‘Pedagogies of resistance’ and critical peace education praxis

Joe Walker
Wednesday 18 January 2023

Bajaj, Monisha. 2015. Journal of Peace Education 12 (2):154-166

This piece of academic literature is situated in the critical peace sub-discipline of peace education, and starts off by describing the different theoretical threads of peace education, with reference to Johan Galtung’s theory of structural violence, as well as describing how educators can apply reflexivity to make educational sites into transformational ones by situating them in a larger social context. The paper also describes the possibility of restorative justice to advance peace through education, such as bringing together different groups in the local community and changing perceptions of forgiveness and retribution.

The main body of the piece, on the pedagogies of resistance, gives several examples of where critical pedagogy has been used to enhance learning and grow peace. Pedagogies of resistance, derived from the work of Paulo Freire, involve the redistribution of knowledge and information from wealthier and more powerful Western states to communities denied by unequal socioeconomic processes.

The Mexican Zapatista case study example given by Bajaj describes community assemblies as a form of democratic education & decision-making, and how the protection of local culture, values, languages, rights etc is central to the democratic educational processes in the rural Zapatista community.

This paper was useful to me in that it provides several useful case studies in which critical peace pedagogies have been employed to challenge the dominant hierarchies present in international educational contexts, as well as relating this back to the theoretical discussion.

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