I would like, first of all, to thank the Global Embassy of Activist for Peace for the invitation that they made for me to able to bring you the experience of what we have in the Anahuac Mexico University through a chair which is the one they proposed to be installed in all the universities. Likewise, I will also be talking to you about the pedagogical innovations that we considered through the Shimon Peres Chair, that are important to be able to educate in function of a culture of peace.
As you know, the Chair that I carry is in the name of Shimon Peres (q. e. p. d.), and he always told us: “Missiles don't recognize frontiers; nevertheless, science, technology and education also don't have reference of the territory ; it's not about one vision, but to open the eyes and to know what we should do as human beings”.
To be able to talk a little bit of the pedagogical innovations I will describe to you a little of what we call culture of peace and how it inserts Education for Peace within all this context of culture of peace.
A culture of peace is based in the acceptance of diversity and appreciation towards the other, also it is the complete rejection to discrimination and exploitation of the neighbor; is to accept and to tolerate difference.
Manage conflictual peace. It is necessary that conflicts don't produce violence, and the differences must always be addressed with a spirit of reciprocity. Conflict must be solved in a way that reconcile and strengthen communities.
In peace forces the culture of peace must always transform schools and universities. It is very important for us that a educational university community have elements within that can motivate other students, bring the loud voice in the people that changed history, make events where inspires people to be able; just like Dr. William Soto says, the be able to educate and inspire the heart; create a space where you learn to live in peace, educate to promote a pacific coexistence, and specially to educate in ethical values.
One must educate for a integral peace, where we learn to coexist and tolerate, conscientize and worry for our neighbor, and procure collective welfare. Then we may say that the culture of peace is consequence, apearse like a result of a educational process.
Education for peace
We can divide the education for peace in various items, to not enter directly into the subject:
The first one is the holistic. What does is mean? Teach an integrated vision about the true origins of conflict, like one of the real conditions for peace.
We have to understand that conflict it’s an important source within education and culture of peace; and therefore, we have to teach how to solve them, to solve them without violence, to be tolerant, and to learn every necessary ability to be able to solve a conflict.
We aren't born learning to live in peace, we have to teach our students to live in peace; and that is why we talk about a education for peace.
After the holistic focus we pass to formation in values. It is related with respect to others, with empathy, with recognition of the production of the positive changes, respect to diversity and compromise with justice, equity and no violence.
We pass to the item of dialog, which is highly important. Communications skills in this sense are of vital importance. Dialog is the meeting of their peers in an environment of mutual trust and allow yourself to coexist and cope problems with enthusiasm.
When I talk about trust there comes everything that has to do with social relations of each other, with competition, with envy, with the process to empathize with our neighbor through differences, with problematization we live day by day to learn how to manage it.
And the last item is the critical spirit, that allows recognition of the political relationships and power in the economic and social process, with a view to transform and to balance relationships.
When I talk about Education for Peace, I talk about this important items:
Educate for development.
Educate for disarm.
Educate for the solution of conflicts.
Educate for social responsability.
Educate for human rights.
Educate in a multicultural way.
Education for international understanding.
Education for reconciliation.
Each one of these items brings a value. This are the values that we have to watch: justice, equity, liberty, tolerance, respect, equality, dignity and solidarity.
Then yes, now we do enter the principal topic. Now understanding which are the values that we have to watch and which topic I have to face; then I will enter to pedagogical innovations.
To talk about pedagogical innovation we talk about pedagogical process, when they are planned to guide and assist systematically the development and transformation of human beings.
There are pedagogical processes whose main focus is the problematization and dialogue. The problematization is located where apprentices learn of reality; today we have to take our students to learn from the experiences we live every day, the way we teach in schools is very different from the way we had before; before we passed on knowledge, nowadays we create it in the classroom, sharing mutual experiences between the educator and the student. The problematization gives us tools to see what is happening in the daily life of each one of us and how we can confront it with the tools that educational institutions provide us.
