The everyday peace project: an innovative approach to peace pedagogy
Journal of Peace Education
A critical task for peace pedagogy is to challenge views of peace as primarily responses to declared war. Crisis-based politics tend to focus on exceptional situations and fail to capture the entire spectrum of violence. Premised on the idea that peace cannot be understood in isolation of larger structural problems, this paper proposes the concept of ‘everyday peace’ as a framework for peace education. Drawing from a pedagogical initiative, we examine how students engage with the concept of everyday peace and present our findings in three related domains: (1) definition of everyday peace, (2) application of everyday peace principles and (3) role of collaboration in everyday peace approaches. Our analysis underscored two important themes in participants’ definitions of everyday peace: (1) peace as a value-based praxis and (2) individual-level and systemic components of everyday peace. Applying these principles to a violent event in the local community, participant responses emphasized compassion, cultures of peace and the need to draw reflexive, meaningful connections between local and global contexts. The participants also outlined the synergistic role of collaboration in everyday peacebuilding. We discuss our findings in relation to extant research and consider implications of an everyday peace framework for holistic peace education.