Protestant Responses and Ideas

After an introduction to the foundations of peace education, the participants were introduced to answers and ideas for a peace building education: the Participatory and Active Pedagogy in the Great Lake Region in Africa and within workshops examples from Rwanda, Egypt, DR Congo, Cameroon and Germany.

Theory B:        Foundations of Peace Education

The aspects of peace education are remembrance, peaceful relationships, autonomy and self-responsibility, democratic forms of conflict resolution. To implement these concepts of peace education successfully, it is necessary to look at your own starting point (e.g. political or own reflection), to broaden your perspective to other concepts (individual personality), to understand peace education as an intergenerational perspective (each generation should address it), to adopt peace education concepts for making a change in society, to share with other schools in other parts of the world, to give peace education roots in Christian faith and to use the network for lobbying.

Approach A:   Participatory and Active Pedagogy (PAP) in the Great Lake Region as Protestant Contribution to Peace Education

PAP is a peace education approach, developed in Rwanda and extended to DR Congo. During the last years it reached a high number of Protestant schools. The PAP program was introduced as a response to the critical educational situation after the genocide against the Tutsi population.

Throughout trainings on diagnostic, communication and didactical tools, students learn about trauma, phases of mourning and non-aggressive ways of conflict resolution. The learner-centered pedagogy is leading to more opportunities for students.

Approach B:   Experiences from Anti-Trauma Work in Rwanda

The anti-trauma work in Rwanda contributed to start initiatives for peace building, telling the truth, empathy and goodwill to live together and the improvement of social relations. It facilitated the process of reconciliation.

Approach C:   Experiences from Implementing PAP in Schools

The PAP has contributed much in teaching improvement, constructive feedback, self-esteem, positive climate in schools, less violence, etc.

Approach D:   Religious Education and Reconciliation

Education and religion are serving the same purpose: to create good and virtuous citizens. Therefore, Reformers support education and its role as a link between the church and the private homes. Religious Education helps people respect the human dignity, appreciate differences in race, diverse views and cultures. The aim of Religious education should be to promote peace, tolerance, unity and reconciliation. In Rwanda, Religious education has contributed to self-esteem, mutual acceptance and overcoming stereotypes and pursue of morality.

Approach E:    Interreligious Education

The experiences from Cairo show that Protestant schools should emphasize the interreligious atmosphere for mutual respect and understanding. Students as well as teachers should find a way to understand each other, to be flexible and to learn from each other. 90 % of students in the German Protestant School in Cairo are Muslims. Muslim and Christian teachers cooperate on common items like creation ethics or Jesus. By exploring the meaning of different religions and forms of belief, students start to appreciate commonalities and find ground for an interreligious dialogue.