The urgency of linking peace and citizenship education

Published date15 April 2022
Date15 April 2022
Subject MatterHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology,Aggression,conflict & peace,Sociology,Gender studies,Gender violence,Political sociology,policy & social change,Social conflicts,War/peace
AuthorAlicia Cabezudo,Magnus Haavelsrud
The urgency of linking peace and
citizenship education
Alicia Cabezudo and Magnus Haavelsrud
Purpose The aim of this paperis to highlight the utility of different sources of learningin informal, formal
and non-formalvenues in lifelong learning developing under variablecontextual conditions. This calls for
an integrationof two fields that have been isolated for too long,namely, citizenship education and peace
Design/methodology/approach Untrue, indoctrinating and even coercive communications negate
learning that contributesto the formation of convictions based in conscientization.Political awareness is
imperative for strengthening the human being’s influence as an historical subject and participant in
presentand future social movements.
Findings Traditionally, citizenship education focused on citizens’ understanding of and relation to
national politicalsystems and domestic affairs. This focus was later enlargedto both a sub-national civic
culture and to international orientations with an increasing interest in the global dimension. Peace
educationoriginated in peace research and action embeddedin an understanding of peace from a value
perspective aiming at transformation towards alternative visions of the future. Learners’ perceptions of
problems, conflicts and contradictions ranging from local to global levels are starting points for a
politicizationapproach in peace education.
Originality/value It is claimed in this paper that this comprehensive approachin peace education is
imperative in citizenship education in any society. The rationale for this integration of citizenship and
peace education is that becoming and being a citizen involves a lifelong process of learningaiming at
increasingpolitical awareness and influence.
Keywords Citizenship education, Social movements, Peace education, Informal education,
Formal education, Non-formal education
Paper type Conceptual paper
Citizenship and peace education have evolved apart from each other. Traditionally,
citizenship education was originally thought of as part of school curricula more often aiming
at maintaining rather than transforming the status quo. It dealt with national constitutions
and legal aspects of a citizen’s life and did not link contents with critical thinking and daily
practices that create a better understanding for learners. How formal education has been
used for indoctrinating citizens are not difficult to find and even seen as a contributing to
war, e.g. First World War and Second World War (Mische and Mische,1977, p. 217). Peace
education has also evolved in school curricula but may have more roots in community
development projects, peace research and action, liberation movements and other social
and political movements. Peace education has more often aimed at seeking change in
problematic realities at local, regional, national and transnational/global levels [1]. It also
searches for methodologies and tools to approach transformation and new perspectives
facing the challenges that reality presentevery day.
In this paper, our main concern is the question of how the two fields that have been kept
apart for so long could be brought together for mutual benefit in the great task of helping
Alicia Cabezudo is based
at the Department of
Education, Universidad
Nacional de Rosario,
Rosario, Argentina.
Magnus Haavelsrud is
based at the Faculty of
Social and Educational
Sciences, Norwegian
University of Science and
Technology, Trondheim,
Received 24 February 2022
Revised 16 March 2022
Accepted 16 March 2022
DOI 10.1108/JACPR-02-2022-0694 VOL. 14 NO. 4 2022, pp. 363-377, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1759-6599 jJOURNAL OF AGGRESSION, CONFLICT AND PEACE RESEARCH jPAGE 363

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