New Plans for 2005

Education for peace is the best vehicle to ensure that the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians will have the skills, the knowledge and the motivation to create a truly peaceful Middle East.  Now is the time to look towards the next generation and to empower them with the ability to live in peace with their neighbors. Until now we have taught our children and ourselves what is necessary to survive in times of conflict.  Our children must be provided with the skills and knowledge to live in peace and to create mutual respect and understanding that will enable them to transform their lives and this region into one of cooperation, prosperity and freedom.

In 2005 IPCRI is planning to make a shift in the Peace Education Department from a focus on implementing programs in the schools to a center for curricula development, training and research in peace education. Eight years ago when IPCRI first launched its peace education program the overriding goal was to impact upon the formal educational systems in Israel and in Palestine to adopt a philosophy of peace education in all of the schools in Israel and in the PA.  The basic idea was to develop models of peace education and to train teachers in order to reach a critical mass of schools involved in the program in order to reach a “spill-over” effect and have a wide reaching impact.  After eight years of working in this way, we have reached the conclusion that we have not achieved our overriding goal.  IPCRI did develop the most successful and the largest peace education program in the region, however, we have not achieved the “spill over effect” and our peace education activities are limited to those schools where IPCRI was working directly. We have, therefore, decided to shift our strategy and to focus our efforts in a more systemic way. 

IPCRI’s peace education department will aim to implement a program for the creation of a joint Israeli-Palestinian Peace Education Center for the development of curricula, the training of teachers, and linking academic research in peace education with the field. In order to achieve this effort, IPCRI has begun to seek new funds for the implementation of the new work plan.



Main Planned Programs

1. The Development of Text Books in Peace Education for Palestinian and Israeli Schools

Short Summary  of the Text Book Development Program

The text books used in Palestinian and Israelis schools have come under great criticism for their failure to assist in the creation of a culture of peace and for preserving a culture of hatred. Text books on both sides of the conflict have been found severing lacking in their failure to educate the young people of the Palestinian Authority and of Israel about each other through a perspective of mutual recognition and in line with agreements signed by both sides. The issue of educational reform has been highlighted within the framework of the Road Map for peace and requires significant revisions in the text books of both sides. The final goal of this project proposal is the production of new multi-disciplinary text books for grades 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, & 11 for Palestinian and Israeli schools on issues concerning peace and democracy.  The text books will be produced by a joint staff of Palestinian and Israeli educators.  The books will be produced in three phases: (1) trial editions, (2) feedback from the field, and (3) first final edition.


Content and Approaches of the Proposed Text Books

Most citizens of conflict-affected populations long for peace but are affected also by the sentiments of hatred and revenge for past events that were activated by their leaders during the conflict. It is essential to intervene with life skills-based peace education that helps children and adults understand how conflicts arise and how to work towards peaceful non-violent solutions to the underlying problems. Democratization and democratic values will be central in the development of the text books.


·     Affirmation of self and others -- valuing ourselves and others creates motivation and commitment to resolve conflict non-violently.

·     Cooperation -- the recognition that we exist in this world together and that we will survive together or be destroyed together is central to finding solutions that benefit both sides.

·     Communication skills -- listening skills and clear, assertive statements are essential to the non-violent resolution of problems with others.

·     Problem solving -- learning practical techniques as well as having appropriate attitudes and approaches to conflict are crucial to resolving our disputes.

Armed with these tools, individuals can live the principles of non-violent conflict management, and also teach or assist others to find peaceful reconciliation to situations of conflict wherever they might occur.

- to understand the nature and origins of violence and its effects on both victim and perpetrator;
- to create frameworks for achieving peaceful, creative societies;
- to sharpen awareness about the existence of non-peaceful relationships between people and within and between nations;
- to investigate the causes of conflicts and violence embedded within perceptions, values and attitudes of individuals as well as within social and political structures of society;
- to encourage the search for alternative or possible nonviolent skills;
- to equip children and adults with personal conflict resolution skills.

Peace Education skills
- identifying bias
- problem solving
- sharing and co-operation
- shared decision-making
- analysis and critical thinking
- enhancing the self esteem of oneself and others
- creative self expression
- ability to imagine life beyond the present and work towards a vision
- understanding the links between the personal, local and global communicating through careful observation
- honest talk and sensitive listening
- positive emotional expression
- recognizing and expressing feelings in ways that are not aggressive or destructive
- conflict resolution strategies
- empathy
- nonviolent action in relation to problems both personal and societal
- ability to act on ideas
- self reflection
- independent research

Process and methodology for use in peace education
Active learning/participative methods, experiential learning, partnerships in learning with pupil participation, dialogue, self expression, story telling and response to stories, project work focused on identifying questions and researching answers, encouragement of use of source material, exchange with children from other cultures using their own medium, creative teaching and learning, whole school approach including all staff and links with the wider community.

Content of theory-based peace education
Could include: the role of values systems in religious and secular world views, the history and present day struggles for justice and equality in race and gender, the ethics of science and technology, understan
ding of the causes of violence and war and other local, national and international disputes, the theory of conflict resolution, visions of the future, political and social change, the economics of war and oppression, human rights and citizenship, violence, war and peacemaking in the media, nonviolence in literature and the arts.

Content of practical expressions of peace-making for use in peace education
Models of peace-making, peace history – local, national and international, the role of the United Nations and Non-governmental Organizations, how community groups affect peaceful change, vocations for social change, the role of personal and community health and nutrition in a healthy society, under
standing other cultures through language, custom and stories, parenting and child care, bullying and anti-bullying methods, peer mediation and conflict resolution skills for children in the classroom.

