sudan에 대한 이미지 검색결과

GESS program to support girl’s education

Recognizing the importance and lack of an educational system for female, Ministry of General Education and Instruction of South Sudan implemented the Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS) program in 2012. The purpose of the GESS is to provide direct education cash transfer to female students and to seek community change to improve awareness and learning rates for girl’s education.


As a peace education, GESS uses the radio to promote Social and behavior change towards education. The radio program is a 15-minute-long radio show that addresses the challenges of girls and their families face in school enrollment and learning. The radio interviews the female students, teachers, and parents in seven states. The show tells the anecdotes of the hardships that interviewees face and serves as an educational role model by explaining why education is important to women and suggests how to overcome obstacles. In addition, GESS works with the BBC to produce a radio program called “Our School” and broadcasts on 25 local radio stations and two national stations. Our School mainly emphasizes the advantages that students have when they remain in school and advises parents on solving realistic challenges such as how to get to school safely and how to pay tuition. Moreover, Our School actively communicates with local residents by setting up a section to discuss education directly with listeners over the phone.


Another serious education problem in South Sudan is that the student’s school completion rate is very low. Many students, especially girls, quit school mainly for financial reasons, even if they are in the middle of their academic years. Since poverty is a major barrier to education, GESS aims to lower economic barriers for girls to enroll in school and graduate through financial support. Cash transfer is an educational subsidy that is directly paid to girls who enroll in school and attend regularly. All female students at primary and secondary schools who constantly attend school are eligible for cash transfers at least once a year. In 2018, about 200,000 girls benefited from cash transfer. According to a survey conducted by Forcier Consulting in September 2015, GESS’s cash transfer program provided the full amount of cash directly to the recipient student and, in almost all cases, the recipient girl used the money for educational support items such as textbook and notes. In addition, this program helped girls pay for their registration fees.

The greatest achievement of the GESS’s cash transfer program is the establishment of a mechanism to deliver government funds to elementary schools in areas occupied by anti-government militants. South Sudan’s education ministry had no clear way to deliver government funds to anti-government elementary schools. However, cooperation with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the South Sudanese government, GESS has succeeded in providing government aid to elementary schools in anti-government areas as well as delivering UK AID donations. With successful cooperation with the government and foreign aid foundations, GESS is currently engaged in cash transfer activities at more than 3,400 schools.

Ways to use this resource effectively

I believe that radio programs and cash transfers are the most familiar and effective way to implement peace education for girls in a patriarchal society where awareness of education is low and early marriage is frequent. A more effective way for female students and citizens to use radio and cash transfer is for the government and educators to promote GESS and complement radio and cash transfer programs by using the following methods:

Continuous partnership with non-profit organizations like GESS

In order to change the negative perception of female education, the central government and local governments should actively cooperate to implement policies on girls’ education. However, currently education policies in South Sudan are mainly focused on men. The quality of education in schools is also low due to frequent threats from militant groups and post-war trauma. In particular, girls living in rural areas are more isolated from education than any other class in South Sudan. Under these circumstances, it is difficult for the South Sudanese government alone to establish systematic female education policies. Therefore, the government should actively cooperate with non-profit organizations such as GESS to help female students attend school and increase the school graduation rate by directly paying cash to female students living in conflict or poverty areas. The current government is a partner with GESS, but it is time for the nation to establish a solid relationship with organizations that actively implement education programs nationwide.

Regular education conference

There is a limitation in GESS’s radio program since students and parents who live in poor areas don’t have access to listen to the show. Therefore, educators should hold regular education conferences from region to region so that all classes can access the content covered by radio programs. Participants at the conference are students, parents, teachers, and government education officials. Teachers and education officials at elementary, middle and high schools should systematically explain the importance of education, especially for girls. The conference should also include an explanation of how the tuition used, school curriculum, and meal system in school. Education conferences must be held at least once a semester, and after the conference, educators and education officials must take question and answer sessions to communicate with citizens.


In South Sudan, where the education system has been disrupted by a long civil war, GESS provides information on education through the media and gradually change the perception of women’s education in a patriarchal society. GESS also helps to increase the education rate of girls in the poor and vulnerable class through financial support. Furthermore, cash transfer helps to manage the school facilities and improve the quality of education by delivering funds to schools. In other words, GESS’s media program and cash transfer especially fits well with elementary and secondary girls in South Sudan, who have low access to education.

Through these programs, female student will be able to vividly plan and build their own future that was unimaginable in the past. Education allows girls to move away from a patriarchal society, and take their own leading thoughts and actions. Therefore, these two resources, which help directly receive education, can be used to develop the power to enable marginalized women to lead change in the community and further within the country.

The two main stakeholders in this project are the South Sudanese government and educators. Through this article, they can undestand how female students receive education and what kinds of major educational activities being conducted in South Sudan. Through this information, they will be able to establish policies to help and improve GESS’s programs. Also, through the Peace Learner website, they can learn the types of peace education forms, which can be used as a role model for improving education in South Sudan.

You can share additional questions on this topic with your colleagues. Here are some questions I recommend…

1) How does sexism in South Sudan affect education?

2) What do you think is the most effective way to solve the education gap between boys and girls?

3) What is the most urgent issue to address in order to improve South Sudan’s low-quality education?

Resource used:

http://girlseducationsouthsudan.org/behavioural-change-communication/ https://odihpn.org/magazine/education-development-in-a-fragile-environment-lessons-from-girls-education-south-sudan/

Photo resource: http://ssmogei.org/programmes/

Bridges for Peace for Both Jewish and Arab Schools

The role of education programs is perhaps important in conflict-affected countries because it prioritizes a concern for the protection of children and a response to the negative impacts of conflict on their education.

