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Teaching & Learning Peace
by
William M. Timpson

Wouldn’t it be nice if people all over the world could get on the worldwide web, click on peace and be hit with an electronic energy impulse that made them experience a true moment without conflict, a moment of real peace? Even then, we would have no more than the foundation for building a new culture of peace.

Such a foundation is actually the first goal in the ambitious structure Timpson builds to provide models, tools and techniques for pursuing a new culture of peace through classroom teaching. While we hear the words of many theorists and people devoted to peace and justice, the ultimate strength of Teaching and Learning Peace lies in the practical way Timpson connects the pursuit of peace to the individual, the classroom, the home, the workplace and the world.

The Introduction to Teaching and Learning Peace describes the burden of the book, the questions to be answered:

How do we teach about peace? How do we help young people manage their own anger and aggressiveness when violence is so prevalent in their lives, at school and on the streets, in the news, on television, in the movies and in the lyrics of some of their music? When memories of attacks are raw and calls for retaliation are shrill, how does an educator—or anyone in a leadership role who is committed to the ideals of a sustainable peace—open a meaningful dialogue about alternatives to violence? At its core, democracy demands open and honest discussions and we can do much in our schools, colleges and universities to support responsible citizenship.

Timpson addresses these questions in two parts. Part I lays the groundwork by pointing out where violent behavior originates and offering alternatives on a level familiar to both teachers and students. The chapters in Part I offer practical approaches to understanding how such things as the desire for revenge manifest themselves on both the world stage and in the classroom. Part II connects the values and models of Part I with specific classroom teaching strategies, models and methods—it offers tools and ideas for applying the concepts explored in Part I to the classroom.

The book’s assertion of hope is, perhaps, one of the most important elements of this exploration of peace in a time when most of the world is in no mood to consider the subject seriously. Timpson offers a thoughtful reflection on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assessment in "My Pilgrimage to Nonviolence":

We stand today between two worlds—the dying old and the emerging new. Now I am aware of the fact that there are those who would contend that we live in the most ghastly period of human history. They would argue that the rhythmic beat of the deep rumblings of discontent from Asia, the uprisings in Africa, the nationalistic longings of Egypt, the roaring cannons from Hungary, and the racial tensions of America are all indicative of the deep and tragic midnight which encompasses our civilization. They would argue that we are retrogressing instead of progressing. But far from representing retrogression and tragic meaninglessness, the present tensions represent the necessary pains that accompany the birth of anything new.

Preceding this quote Timpson comments, "Looking back, do we see King’s assessment as unrealistically naďve or a tangible sign of his genius? How do we judge an optimism that is grounded in possibility, articulating an achievable though distant goal and energizing others through difficult times?" Teaching and Learning Peace judges such optimism to be a cornerstone for teaching and creating a new culture of peace.


1-891859-44-7
$21.95
162  pages



 

Table of Contents
Author Biography

Thoughts from the author, Bill Timpson

 

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