Young People, Situated Learning, and Peace Praxis at The Margins of Everyday Life

Friday 22 December 2023

Ogunnusi, Michael. 2020. De Montfort University. 

This thesis thoroughly studies how we approach young people and peace. First, it reviews how peace is generally depicted as the absence of violence or as ‘deficit peace’ within the literature. From here, it expands on the history of the field of peace education and how Critical Peace Education (CPE) came about. CPE advocates for educators and researchers to pay close attention to the local realities of the context within which and for whom peace is taught. Building on CPE as the theoretical framework, the study examines how young people from inner-city schools in England actively share their ideas and solutions for peace, both in and outside the research.

This study offers many insights that inform our wider research into what peace education means. A crucial insight is that any concept of peace is incomplete without context, suggesting that all (the young) people have different understandings of what peace is at different times in their lives. Another crucial point is that school settings are often conceived as places that stifle rather than promote peace due to academic and social pressure. In addition to this, the study concentrates on everyday life as the settings within which we should learn how to cultivate peace. This social pedagogy of validating young people’s everyday lives led the study to address peace on many levels that are important to young people, ranging from inner to global peace. A final insight for us is to continue questioning and reconsidering what is known about how young people understand peace, and their knowledge of peace, to critically engage with the dominance of the narrative of ‘deficit peace’. Thus, for our Library of Peace, this study suggests future directions of further research like the gendered dimensions of peace education and to extend beyond Western societal contexts.  

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