Implementing peace education as a part of the South African school curriculum for learners in the intermediate phase (grades 4-6)
This research article deals with the implementation of peace education in the intermediate phase of South African schools. The specific questions that this research article attempts to address are: (i) What is peace education, with particular reference to its aims and objectives? (ii) Why is it important to include peace education in any school curriculum? (iii) What is the present status of peace education in the National curriculum? (iv) What has been the experience of educators with this curriculum? (v) How may the curriculum be modified to take account of peace education principles? Chapter one provides an overview, outlining the research objectives and the structure of the research article. Chapter two attempts to review the body of literature that has been written on the subject of peace education. In an effort to accomplish this, the article firstly attempts to provide a widely accepted definition of the concept of peace education. In this regard several definitions of different researchers have been presented and discussed and finally a single definition has been formulated for the purposes of this article. Chapter two attempts to provide an analysis of the aims and objectives of peace education. The varying views by different researchers have been presented. After careful consideration of these views a set of aims and objectives have been presented for the purpose of this research article. Chapter three provides strong evidence that children who are exposed to peace education develop more positively. They perceive their social world and react to social factors in a less hostile way. Furthermore, these individuals see violence as an unacceptable option, and choose nonviolent ways to resolve conflict. Chapter four reviews the research design that has been used in data collection. This chapter also focuses on the methodology and techniques employed in the analysis of the data. Chapter five provides an analysis of the research findings. This analysis is presented in two parts. Chapter six focuses on those objectives of peace education that are of critical importance but have not been included in the National Curriculum Statement grades R-9 (schools) 1997 (NCS) or the Revised National Curriculum Statement grades R-9 (schools) 2002 (RNCS). It will be illustrated that when these objectives are incorporated in the curriculum, it will strengthen the curriculum in terms of its provision for the effective teaching of peace education. Chapter seven contains a summary of the salient discussion points of the research and concluding remarks by the researcher.