And for the last point we have dialogue. Is communication. It is born from a critical actitud that is based in human values, it is a meeting where knowledge is sought and it must transmit to us. When I talk about “critical actitud” we have to promote that out students and our youth, just like the human being in general, starts to create critical thinking. It doesn’t work to say: “they told me”, “I heard it”; it’s just trying to dig that curiosity so we can have a critical thinking and not to let us get carried away by ignorance.
By talking about pedagogical innovations we also have to emphasize that education -therefore- should be a problematizer process; to educate should educate us and vice versa, in such a way that everyone in the classroom always should learn.
The pedagogical processes involve processes of relationship between knowledge and planning, aimed at guiding transformations in the human being. Present projects where the daily experience of the people is the main axis, and sensitize them to the problem with empathy and solidarity among the participants.
In a pedagogical innovation we must always talk about facilitating a creation of a suitable climate for the participants. Nowadays with all the bullying problems and with the lack of self-esteem of the people, the student not always feels in confidence to express their particular experiences and put them in the judgment of everyone else in the classroom; whether it is secondary education, upper secondary education or even in young people in general, courses, diplomats, masters or doctorates.
We have to make our classroom a place of respect, where people can have their say and not be judged, in order to make trust grow and have a procreative dialogue; we have to prevent violence, promote coexistence, building bonds of trust between participants based on respect and empathy; and we have to hold seminars where they have the following stages: moment of contact, moment of connection and moment of extreme experience (always directed by facilitators).
The evaluations are very important in the planning and in the accounting of all these good and bad results, because based on these plans and evaluations we can implement new teaching processes; it focuses on the empowerment of people, their ability to relate to themselves and conflicts.
Normally when we teach to solve conflicts we have to teach skills and obviously the educator has to have those skills; has to have the skills of listening, has to have the skills of thinking and transmit the confidence that he is understanding the problem they are communicating to him, and then know how to mediate or resort to arbitration or know how to negotiate so that there is a win-win relationship between the two parties.
This is a totally different topic but it is part of the pedagogical innovation, it is very important that within the schools and educational establishments we form support groups for the resolution of conflicts.
The pedagogical processes stimulate horizontal relationships between teachers and students, and promote the group work of social learning. By strengthening the decision making of a student is to strengthen their self-esteem and must always be inserted with relationships and responsible actions that can improve the environment.
We then have to talk about a reflective pedagogy. What does this mean? For example, when we are in a football match there is a conflict of interest: each part of each team is in favor of winning, then there is a close race; but that does not mean that the teams are going to fight in the game. It means that they will try to fight for a healthy competitiveness, a constructive competitiveness. They are not going to hit each other. Yes, sometimes they kick themselves, definitely; but they help each other up. Many times they apologize and ask for an apology. That is to bring to a constructive platform moments of competition, where each party is empowered to take advantage of the situation.
We must also promote contact and confrontation with peers to create spaces for reflection, always pursuing the common good; and we have to make sure that people analyze their emotions.
One of the most important things when we talk about conflicts and personal relationships is losing control along with emotions. If people know how to control their emotions they will know how to control themselves and they will know how to address their neighbor in an esmeral and empathic way to resolve their conflicts.
We have to create links in a creative and non-violent way.
We have to create a pedagogy in the face of social problems, of violence and coexistence, of beginnings, of development and its consequences.
We have two important types of pedagogies in this topic: A pedagogy focused on the person and a pedagogy focused on conflict; both are equally important because we have to analyze the person, their self-esteem, their emotions, their way of relating, their abilities; and then we have to move to a conflictual pedagogy where he already interacts with his neighbor and puts into practice all those skills he learned personally.
In a pedagogy focused on conflict we have to identify conflict and error. And here it is very important to talk about needs, interests and perceptions. Why? Because many times we disguise these needs with wrong perceptions of reality; and a good facilitator has to know how to find out where these misperceptions are to clarify the situation between both parties.
