Recently a homeschooling mom in one of our support groups asked about designing a peace curriculum, so I shared all of the resources that I have used or bookmarked over the years with her. It turns out that there are dozens of places online that already exist that you can use in teaching peace. Here are just a few ideas.
Peace Course is a wonderful study to do with middle schoolers, teens and adults. When you finish it, if you pass the test, you’ll even be provided with a certificate. I am currently taking the course right now and am amazed by it. I’ve hung quotes from it over my desk and listened to the mp3 of The Golden Rule in dozens of religious several times. It’s absolutely beautiful—and absolutely vital in times like these.
The Institute for Humane Education has great recommendations for peace books, lesson plans, and even distance learning courses for parents. I’ve wanted to take one of their courses for a long time. I read founder Zoe Weil's "Most Good, Least Harm" and really liked it; I passed it on to someone else years ago, as Weil asks that readers do.
Several other places have lists of wonderful picture books as well as longer nonfiction books for adults and teens about peace and social justice issues. Teaching for Change has a wonderful selection, as does The Global Village School—which, by the way, I would use if I used a curriculum. Child Peace Books had an enormous selection, and I have loved every one that I’ve read so far. I reserve many books from these sites at our local library and access them freely.
Teaching Tolerance has a huge selection of great lesson plans for teaching peace, acceptance, and diversity, as does The Zinn Education Project. The Peace Jam project looks very interesting, though I am having a hard time finding how to access it in my area.
For adults and teens, the United Nations offers several free courses you can take in peace as well. They also feature a curriculum for teachers here. The Peace Corps also offers a wonderful interactive website for children to explore service online. And finally, Religious Tolerance is a website I recommend to anyone wishing to learn more about religion all over the world.
Which peace programs have you used? Do you have any to recommend? Share them in the comments below.