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March 2017
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Peace Education

Parenting for Peace

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) published an illuminating document by A.S. Balasooriya on peace education. The main point of the document was that peace is not possible unless peaceable and virtuous people are raised up as individuals of good character. The link between peace and good character was articulated: "Peace education...is basically a character building intervention." (A Teacher's Guide to Peace Education, p. 13.)

As part of its peace-building mission, UPF's character education curriculum features the power of story as its main teaching tool: the Discovering the Real Me, Grades 1-12, character education book series. This book series is appropriate for use in schools and in the home.

While UPF advocates a triune focus for effective character education—home, school and community—UPF also recognizes that the family is the core place where social and emotional learning take place. The family is the real starting point of peace—the place where good world citizens are reared. Since the Discovering the Real Me character education series is based upon stories, it is as suitable for home and family use as it is for schools.

Stories have been used in all cultures at all times to pass down values, information, and customs. It is instructive to remember that one of the most influential and enduring moral teachers of all time—Jesus of Nazareth—used stories as his premier teaching device.

Storytelling is not only a time-honored way of imparting moral learning; it is also a natural and effective way to do so. Children respond viscerally to stories, as do most adults. "Let me tell you a story..." generally brings about the human equivalent of a fox pricking up his ears. Stories appeal to the imagination, and thus set in motion ways of incorporating a moral vision that are unavailable through other forms of teaching.

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