What different knowledges and values underpin peace in African communities? How can these knowledges and practices be connected and compared across countries to inform pedagogy and create curriculum content that decolonises how we can educate for peace, in Africa and beyond?
These are just some of the critical questions DEPA is seeking to explore over its 4 years through its expansive portfolio of 14 projects across 12 countries. Responding to a critical need to offer alternative accounts to the historically prevailing concept of Africa as a continent marred by conflict, violence and war, DEPA aims to flip the narrative by starting from a focus on peace. DEPA begins from the premise that educating for peace requires being contextually grounded in the knowledges, values and belief systems of African communities, rather than being exogenously imposed from outside and based largely on Western notions of what peace is and how peacebuilding should take place. While there is growing awareness and call for the insertion of localised knowledges and values of peace to decolonise peace education this process has, to date, been limited.
In the second of the new DEPA webinar series of panel discussions, we turn attention to the need to rethink and decolonise peace pedagogy and the way that peace is taught in the classroom but also beyond.
Education has a vital role to play in supporting the recovery of conflict-affected countries and communities and in helping to re-establish a secure and sustainable path to peace into the future. For decades, peace education across Africa has been understood and practiced through largely exogenously led interventions, imposing Western concepts of peace. At the same time, colonial pedagogic legacies entrenched in African education systems have influenced and framed how to educate about peace along Euro-centric lines. Recent decades, however, have seen increasing efforts to challenge and change these paradigms, to assert African knowledges, teachings and practices into how peace and peacebuilding is taught and put into practice.
Current attempts to decolonise peace education largely lack a comparative approach, both trans-nationally or interdisciplinary. This is gap DEPA seeks to contribute to through the development of a new decolonised peace education framework that brings together and learns from different local practices across different locations. Connecting different knowledges and identifying commonalities to be used by researchers, teachers and peace educators globally across all levels of education: higher, secondary, primary and vocational.
This webinar brings together the experiences of several DEPA projects to look at the challenges and opportunities teams faced in developing and teaching decolonial peace-centred curricula to a range of different learners across diverse contexts and at varying levels of education.