How are the children supposed to change the world without the necessary tools?
Youth today are being raised in an increasing violent culture that doesn’t reinforce peaceful problem solving, positive world view, or hope for change.
According to Empowering Youth as Peacebuilders by Emily Zionts, there is great potential for these issues to be resolved with a few simple but vital changes to our education system. We can’t continue to raise generations of children with the same set of skills-test taking, violence, and greed- that far too many possess already. This article presents a number of problems that our education system poses both intentionally and unintentionally. The one that caught my attention was the section about American history text books. The author makes a fantastic point when they mention the tendency to create idols from historical figures in American history text books. “Controversy- that which makes heroes into humans- is rarely allowed”. I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment; text books and teachers rarely present both sides of the issues and simply portray the situation as good versus evil.
The other major component of the paper was the multi-faceted solution that the author offered to the problems facing peace education. Although all of the pieces seemed like necessary parts to such a complex problem, there was one part that rang particularly true with me. “Education for Promoting Human Rights and Responsibilities: In order to teach about the responsibly that we have as global citizens to protect the Human Rights of others, it is vital to raise awareness of those rights and how they are violated around the world”. This aspect of the lesson plan could be taught to anyone with positive results. It would not only empower people to stand up for their own rights, but also make them realize that others deserve those same rights that are taken for granted. This article brings a valuable point to the table: we begin instilling violent and competitive values in children at an early age. This leaves little room for the skills needed to improve our disintegrating world. How are the children supposed to change the world without the necessary tools?