Life skills

Violence prevention and peace building

Life Skills Based Education for Violence Prevention and Peace Building promotes the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to bring about behavioural change that will enable children, youth and adults to: prevent conflict and violence, both overt and structural;  resolve conflict peacefully; and create the conditions conducive to peace, whether at an intrapersonal, interpersonal, intergroup, national or international level.

When applied to the issue of violence prevention, one or a combination of life skills can enable students to:

  • identify and implement peaceful solutions for resolving conflict (e.g., problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, coping with stress, coping with emotions, communication skills, interpersonal relationship skills )
  • identify and avoid dangerous situations (e.g., critical thinking, problem solving, decision making)
  • evaluate violent solutions that appear to be successful as depicted in the media (e.g., critical thinking)
  • resist pressure from peers and adults to use violent behaviour (e.g., problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, coping with stress, coping with emotions, communication skills, interpersonal relationship skills )
  • become a mediator and calm disputants (e.g., self awareness, problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, coping with stress, coping with emotions, communication skills, interpersonal relationship skills)
  • help prevent crime in their community (e.g., problem solving, decision making, communication skills, coping with emotions)
  • reduce prejudice and increase tolerance for diversity (e.g., critical thinking, coping with stress, coping with emotions, communication skills, interpersonal relationship skills)

For more information on peace education and violence prevention, see:

The Global Campaign for Peace Education has two goals: First, to build public awareness and political support for the introduction of peace education into all spheres of education, including non-formal education, in all schools throughout the world. Second, to promote the education of all teachers to teach for peace.  The site includes a section on curricula for: Peace Education; Conflict Resolution/ Prevention/ Mediation; Human Rights; Development; Non-violence.  Also see The Hague Appeal for Peace for peace education lesson plans for primary and secondary school.

Violence Prevention: An Important Element of a Health-Promoting School. WHO School Health Information Series, WHO, Geneva.

Teaching Tools, UNHCR.  The units and their lessons are arranged in subject categories (history, human rights, geography, civic education, language/literature, and art), and are designed for three age groups (9-11, 12-14 and 15-18).  The tools aim to:

  • Help students understand some of the complex processes that lead to violence and conflict which in turn cause refugees to flee from their homes and from their countries of origin.
  • Cultivate attitudes that lead to a preference for constructive, active and non-violent resolution of conflict.
  • Help students develop the personal and social skills necessary to live in harmony with others and to behave in positive and caring ways that respect basic human rights.

Curriculum Change and Social Cohesion.  Case study analyses of curriculum-making with a peacebuilding approach.  UNESCO-International Bureau of Education.

The Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) has compiled a Good Practice Guide for Emergency Education on Life Skills and Complementary Education Programs which includes Health Education, Landmine Awareness, and Peace Education.

Learning for a Future: Refugee Education in Developing Countries. Chapter 4: Peace Education and Refugee Youth. UNHCR, 2002.

"Education for Conflict Resolution: A Training for Trainers Manual". Education Section, UNICEF-New York, 1997.

"Education for Development: A Teacher's Resource for Global Learning". By Susan Fountain, UNICEF, 1995.

"It's Only Right! A Practical Guide to Learning About the Convention on the Rights of the Child." By Susan Fountain, UNICEF, 1993.

UNICEF Real Lives - Macedonia.  Peace Education case study.

UNICEF Voices of Youth has an interactive module on Child Protection and War.
This site allows students to: explore child and adolescent rights; take a quiz; speak out and share ideas with other young people, experts and classrooms in around the world.  Teachers can discuss rights education, global issues, interactive learning methods and the many uses of Voices of Youth.

"What Young People Are Saying". UNICEF Voices of Youth newsletter.   Children and War, October 2003.

 




"Rapid Educational Response - A Teacher's Guide".  Govt. of Liberia and UNICEF, 2003.   
Includes Peace Education, Mediation, Trauma Healing, Physical Education, Creative Practical Arts, Creative Music and Drama, Literacy, and Numeracy. 
[Word]


"Peace Education in UNICEF".  Working Paper Series.  By Susan Fountain, UNICEF, 1999.
[PDF]





 

 

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