|| UNESCO'S APPROACH
|| TEACHERS' SPACE
|| YOUTH' SPACE
|| NVE COMMUNITY
||Sintra Plan of Action
||International Forum on Education for Non-Violence
UNESCO Interregional Project for Culture of Peace and Non-Violence in Educational Institutions
Sintra, Portugal, 22 May 1996 - Guidelines for a Plan of Action
Gathered here in the beautiful city of Sintra, thanking UNESCO and the Foundation Pro Dignitate for their initiative and the local and national authorities for their hospitality, recognizing the great need today, throughout the world, to move together from a culture of war and violence to a culture of peace and non-violence, we the participants in the International Forum on Education for Non-Violence suggest the following guidelines for a plan of action for the UNESCO Interregional Project for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence in Educational Institutions.
We dedicate our work to the promotion of a movement away from the culture of war and violence - which has dominated past history - to a culture of peace and non-violence characterized by values, attitudes and behaviour which privilege the non-violent solution of conflict, respect for human rights, democracy, intercultural understanding, tolerance and solidarity. A culture of peace calls for non-violent relations not only between states, but also between individuals, social groups, the state and its citizens and humans and the environment. Declarations and legal measures are not enough; a culture of peace must grow out of the beliefs and traditions of people themselves. While it does not deny that conflict arises from diversity, it demands non-violent solutions and promotes the transformation of violent competition through a process of healing and reconciliation into cooperation on shared goals.
Of all the frontiers where the advance to a culture of peace is needed, perhaps the most important in the long-term is the development of children. In many places, children have no childhood and no schools, but are thrust directly into factories and on to farms or even on to the streets. And schools themselves often sustain and help reproduce social injustice and violence, including both structural and physical violence. Instead of this, school should be a place where children feel cared for and where they may cultivate the knowledge, values and skills they need to create together a future world of justice and solidarity.
Since its beginnings, when it was established to construct peace in the minds of men and women, UNESCO has taken the lead in promoting peace and non-violence in education. The relevant principles have been elaborated in such documents as the 1974 UNESCO Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy (1995), and the 1996-2000 Medium-Term Strategy of UNESCO which emphasizes the building of a culture of peace. These are also reflected in the 1996 report of the UNESCO Commission on Education for the XXI Century.
Student must be at the centre as the main actors in the establishment of a culture of peace and non-violence in schools. For this reason, the primary objective of the school must not only be to emphasize traditional goals for the achievement of specific knowledge and skills, but also the development andpractice of the social relations characterizing this culture. In fact, studies indicate that students learn best in a caring and cooperative environment. This requires that the education process involve not only students and teachers in an active teaching/learning relationship, but also the entire staff of the school, the parents and the surrounding community in a common, shared endeavor. This should be reinforced at all levels from the classroom to national educational policy through a process of continuous critical reflection and reform. The principles and practices of peace and non-violence should be integrated into every aspect of curriculum, pedagogy and activities, including the very organizational and decision-making structure of the educational institution. These include cooperative learning, dialogue, intercultural understanding, mediation and conflict-resolution strategies.
The school should not be an island but a centre for civic life in the community. It should nurture - through its organization and practices - citizens capable of democratic participation. In recognizing the interdependence of school and community (as part of its mission), the project will also help to address the major sources of structural and overt violence in the community, which has an impact upon students, for example, ethnic or racial discrimination, drugs and unemployment.
Although recognizing that today’s world has been deeply scarred by violence resulting from the great disparities and structural inequalities between the North and South, among nations and within nations, and that this project itself cannot resolve these issues, we believe that we can make a difference. This project challenges us to contribute to action for global justice, reconciliation and international solidarity. As the Mozambican poet José Craverinha emphasized and wrote during the Sintra forum, "it is not that we must be the same, but what is fundamental is that we are together, joined, hand in hand."
"Nâo é necessário sermos iguais Fundamental é estarmos juntos de mâos dadas"
GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION
1. Networking should be established which:
*facilitates the exchange of information, experiences, strategies in an expanding community of individuals and institutions sharing the project goals;
*provides recognition of and mutual encouragement for the activities of the participants and links local action to a global movement;
*encourages mutual understanding and learning among cultures and regions, including north and south, rural and urban;
*links with and supports existing UNESCO programmes, such as the Associated Schools Project and national culture of peace programmes;
*links with and supports existing networks, including Internet, newsletters, professional associations, and regional networks focusing on education for peace and non-violence;
*facilitates exchange and meetings of network participants, with emphasis on regions of the world that have suffered from violent conflict, including regional fora which allow for the mutual exchange of ideas and strategies relevant to regional realities.
