Workshop 11 - Peace education and reconciliation work as twin fields of citizenship education

Conference participants from seven countries and different professional backgrounds joined Ragnar Müller and Borislava Daskalova of DARE (Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe) for their workshop this afternoon. The attempt to come up with recommendations as a result of the discussion surely showed: There are no easy answers to complicated questions in citizenship education.

"To reach peace, you have to teach peace!"

Borislava Daskalova, youth worker with the Bulgarian Network of Human Rights Education, used the first part of the workshop for introducing some basic definitions and principles of peace education (PE), Human Rights education (HRE) as well as their correlation and role in the broader concept of citizenship education (CE). This was soon to be triggering more complicated discussions: Is there a way to agree upon common values and concepts of peace, conflict and citizenship regarding cultural differences in an international context? What comes first in forming a truly democratic environment: education and legislation?

Transformation needs long-term CE activity

The lively dicussion was heated up in the second part of the workshop, when Ragnar Müller challenged the participants to state their opinions on what role citizenship education could play in (violent) conflicts like the Ukraine, Syria or Israel. Agreeing on the fact that there were limited options for citizenship education to actively intervene in ongoing violent conflicts, there was a broad agreement on what should form the first recommendation: Focus on long-term transformative approaches! The general use of citizenship education on numerous levels was emphasized in what should form the final recommendation of the group: Put more support and recognition into CE and HRE in order to promote peace and respect for Human Rights which, in the long term, prevent conflicts from becoming violent.

Citizenship Education
Conference Day: 

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