Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto,
Disagreements, debates, differing perspectives, clashing ideologies, and justice struggles are inevitable in a pluralistic and unequal society. Thus, education about how to understand and handle conflict is an essential ingredient of democracy, as well as essential for safe and healthy personal and community lives. To supplement or challenge what children inevitably learn informally by living in a conflictual world, conflict education increasingly is seen as a responsibility of schools. Policies and programs on interpersonal conflict, violence, harassment, bullying, and human rights have been developing rapidly in recent years, in response to surging public concern in many communities. This chapter first discusses the dimensions of conflict resolution that may be affected by conflict resolution education, and then examines a range of alternative approaches to preparing young people to handle conflict in democratic, inclusive, and nonviolent ways.
The English language is limited in its vocabulary for peace, so the conflict resolution and peace education fields have invented modified terms to better capture the broad spectrum of peace and peacemaking possibilities. Various approaches to conflict resolution and antiviolence work can be arranged on a continuum between shorter-term intervention and security approaches, known as peacekeeping, and longer-range prevention and institutional change approaches, known as peacebuilding (1,2). Peacekeeping attempts to establish safety through