GPENreformation as a Protestant Network of Peace Education

Besides the thematic work, the attendants worked on the development of the Global Pedagogical Network – Joining in Reformation. As an introduction, the team of GPENreformation gave an overview of past events: the International Conference in Soesterberg in 2016, the World Reformation Exhibition, the International Schools Camp, the International Teachers Academy, the Global schools500reformation Day and Jubilee Celebrations at Protestant schools worldwide in 2017.

Furthermore, the objectives of GPENreformation were announced: The network aims at the warranty and improvement of the educational quality in Protestant schools, seminars and universities and the facilitation of learning in a global context. It wants to deepen the exchange between educational institutions and churches and to promote the interests of Protestant education.

Members of GPENreformation are organized in three groups: Basic members are Protestant schools, seminars and universities. Organizations and associations on national, continental or global level representing Protestant education institutions belong to the constituent members. Finally, individuals who are interested in Protestant education and GPENreformation are called affiliated members. Every contact person of a network member who is willing to build bridges between school life and the network can become an Ambassador. During the conference, GPENreformation could gain 23 new Ambassadors who will represent and support the network in their regions and countries. Additionally, the first Council was mandated: With Dr. Wim Kuiper (the Netherlands), Dr. Jonathan Laabs (USA), Rev. Samuel Mutabazi (Rwanda), Rev. Prof. Dr. Annette Scheunpflug (Germany) and Dr. Birgit Sendler-Koschel (Germany) a multi-national and multi-denominational team will forward and lead the network during the next years.

As future work areas of the network the participants named to extend the network in more schools and places (e.g. Burundi), to implement a round-table of Protestant schools to look back on their foundation, to support tolerance and to improve and to promote a Protestant profile of schools.

Coming back to the topic of peace education in the afternoon, some proven projects were presented during workshops:

Project A:       Education for sustainability: Experiences from Europe

Education in Europe in general and particularly in Germany and the Netherlands has contributed to a sustainable development. Schools and universities are places for acquiring knowledge and skills that are transferable to work life and to the needs of the society.

Project B:        Twinning Schools – Reconciliation by Mutual Exchange

The main objectives of this project are to promote peace education and Protestant values in Protestant schools at different levels. The project involves students, teachers and administrators from the entities above.

Project C:       Twinning Schools: Intercultural Experiences between Continents – Experiences of Schools in Cameroon and Germany

Students from Germany and Cameroon learn from one another through visits, cultural activities and shared experiences. The main objective is to improve education in Protestant schools from different continents.

Project D:       The Inspirational Question

We are facing different challenges that need to be overcome and every single person is asked to set priorities. Global learning helps to find answers to the crucial question: “What is the wise thing to do?”