Peace Education

Exploring Ethical and Philosophical Foundations

James Page

A volume in the series: Peace Education. Editor(s): Laura Finley, Barry University. Robin Cooper, Nova Southeastern University.

Published 2008

Peace education is now well recognized within international legal instruments and within critical educational literature as an important aspect of education. Despite this, little attention has been given in the critical literature to the philosophical foundations for peace education and the rationale for peace education thus remains substantially an assumed one. This investigation explores some possible ethico-philosophical foundations for peace education, through an examination of five specific ethical traditions: 1) virtue ethics, whereby peace may be interpreted as a virtue, and/or virtue is interpreted as peacefulness, and peace education as education in that virtue; 2) consequentialist ethics, whereby peace education may be interpreted as education regarding the consequences of our action and inaction, both as individuals and collectivities; 3) conservative political ethics, whereby peace education may be interpreted as emphasizing the importance of the evolution of social institutions and the importance of ordered and lawful social change; 4) aesthetic ethics, whereby peace may be interpreted as something beautiful and valuable in itself, and peace education as emphasizing the importance of that beauty and value; and 5) the ethics of care, whereby care may be interpreted as a core element in peace, and peace education as encouraging trust and engagement with the other. The study addresses major contributions to each of these ethical traditions, the strengths and weaknesses of the tradition, and the ways in which the tradition provides support for peace education. It is argued in the thesis that each tradition provides only a partial basis for peace education, and that ultimately a holistic and integrative understanding is required, one that encourages a culture of peace.

" ... an important addition to the emerging literature on peace education and the culture of peace" (From the Foreword by Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO).

Acknowledgments. Preface. Foreword. 1 The Problem of Peace Education. 2 Virtue Ethics and Peace Education. 3 Consequentialist Ethics and Peace Education. 4 Conservative Political Ethics and Peace Education. 5 Aesthetic Ethics and Peace Education. 6 The Ethics of Care and Peace Education. 7 Conclusions. 8 Appendicies

"Dr. Page is involved in a recasting of well-known thought to begin gathering, filling in and connecting those fragments. Our author explains how social theory, political philosophy, ethics and educational theory, contribute to the peace educational enterprise, whether explicit or not. Peace Education: Exploring Philosophical Foundations reveals how the envisioning, proposing, planning, teaching (of numerous schools of thought) for a better world all correspond with explicit goals of the field, as well as encouraging the good in the individual, community, through values and norms. Despite the difficulties in any articulation that philosophy of peace education will have, this book is an impressive piece in the development of intellectual foundations for peace education. It should be a used as a primary source of curriculum and research for peace educators, students, advocates and scholars. I plan to use it in my courses." David Ragland The University of Toledo in In Factis Pax (Read full review)

"Peace education: Exploring ethical and philosophical foundations comes at a time when we need to think more and more about the coherence among the differences to find a common denominator which will strengthen the position of peace education in a world that is increasingly in need of it." Ana Tomovska Queen’s University Belfast in Journal of Peace Education

"Page's book provides us with excellent tools for a discussion of the ethical foundations of peace education. The book is recommended as a reader within the field of peace studies." Birgit Brock-Utne University of Oslo