The role of violence and conflict in peace education
We recognize that violence as a tool for achieving change is both widely used and feared. It comes in different forms and the fear of violence can be as damaging as violence itself. Violence is embedded in our society not only as a method to solve conflict but in sport, entertainment and literature. Conflict is not the same as violence. Conflict is inevitable in human affairs but violence is not. Conflict can be a positive and creative force for change. Conflict can be approached as a challenge, offering people the chance to be inventive and creative, and to develop in ways they might not have thought of. Dealing with conflict creatively is a vital part of peace education.

IPCRI is not going to reproduce the proverbial wheel.  There has been much work done around the world designing curricula in peace and democracy education.  IPCRI will utilize materials found to be appropriate and valuable and adapt them for use in the Palestinian Authority and in Israel


2. The Oslo Reader

Short Summary of the Project:

Producing a text book and a teachers’ guide for Palestinian high schools on the Oslo Process including the main agreements, explanations of the process and its principles, description of the intentions and critiques of the process itself. The book will also focus on what went wrong in the process, providing various points of view from within the Palestinian society, Israel and the international community. The book will expose the students and their teachers to the main issues in conflict and will point to various possible solutions or ways to reach solutions.  The book will also include a lexicon of the vocabulary of the Oslo process.  IPCRI will find additional funds outside of this grant to translate the book to Hebrew for use in Israeli schools as well.

In most of the critiques of Palestinian Authority text books, including those reports issued by IPCRI from funds granted by the US Government, it has been pointed out that there is insufficient and unsatisfactory coverage of the Oslo peace process. There are virtually no educational materials available to teach the students of Palestine about the events that unfolded in the past decade that led to the Oslo process and the mutual recognition between the PLO and Israel. Palestinian students do not learn about the agreements that served as the base for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority nor do they learn about the breakdown of the peace process and the aftermath including the international and local efforts to revive the peace process. The educational system provides no means for students to confront the main political realities that dominate their lives and as such must search for answers outside of the formal educational framework.

We believe that a central task of a formal educational system is to provide students with the means and ways to direct their natural curiosity and political awareness into positive understandings of their own developing reality.  Education must provide stimuli for thinking and analyzing the reality that the students face without indoctrinating them politically. Educational text books on political issues must be inclusive of a range of opinions and positions and must challenge the students to look beyond what they already know and believe.  In a conflictual reality, the text book must also provide the students with an opportunity to be exposed to the various positions of their adversaries as well.

These are the challenges put forward by this proposal.  The impact of introducing such a text book in Palestinian (and Israeli) high schools could be quite profound. Within the framework of a new era opening before us we should take up the challenge of introducing new materials to the formal educational system that directly answer the critiques of the former reports on the PA education system.



IPCRI will convene a steering committee for this project consisting of four Israelis and four Palestinians from disciplines of education, political science, history and law in addition to IPCRI’s two co-directors (Dr. Baskin and Khaled Duzdar) and the three directors of IPCRI’s Peace Education department, Ayelet Roth, Ghaida Rinawi-Zouabi, and Cyrien Khano. The steering committee will guide the work of the professionals to be hired to work on this project.  The team of writers will consist of two people, one Israelis and one Palestinians, with experience in producing educational materials and background in history and political science.

Most of the work of producing this book will be in collecting materials already written.  IPCRI has been collecting relevant materials over the past three years from various Israeli, Palestinian and international sources. The steering committee and the writing team will make the decisions regarding what materials are to be included and what materials need to be produced or found to complete the picture and the analysis.

The writing team will focus most of its attention to producing the teachers guide for the book so that didactic-pedagogical materials are provided for the teachers.

Once a draft is produced, the book will be distributed to no less than 50 readers on both sides for comments.  On the basis on the comments the steering committee and the writing team will make the necessary adjustments and changes.

The first edition of the text written in English will be translated to Arabic. IPCRI will raise additional funds outside of this grant to translate the book into Hebrew.

3.  Supplementary Lesson Plans in Peace Education

As part of the contract with the US government on text book evaluations, IPCRI is also contracted to complete 200 lesson plans for Kindergarten through grade 12 in peace education, democracy, pluralism, understanding the other, etc. Nearly 100 lesson plans have been completed.  The first set are based on existing materials collected from organizations and institutions around the world and adapted by a group of Palestinian teachers for Palestinian schools.  The second set of 100 lesson plans are being developed in four groups: three groups of Palestinian teachers (elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and secondary school teachers) and a forth mixed Israeli-Palestinian group that will develop lesson plans on “learning about the other”.  These lesson plans are to be completed by May 2005.  IPCRI will seek funds to translate and publish all 200 lesson plans in Hebrew as well as Arabic.

4. Text book evaluations

Under contract for the third year running IPCRI is conducting a review of the PA Ministry of Education text books issued this school year for grades 5 & 10. The review is being undertaken by a group of Palestinian teachers under the direction of Prof. Salem Aweiss, formerly of Birzeit University. Similarly to the previous reviews, the text books are being analyzed from the point of view of the messages that they give regarding peace, democracy, pluralism, relations with the State of Israel, relations to Judaism and Christianity, the ways in which they teach values and religion. A report will be issued in the early spring of 2005.


If funding is available, IPCRI will conduct a parallel review of text books being used in Israeli national schools in the subjects of history, social studies, civics, religion and literature.  The books will be evaluated from the point of view of the messages that they give regarding peace, democracy, pluralism, relations to non-Jews, relations to Palestinians and Arabs, religious doctrines, etc. The research will be carried out by a group of Israeli educators.

5. Public Activities 

In 2005 IPCRI will seek to conduct two public seminars in the field of peace education. These two seminars are:


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