One House of Peace is a nonprofit organization which provides services to youth through classes, workshops and retreats. They teach practical tools to help people manage their emotions and stress to resolve conflict in their lives. Their main program, Peace in Schools provides resources which are practiced in schools, youth shelters, and social service agencies around the country. Details can be found on their website, onehouseofpeace.org.
I believe the practices and resources of One House of Peace is best placed for middle and high school students in public education. The awareness and meditation practices can be implemented in classrooms and workshops. These skills can help students focus better in the classroom and empower teens in the community.
An educator may incorporate the initiative “Peace In Schools” through mindfulness exercises, group circles, or individual based therapy. Meditation practices can be used in the classroom daily or referred to as a service in the school. By looking at the Peace Value Model, peace conflicts can be resolved through regular self-analysis of the conflicting situations. It is important to solve conflicts at the individual level to achieve peace at the societal level as well. Educators can provide students with mindfulness activities, but also provide private consultations for teens experiencing individual conflict.
The awareness practices and different meditation programs in this organization will enable students to have a better understanding of how to effectively deal with stress, learn to have healthier relationships with themselves and others. Students also develop skills that will help them focus and be more engaged in the classroom. Mindfulness programs in peace education helps teens with self-awareness and emotional resilience which are key tools in a time when school violence is so widespread.
The United States Institute of Peace, Global Peacebuilding Center has made toolkits to support educators as peacebuilders. It is easily downloaded and introduces key concepts of peacebuilding skills and themes to use as a resource in the classroom. Details of the resource can be found on USIP’s website and the Global Peacebuilding Center which is an extension of USIP’s educational work.
I think the peacebuilding toolkit is best placed for middle and high school students as it was designed, however elementary educators could also benefit from these lessons in the classroom. There are separate editions of the resource for middle and high school students. It can also be taught in Spanish, French, and Arabic. The toolkit is very beneficial for educators to learn more about international conflict management.
An educator may incorporate this resource collectively by downloading the entire toolkit or only use specific individual lessons for the students. It can be implemented in the lesson plan on a bi weekly or monthly basis. To strengthen the use of the resource, the educator can have different activities for practical skills in conflict management.
This peacebuilding toolkit for educators is an informative start to gain more knowledge on peacebuilding. Peace education of preventing violent conflict and how to be a peace builder are most supported by this resource because it gives educators a platform of how to teach peacebuilding skills. Students will gain many skills such as, mediation, negotiation, problem solving and conflict analysis.
All educators can benefit from this toolkit, particularly for students in middle and high school. Students should be encouraged to be a part of peacebuilding in their lives and globally. These skills and attitudes can be learned. The main audience for this resource will be teachers who want to bring important global issues to their classroom and encourage their students to be peace builders.