Countless lesson plans have been created to help young people identify bullying as a form of violence. Yet so often our attempts to teach peaceful conflict resolution in the classroom ignore the structural violence that many of our students and their families face on a daily basis. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” So can we hope to teach peace in the presence of injustice?
This is an ItAG specifically for educators who work with elementary school children. Participants will examine the various forms of violence that overtly and covertly manifest themselves in daily life. We will explore the philosophies of practitioners of nonviolence including Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez, and discuss how to introduce and break down these concepts to even the youngest of learners. Our goal is to develop curriculum that goes beyond anti-bullying to help students identify the pervasiveness of violence and the power of nonviolence.