Peace Education Evaluation

Learning from Experience and Exploring Prospects

Edited by:
Celina Del Felice, Open University of Catalonia (Spain)
Aaron Karako
Andria Wisler

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

Published 2015

Practice and research of peace education has grown in the recent years as shown by a steadily increasing number of publications, programs, events, and funding mechanisms. The oft-cited point of departure for the peace education community is the belief in education as a valuable tool for decreasing the use of violence in conflict and for building cultures of positive peace hallmarked by just and equitable structures. Educators and organizations implementing peace education activities and programming, however, often lack the tools and capacities for evaluation and thus pay scant regard to this step in program management. Reasons for this inattention are related to the perceived urgency to prioritize new and more action in the context of scarce financial and human resources, notwithstanding violence or conflict; the lack of skills and time to indulge in a thorough evaluative strategy; and the absence of institutional incentives and support. Evaluation is often demand-driven by donors who emphasize accounting given the current context of international development assistance and budget cuts. Program evaluation is considered an added burden to already over-tasked programmers who are unaware of the incentives and of assessment techniques. Peace education practitioners are typically faced with forcing evaluation frameworks, techniques, and norms standardized for traditional education programs and venues. Together, these conditions create an unfavorable environment in which evaluation becomes under-valued, de-prioritized, and mythologized for its laboriousness.

This volume serves three inter-related objectives. First, it offers a critical reflection on theoretical and methodological issues regarding evaluation applied to peace education interventions and programming. The overarching questions of the nature of peace and the principles guiding peace education, as well as governing theories and assumptions of change, transformation, and complexity are explored. Second, the volume investigates existing quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods evaluation practices of peace educators in order to identify what needs related to evaluation persist among practitioners. Promising practices are presented from peace education programming in different settings (formal and non-formal education), within various groups (e.g. children, youth, police, journalists) and among diverse cultural contexts. Finally, the volume proposes ideas of evaluation, novel techniques for experimentation, and creative adaptation of tools from related fields, in order to offer pragmatic and philosophical substance to peace educators’ “next moves” and inspire the agenda for continued exploration and innovation. The authors come from variety of fields including education, peace and conflict studies, educational evaluation, development studies, comparative education, economics, and psychology.

Acknowledgements. Introduction. PART 1: CRITICAL REFLECTIONS. Peaceableness as Raison D’être, Process, and Evaluation, Hakim Mohandas Amani Williams. Towards a More Complex Evaluation of Peace Education: Peace Education, the Evaluation Business, and the Need for Empowering Evaluation, Werner Wintersteiner. Infusing Cultural Responsiveness into the Evaluation of Peace Education Programs, Rodney K. Hopson and Helga Stokes. Naming the Space: Evaluating Language in Peace Education through Refl ective Practice, Cheryl Woelk. Bridging Restorative Practices and Group Therapy: New Evaluative Measures for School Groups, Christina Procter and Erin Dunlevy. PART 2: TAKING STOCK AND LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCES. From Risk to Resilience: Understanding and Preventing Bullying and Bias, Roberta A. Heydenberk and Warren R. Heydenberk. Evaluating a Project-Based Peace Education Course in Turkey: The Civic Involvement Projects, Antonia Mandry. Peace Education in Higher Education: Using Authentic Assessment Practices to Build Peace, Rajashree Srinivasan. Narrative Method for Evaluation of Students’ Transformative Learning in a Peace and Conflict Resolution Program, Zulfi ya Tursunova. Education For Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina: How Do We Know It Is Working? H. B. Danesh. Evaluating Seeds of Peace: Assessing Long-Term Impact in Volatile Context, Ned Lazarus. The Olive Tree Initiative: Lessons Learned about Peace Education through Experiential Learning, Daniel Wehrenfennig, Daniel Brunstetter, and Johanna Solomon. How Do We Know We Are Building Peace? A Reflection On What is Good Youth Peace Monitoring and Evaluation, Meghann Villanueva, Lillian Solheim, Imke van der Velde, and Eefje van Esch. Evaluating Peace Education Programs: Quantifying Attitudinal and Behavioral Change: Lessons Learned from the Youth Theater for Peace Programs, Susan Armitage. The Role of Donors in Post-Conflict Reconciliation Processes: Balancing Material and Behavioral Dimensions, Ruerd Ruben. Assessing Peace Education at the National Level: Challenges and Possibilities, Cécile Barbeito Thonon and Johanna Ospina. PART 3: IDEAS FOR EXPERIMENTATION AND “NEXT MOVES”. Re-Conceptualizing Impact: Assessing Peace Education through a social movement lens, Karen Ross. Pedagogy of Addressivity: Peace Education as Evaluation, Naghmeh Yazdanpanah. Imagine There is No Peace Education: An Exploration in Counterfactual Analyses, Thomas de Hoop and Annette N. Brown. Evaluation of Peace Education Training Programs: Promoting Consistency between Teaching and Content, Maria Lucia Uribe Torres. Conclusion. About the Authors.

"As a peace education scholar who is designing a peace education intervention, I found it greatly helpful. It equipped me with a rich understanding of existing critiques, tensions, complications and practices of evaluation. It also inspired me with ideas towards developing a methodology for the evaluation of my intervention. By spanning a multitude of existing evaluation practices on a global scale and opening up novel avenues and possibilities, Peace Education Evaluation is undoubtedly a useful resource for a wide range of audiences." Basma Hajir University of Cambridge in In Factis Pax