The “Seven Pillars of Peace Education” is a pedagogical framework that we will be using to guide us through the course.  It is a framework based off of a variety of educational approaches and theories, all of which can enhance one’s understanding of building peaceable learning communities.

Click on the image below to get a general overview of these 7 pillars.  The link will take you to a Prezi presentation, which you can navigate through by clicking on the arrow buttons.


Seven Blossoms of Peace Education


The remaining pages of this module will address each pillar separately, in depth.

Reflection Question: Think of one of your favorite teachers that you have had in your life. Which of these pillars do you feel this person most supported, if any?  How did their teaching put this pillar into practice?

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13 thoughts on “1.2

  1. My 5th grade teacher did an excellent exercise in cooperative competition (community building). On the first day of class he had a contest where we worked with a partner to play tic-tac-toe. The pair that had the most “wins” (as opposed to ties) would win a prize. I played with my partner to win the game, but one pair discovered the trick. By cooperating with each other, they could play so that one of them would win, meaning that the other had to play to lose. This resulted in them playing multiple games with someone winning! This was a truly eye-opening experience for me and I have never forgot it.

  2. Maria Schneider

    One of the most impactful teachers for me was my 7th and 8th grade science teacher Tracy Schultz. The pillar that she demonstrated the most was “engaging multiple intelligences”. She taught science, of which every student took the exact same course (if they were in the same grade) and didn’t have the option to take a more or less advanced science. She however, made sure that each learner in the class was challenged in some way or another and she used so many different methodologies for assignments, labs, tests etc. that everyone could apply their own strengths to them.

    She was an equitable teacher, that did not show favoritism to any student, which was rare in my middle school. Because of this, each student respected her. She never had to write anyone up, raise her voice, or spend time disciplining students. Because everyone could be themselves and know that there was mutual respect we could learn more from her and from each other.

  3. Daniel Knoll: My teacher for World History in 11th grade spent a considerable about of time reframing history. I’ll never forget the first class when he took a giant map of the world and flipped it upside down. We then had a discussion about what the map we consider “correct” wasn’t drawn like this. Throughout the year he challenged us to engage with material from a “non-western” perspective. We also took considerable time to study history away from the impact of battles, but what happened afterwards and how countries developed in the wake of conflict.

  4. In high school I had a Latin teacher who was very accommodating to different intelligences. Since I had a terribly hard time with languages (even though I elected to take Latin…) he allowed me to do short videos instead of papers and after the success of that, we did whole class productions to act out moments in history instead of writing reports. Not only did this help me, make learning active and engage a different part of the brain, but it allowed us to expand what we were learning to include the importance of drama to the ancient Romans.

  5. One of the most impactful teachers I ever had was my AP US History teacher in high school. He fully embodied the “engaging multiple intelligences” pillar. He structured his class so that all types of learners could actively participate. He varied the way information was presented, as well as how we were assessed. He also made himself available outside of class to assist students who could benefit from one on one help.

  6. One of my favorite teachers taught my high school European history class. It was a subject dense with male protagonists, violent conflicts, and very little room for (mis)interpretation. My teacher approached the subject, though, with humor, candor, and with very little respect for this kind of historical violence. I’d never considered that history could be taught in such a critical and questioning fashion, especially to high schoolers, but Mr. Pickett was successful at reframing history with us. He had little tolerance for disrespect or antipathy in the classroom, and he treated great historical figures – kings, emperors, presidents – the same way. Rather, he celebrated the peaceable accomplishments (or failures) of groups throughout history, and made their stories memorable too.

  7. Some of the most effective educators in my experience have been those that emphasized skill building. So often, it seems many teachers conflate skill building with attempting to push students out of the nest so they can fly. Several of my teachers were those that would push you out of the nest, but be there ready to catch you and support you with the appropriate scaffolding.

    This has meant not only telling about the skill, but also modeling those necessary – such as asking guiding questions and stepping back to let students approach their own conclusions. I think back to graduate school when professors must have wanted desperately to give the answer – as I am many days with my students – but stepping back and letting me get there on my own. This is also the rationale behind engaging multiple intelligences, as described in the video included in the Prezi presentation.

  8. Beth Jimerson. The class that the pillars immediately bring to mind is the Training Program Design class at AU. The entire class is built around the pillar of community building. Every class began with an icebreaker activity to give us the opportunity to get to know each other as well as introduce the topics we would be discussing. We often worked in groups either during class in small groups or outside of class on group projects. They also made sure to ‘mix it up’ by constantly changing groups around and allowing us all the opportunity to work with everyone in the class. This fostered a real community of learners. The instructors further got to know us by meeting with us one-on-one outside of class to discuss our goals and questions/concerns for the class. It was also a class focused on skill-building. In particular we learned the skills to facilitate and design trainings and the opportunity to practice these skills in front of the class and instructors with feedback. I hope to use some of these skills further outside of the course to develop training a training program which I will implement for my capstone project.

  9. Richard Cambridge: The teacher I remember with emotion is Dr. Theodore Mitau. He taught a course called “Modern Isms” which was a required course for all students at Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota. I did not know at the time just how impactful this experience would be to me in 1967 as a Foreign Student from a very small developing country which only achieved political independence in 1966. Dr. Mitau reframed history for me, he brought a high degree of emotion to the classroom, and he manifested a real and deep understanding of the necessity for peace and the horrors of conflict. He was the first Peace Educator I ever knew or saw in practice in the classroom. He was a survivor of a Concentration Camp.

  10. Leah Thompson:
    When I reflect on the most influential educator in my past, I consider my 2nd grade teacher to be my favorite teacher for a number of reasons. There is a quote that goes something like this, “People will forget what you say, forget what you do, but they will never forget how you make them feel.” I can’t say that I remember exactly what this particular teacher said or did, but I will always remember how she made me feel – and that was appreciated, encouraged, and loved as a student. I think this teacher most supported the pillar of nurturing emotional intelligence because she was so warm and compassionate. I felt as though she cared for me not only as her student, but as a person of the world. She used emotional vocabulary and frequently asked her students how they felt, genuinely listened to their responses, and practiced reflective listening with empathetic feedback. As a student, I felt much more motivated to perform well academically because I felt so supported emotionally inside and outside the classroom by this teacher.

  11. The teacher that came to mind first concerning these 7 pillars is one of my high school English teachers. Prior to taking his class, or since, I have not met anyone else who put as much thought into the importance of exploring emotional intelligence in the classroom. He was very tuned in to how each student was feeling at the door and part of our weekly assignments included journaling, where he really pushed us to write about things beyond the ordinary and what one might typically think to write about for a school assignment.

  12. Sarah Jackson

    Honestly, in reviewing that graphic organizer of the pillars, I can’t conjure one teacher I’ve had who I feel implemented any of those methods. This does not mean I don’t have favorite teachers. Those places were given to the educators who demonstrated the most enthusiasm and the highest standards of success for their students. I can’t see a place for that directly in the language of the pillars as I understand it now, but perhaps my perception will broaden as I learn more about what it means.

  13. One of my most impactful teachers is Dr. Melissa Franke who is the Director of Forensics at Pacific Lutheran University. Melissa was/is important to all of the pillars, but most importantly she facilitated much of my skill building. As my professor and debate coach she taught me how to utilize variations of Theater of the Oppressed, argumentation, and narrative construction to promote more peaceable learning and community building. She helped me design a Kritik (a debate mechanism which often relies on critical theory to critique a mindset and/or action). This particular Kritik focused on addressing the Myth of Scarcity. I was able to use this Kritik at the national championship competition my final year of undergrad.

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