Educating for peace at pre-school : a case study of Khulanathi educare centre.
Pre-schools, as the entry point to formal education are increasingly expected to play an invaluable role in the promotion of peace. As such, this study sets out to investigate the nature and extent to which one pre-school, namely Khulqnathi Educare Gentre in Pietermaritzburg (KEG), adheres to the 'peaceful schools' model with respect to its organization, curriculum, learning methods and the handling of conflict. The research approach taken in this study was qualitative and exploratory, relying on self-administered questionnaires, reviewing literature and documentary analysis. The researcher also spent some time at the school to observe day-to-day activities. Parents and teachers constituted the study's respondents. The study reveals an innovative approach to teaching at KEG in which peace education is treated as an integral part of the entire learning and teaching processes. This innovation gets impetus from the school's constitution, which endorses peace education. Peace values are promoted through the curriculum in general, and in particular, the teaching and learning methods and in the school's approaches to handling conflict. Peace education does not stand out as an explicit goal. Rather, it is an integral compc;ment of the four cornerstones of the KEG's learning and teaching processes. Approaches to resolving conflict through dialogue at the school further demonstrate the school's adherence to the peaceful school model. A close working relationship between the school staff and parents ensures that children are exposed to peace values both at home and at school. In summary, the questionnaires, observations and the school documents lead to the conclusion that KEG is closely conforms to the peaceful school model. The study also offers some general insights on peace education in pre-schools and some recommendations specifically meant for Khulanthi Educare's situation.