We also have to learn to build reflexive and self-reflective attitudes, analyze whether the educator or the student takes a certain position.
The classification of conflict pedagogy is as follows:
1st Pedagogy between and under the conflict. Evade the conflict completely and refrain from participating. So instead of being protagonists we become spectators, we do not want to get involved in that, so we prefer to stay at a distance. The result will be null.
2nd Pedagogy according to and from the conflict. It is based on dialogue to resolve differences. All are actors and consensus is sought, we seek to learn from the conflict. It is very important to stress that conflict is an opportunity for growth and conflict will always be inherent to man; but we as people have to look for a creative way to solve the conflict, and that is what is going to make us grow within a society.
3.º We have another type of Pedagogy that is called before and against the conflict. And this is what we call: Pedagogy of peace. Encourages learning processes by analyzing structural and social causes of the conflict. This pedagogy is divided into several axes: political, economic, social and ecological; and build strategies against injustice and war.
When we talk about pedagogy we have to see what is the role of conflict in pedagogy. Then we talk about:
Pedagogy in and with the conflict. Conflict is recognized as an engine of change and an expression against contradictions.
To this we have variations, for example:
The pedagogy that challenges and proposes alternatives of dominant force, where obviously we find violence.
The communicative pedagogy. It is a pedagogy of self-reflection, dialogue, with the desire to free ourselves from all the perceptions that we often inherit from culture, religion and family. Many times we are somewhat contaminated about wrong perceptions that we inherit from the culture that surrounds us, and the best thing is to educate ourselves in this sense to have the best availability to interrelate with our neighbor. When in this diverse and multicultural world, with a great diversity of opinions, religions, etc., we have to find a way to be able to relate without our cultural perceptions undermining the relationship with our neighbor and being able to be empathetic about it.
We have structuralist pedagogies, which develop processes that allow us to map social structures based on conflict.
We have several conceptual axes of pedagogy: Sociological and sociopolitical principles, to build a new order based on a positive peace.
We have important axes, such as ensuring human rights, the recognition of integrity, human solidarity, social responsibility and the gender perspective.
The important pedagogical principles on which we must not forget:
Address learning styles and different talents.
Recognition of conflicting character with reality, which is problematizing pedagogy.
Connection between ways of teaching and demonstrations of the participants.
Stimulate group work and always with humanitarian action.
Never forget that in order to educate the soul and the heart we have to sensitize the heart; and the only way to sensitize him is to take the human being to his own experience; It is the only way they will feel to be able to act.
We have to experiment with new alternatives for intervention in social development.
Establish participatory solidarity links and stimulate reflective learning.
Self-question and self-evaluate.
The teacher, therefore, must follow the following steps: Educate with love, project and reflect with peace, involve the parents of the community, encourage participation, create a moral sense of justice and a sense of democracy and freedom, encourage dialogue and understanding, teach sharing, develop a critical opinion, be an example (be an example in the community: we cannot expect a teacher to stand in front of students and try to educate them if he does not teach by example). Demonstrate peace ⏤as best as possible⏤, foster tolerance and know how to listen.
So we have that peace is the opposition of passivity. What do I mean? An active attitude must be created; teaching peace requires teachers to act; we have to be congruent with what we think, with what we feel and with what we act; and the teacher should always sensitize and raise awareness.
These are the following challenges for the educator:
Learn to be,
learn to think,
learn to learn,
To learn to live together
and learn to undertake.
These are our challenges:
Learn to communicate,
learn to collaborate,
learn to discern,
learn to participate,
learn to be responsible,
to solve situations constructively,
to reflect and
learn to adopt ethical resolutions.
With all these considerations I would like to end by telling you that everything I have just mentioned will lead us to learn to live in diversity with tolerance, to value human solidarity, reciprocity and justice, to resolve conflicts constructively and to exercise social responsibility; and for all this we need a harmonious and peaceful development of society.
Thank you very much.