2. Pilot projects should be established
*which promote education for non-violence and peace on the basis of the creative, alternative design of schools, relevant to the needs and realities of the communities and people concerned;
*drawing where possible upon existing resources and ongoing initiatives;
*in diverse educational institutions in cooperation with relevant partners in various sectors of society including the public, private, etc.;
*which employ diverse methodologies and take into account a diversity of social and cultural contexts, including multi-cultural contexts in various regions of the world;
*which give priority to situations of exclusion and violence, such as those in urban ghettos and war-torn societies ;
*which involve the community and make the school a resource for the community for the promotion of non-violence and a culture of peace;
*which include linkages between schools in countries in the north and south, to promote international solidarity based on the principles of intercultural respect, understanding and global justice.
3. As educational institutions cannot accomplish this task alone, partnerships should be established with a wide variety of other institutions including :
*parents and local community organisations, to ensure that the project involves and contributes to the culture of peace in the community ;
*local, governmental and inter-governmental authorities to ensure their support in financial terms, in human and material resources and security, while allowing the necessary autonomy in schools for democratic, decision-making practices, especially where students are concerned ;
*regional and international associations of mayors, parliamentarians, Ministers of Education ;
*local and mass media to help publicize school activities to obtain community support and serve as positive role models; this should help students develop their capacity for critical evaluation and use of the media;
*artists and cultural institutions which should help make the arts and cultural traditions an integral part of the learning experience;
*economic institutions, including business and labour, sharing in the goals of the project, which should support and enhance its activities ;
*religious institutions and other organizations in the community :
*universities, teacher training institutions and research organizations.
4. Training of teachers, teacher educators, students, administrators and others associated with schools and the surrounding community is an essential aspect of the project.
*based on a diversity of appropriate methodologies including those drawing on artistic, creative and participatory strategies;
*encompassing, on a continuing and sustainable basis, pre-service, in-service and life-long professional development;
*including exchange and development of written and audiovisual materials for training in a variety of contexts.
5. Curriculum development should include :
*texts and other materials promoting non-violence, culture of peace, tolerance and solidarity, human rights, gender equity, active citizenship, and care of the environment ;
*integration of principles and strategies of non-violence and culture of peace into all subject areas and disciplines in the curriculum;
*taking into account local realities and traditions within a multi-cultural andinternational framework.
6. Research and evaluation should be built into all aspects of the project and should :
*provide appropriate and rigorous measures not only of overall effectiveness of actions but also of specific methodologies and their relation to social and cultural contexts;
*involve the participants in the form of action research;
*further develop an inventory and publicize examples and case studies of best practices, expanding upon the study carried out on this subject by UNESCO and ICCCR;
*systematically draw upon previous research and experiences of researchers and practitioners in the field, including the compilation of scientific evidence concerning principles and practices relevant to the project;
*contribute to the sustainability of actions and projects;
*identify resistance encountered and document the process of change, including the way that project participants gain acceptance and establish their activities.
7. Funding should be sought to support the activities of the project:
*from a diversity of sources including governmental, intergovernmental and private agencies;
*by systematic preparation and submission to these agencies of project documents with detailed accounts includingthe expected outcome, activities and a timetable of action.
8. General promotion and advocacy of the principles and practices of non-violence and a culture of peace in education should be a constant dimension of project activities, and be directed at:
*students and parents who should be at the centre of the project;
*government, national and local authorities, including National Commissions for UNESCO as well as Ministers of Education, who should be urged to develop programmes of action for the implementation of the Declaration and Integrated Framework of Action on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Democracy, which was discussed and adopted at the 1994 International Conference on Education;
*all educational institutions, formal and non-formal, public and private and their teachers, administrators and other staff;
*decision-makers and leaders of opinion;
*the general public.
9 .Information and results of the project;
*should be widely disseminated in order to effectively contribute to a global movement for non-violence and a culture of peace.
ACTIONS SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED OF UNESCO
Coordination of project activities, including networking, identification, establishment and support of pilot projects, training, production of support materials, curriculum development, research and evaluation and dissemination of information and results;
Facilitation of fund-raising and resource development for the project;
Recognition and valorisation of project and networking activities which make participants aware that their local action is part of a global UNESCO and United Nations System peace-building mission;
Integration of the project with other complementary UNESCO activities such as the Associated Schools Project and the Culture of Peace Programme, as well as related activities of other international organizations;
Further development of the principles, methodologies and strategies of the project in a long-term process of continuous learning for all those participating in the project, with emphasis on peoples and regions where it is most needed, and in a way that reinforces the global movement towards a culture of peace and non-violence.
Further promotion of national policies aimed at establishing a culture of peace and non-violence in educational institutions.
OUR COMMITMENT TO ACTION
In a spirit of mutual support and inspiration, through the actions proposed here, and others appropriate to the conditions in ourown schools and communities, and in collaboration with UNESCO and others networked round the world, we commit ourselves and the mobilization of our colleagues and institutions, to the long-term and continuing process of developing a culture of non-violence and cooperative learning in schools and other educational institutions as an important contribution to a global movement for a culture of peace. - Partner Short Name