Move This World: Peace Education Through Movement

While attending the Peace Education Exploratorium this weekend, I had the opportunity to learn about many different pedagogies of peace at work in the world today. The role of sports and peace education specifically piqued my interest as one of the guest facilitators, Amanda Munroe, spoke about her involvement with  Move This World, formerly Dance 4 Peace. 

Here is a short video about Move This World’s work. Move This World Video! 

Move This World is a non-profit organization dedicated to using creative movement to transform conflict, violence and bullying in communities around the globe.  Move This World created an innovative curriculum focusing on fostering empathy, mediation skills, diversity appreciation, anger management and conflict transformation. With a need for peace intervention at all levels, Move This World operates with grade level specific curriculum. The curriculum theme for each age group can be viewed by clicking here! 

Founder, Sara Potler, began the program with youth in Bogota, Colombia. Promoting peace through dance, Potler began the formation of the idea that movement can be used to create peace. Today Move This World works internationally in Colombia, Germany and the Philippines and stateside in Baltimore, Newark, New York City and Washington, D.C. Move This World employs several different peace pedagogies. By working and learning students with whom we are learning with, community building is a play. By moving and working together, relationships between peers can strengthen and encourage a community of peace. The second pillar of peace pedagogy, engaging in multiple intelligence’s is played upon. Through movement via sports, dance or whatever gets students flowing you can engage in the body, music, naturalist and interpersonal multiple intelligence’s. By accessing these intelligence’s, students are able to experience alternative forms of education. These tools enable students to benefit by stretching their skills into multiple forms of intelligence’s. 

Ways to use this resource – Elementary & Middle School 

Incorporating movement in the classroom is the first step in introducing peace pedagogy into the classroom. By looking at the curriculum themes for each grade level, teachers can gear their lesson plans to whichever activities best fit their classroom.

Ways to use this resource – High School

While kindergarden through eight grade focuses on key themes to teach students, the high school curriculum focuses on facilitating students own leadership and peace building skills. The first semester hones in on understanding emotions, conflict and cultural diversity. With an entire semester of immersion into conflict resolution information, the second semester is geared towards fostering students own leadership capacity as they grow to be peace-makers in their own community. 

During high school I was involved in the PALS, Peer Assistance and Leadership, which fostered parallel goals as Move This World focuses on during primary education. This program was brought to my high school by the administration in hopes of reducing the increasing amount of violence. While other non-violent programs were simultaneously put in place, as the development of the PALS program increased the violence occurring within the school decreased.  To learn more about training opportunities through PALS, click here. 

Ways to use this resource – Become a Partner! 

If your school or organization desires to facilitate peaceful change through movement, please sign up to receive more information from Move This World by clicking here. Move This World works in Colombia, Germany and the Philippines and stateside in Baltimore, Newark, New York City and Washington, D.C. If your school or organization is outside these regions, Move This World provides many beneficial tools to use in your classroom, as well as great curriculum models to follow. 

Let’s Talk About It!

SchoolTalk was introduced to me when the Executive Director of SchoolTalk, Leila Peterson, came to speak to my Conflict Organizations and Actors class at George Mason University in the Fall of 2012. SchoolTalk works to provide a safe place for families to resolve concerns regarding special education identification, assessment and service delivery. After hearing about SchoolTalk’s benefit to DC public schools, I researched them online to find more information about what they do. While SchoolTalk is a valuable resource to the families, teachers and students in DC public schools, they also provide training services which would benefit educators and families impacted by children with special needs. 

SchoolTalk is designed primarily for educators and parents with special needs children, however their trainings in conflict resolution techniques is applicable in many fields. The goal of SchoolTalk is to create better forms of communication between parents and administrators regarding the delivery of special education services for students. The conflict resolution techniques SchoolTalk provides can provide informal activities tailored to students with special needs or more formal trainings to the parents/guardians of children with special needs. 

Ways to use this resource:

Educators and parents can use the material they learn online or schedule a training with SchoolTalk. To fully implement this resource, participants must be willing and open to hear about alternative ways to resolve conflicts regarding special education. Encouraging a partnership with SchoolTalk reinforces one of the pillars in peace pedagogy, exploring approaches to peace. 

Parents and students who engage in SchoolTalk training and lessons would be able to foster patience with the public education system as well as straightening conflict resolution skills. By utilizing this resource, the communication between faculty and students can become more peaceful, contributing to a more peaceful classroom environment.