The Arab-Israeli conflict is one of the world’s longest-running and most controversial conflicts. This conflict over last several decades has been about theological differences between Judaism and Islam. The complex hostility between the two groups dates all the way back to ancient times as Israel’s origins can be traced back to Abraham, who is considered the father of both Judaism and Islam. However, tensions between Jews and Arab Muslims have been escalated by the Balfour Declaration which was the public statement by the British government announcing support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. In 1948, Israel was officially declared an independent state, then it marked the beginning of more violence with the Arabs, which led to numerous wars since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Israel and Arabs have little contact or opportunity for positive interaction. This lack of contact often leads to having a tendency to develop negative perceptions of each other. Therefore, it is crucial to help children to engage in peace education programming that provides an opportunity to narrow gap based on different cultures, religions, and backgrounds.

The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, which is the non-profit and non-government organization, has developed a wide range of educational methods that use sports to bring Jewish and Arab, Israeli and Palestine boys and girls together to overcome fears and break down emotional barriers. The Center has implemented The Twinned Peace Sport Schools (TPSS), which is supported by FIFA, in the Israeli communities as well as in various other locations.

TPSS is the longest-running sport project in the region and has a purpose on brining young generations together in an entertaining environment based on the principles of equality, diversity and respect. This program takes part in the following activities:
1) Weekly training and peace education: Approximately 40 Jewish children and 40 Arab children meet separately twice a week for training focused on soccer skills and peace education. The activities are structured around the ‘Peace Education through Sport Curriculum’ developed by the Peres Center for Peace.
2) Joint training and cultural activities: Approximately five times per year, both children groups will meet for joint activities. They play soccer in mixed team, which helps them develop values of teamwork, equality and mutual understanding.
3) Inter-language learning: Based on lesson plans designed, the children begin to learn their counterparts’ language.
4) Annual tournament: The high point of the year is the “Mini Mondial” which unites all participants of the wider TPSS project. This has to date exhibition matches with teams of Israeli Jewish and Arab mayors, international ambassadors, and Israeli Jewish and Arab premier league soccer players, coming together and playing with the children.

“Playing Fair, Leading Peace” soccer match at a Jerusalem school. Photo courtesy of the Peres Center

This program combines leadership training, “Playing Fair, Leading Peace,” for university students with peace education activities to enhance the impact of sports initiatives. Israelis and Palestinian young leaders are recruited and given training in the proven methods of fostering peace through sports, leadership and dialogue. The students then get hands-on experience, going in to schools and working with Jewish and Arab schoolchildren, who in their “twinned” groups.

The two stakeholders that would be interested in this article would be non-profit organizations and college students. Nonprofit organizations working for the rights of children in the Middle East can use this source when they consider initiating education projects for children, or nonprofits sports organizations can join to the peace education program, adopting curriculums structured by the Peres Center for Peace. College students also could use this source as an example for their studies related to Middle East or education when researching about educational methods applicable to attempts for reconciliation between Jews and Arabs.

You may use this source more effectively if you visit the Peres Center for Peace’s website, there are other projects you can see that the Center implements. They have developed programs in sports, cultivation of leadership and entrepreneurship, and environment. Furthermore, this resource gives many opportunities for those who are interested in communication, education, and peacebuilding, and also to get involved in projects to become constructive and influential leaders, promoting intercultural dialogue in diverse ways.

Resource used: https://www.peres-center.org/en/the-organization/projects/

Peace Building in Nigeria

Jungmin Kim/ Conf 340/ 11/19/2019

Nigeria is Africa’s Midwest region where made up of a complex race of more than 300 tribes. Historically, Nigeria is full of conflicts, including life threatening, others minor and pedestrian. There has been constant conflict among regional tribes due to differences in the level of development , ethnicity and religion. Conflict management requires the application of resolution techniques to regulate these conflicts; and peace-building seeks to develop constructive relationships across ethnic and national boundaries to resolve these deadly conflicts. The government in Nigeria must address the root causes of these conflicts.


The ethnic-religious conflict in Nigeria is divided into southern, middle, and northern regional conflicts depending on the center of the occurrence, and the conflict also varies with regions. In the case of conflicts in the central part of the country, the conflict has become even worse as it overlaps economic issues with the chronic and daily pattern of ethnic-religious conflicts in Nigeria.Conflicts between ethnic-religious communities usually appear in an intensified form. ( Inequality as the northern region lags far behind the southern region, and land disputes among nomadic Muslims and agrarian Christians are the main reasons behind the deepening of the Sino-religious conflict.)In the north, anger over poverty and discrimination combined with the political ideology of Islam, giving birth to Boko Haram, an Islamic political militant group. The Nigerian government claims to have effectively eradicated Boko Haram in December 2015, but fighting has continued in the northeastern region.In the southern part of the country, the central government, led by the northern Muslim-born president, and local armed rebels are confronting each other.

Path to peace
Peace building can come in form of direct effort which mainly focuses intentionally on the factors driving or mitigating  conflict, in an attempt to reduce  structural or direct violence. The Kroc  Institute indicates peace-building as “the development of constructive personal, group, and political relationships across  ethnic, religious, class, national, and  racial boundaries … to resolve injustice in  nonviolent ways and to transform the  structural conditions that generate  deadly conflict”.  
The U.S. Government and U.S. Embassy in Nigeria work very closely with a number of organizations in Nigeria to protect people and to have respect for human rights. They work with the Plateau Peace Building Agency, by giving grants for the agency’s ongoing efforts to work for peace and dialogue in this embattled state.