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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 28-35

Content analysis of peace education as one component of global citizenship education in elementary textbooks

1 University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran
2 Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

Date of Web Publication19-Dec-2014

Correspondence Address:
Meimanat Abedini Baltork
Isfahan University, Isfahan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2395-2296.147463

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Peace education is now a required component of the national curriculum that must be taught by all schools. Hence, it is necessary that peace education components be included in school curricula. So this paper looked at peace education in content of primary textbooks. In other words, Main purpose of this survey was content analysis of primary school textbooks based on peace education components such as "Sense of solidarity," "sense of responsibility to others," "recognizing diversity," "loving others" "discrimination and denial of ethnic, racial or religious." The method of used in the content analysis is Entropy Shanon method based on quantitative content analysis. Unit of analysis is concepts (such as sentence, question, practice, and images) related to cited components in the elementary textbooks. The results showed that "Sense of solidarity" components have the most frequency and lowest frequency related to rejection of ethnic, racist and religious discriminations component.

Keywords: Content analysis, elementary school, global citizenship education, peace education, textbooks

How to cite this article:
Baltork MA, Mansoori S, Azad Y. Content analysis of peace education as one component of global citizenship education in elementary textbooks. Int J Educ Psychol Res 2015;1:28-35

How to cite this URL:
Baltork MA, Mansoori S, Azad Y. Content analysis of peace education as one component of global citizenship education in elementary textbooks. Int J Educ Psychol Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2021 Jul 31];1:28-35. Available from: https://www.ijeprjournal.org/text.asp?2015/1/1/28/147463

  Introduction Top

Peace education as an academic field also must be examined. What is peace education? How does it relate to human rights education? What type of violence does the globalized market economy produce? What challenges does it pose for peace educators?. [1]

UNESCO (1999) has taken strategies to encounter challenges in reaching peace, social justice and human security as an educational, scientific and cultural institution of United Nations organization. [2] It is provided in the first article of UNESCO constitution adopted in 1945 that the purpose of organization is to try to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion. [3] And also in Islam invitation to peace is recommended. As Etasam (1997, p. 6) expresses, it is undoubted that no religion like Islam has invited people to peace and avoidance of evil. We do not know any of religions in past or present like Islam that has insisted on creating and establishing security. [4] Koylo (2008, p. 5) also puts that it is ridiculous that Islam is recognized widely internationally with war and hostility, but peace is an integral part of it. [5]

  Peace Education Top

In present time, war and violent conflicts undoubtedly are of the most important challenges of contemporary's communities. Increasing awareness of dangers and inappropriate consequences of such conflicts among people and different communities result in wide efforts and measures of various international organizations, and many resources have been spent on the settlement of such controversies. [6],[7] The most essential factor to solve these issues is education. Lack of education and lack of good management of such phenomena have led to significant and increasing destruction in human lives and has decreased supportive features of domestic cultures, social relations, integration and empathy and has caused clashes and conflicts in national and international societies. [8],[9] Hence, "nonviolence" as a preventive solution, United Nations named 2000-2010 international decade of "culture of peace". [10] In general, it is extremely necessary to deal with the notion of peace from two viewpoints: First, in contemporary world, human communities destiny is intertwined and second, the image of Muslims western societies have drawn in people's minds by all means is a violent and incompatible one. [11] Accordingly, education in this way seems necessary. As the war primarily initiates in mind, defence and peace education should similarly be originated. Such peace should be founded on mental, practical and moral symbiosis of all mankind. [12]

In a world full of clashes and contradictions, the concept of learning how to live together has been proposed as one of the most important issues in education and also as a prerequisite for peace building. Learning how to live together can change people as competent and capable subjects of local and global community.

Udayakummar classified peace education into four kinds:

  • First:Peace education as a criticism of the war. Here, the fundamental view is that peace means lack of war (negative peace)
  • Second: Peace education as the freedom. Here, a new concept of peace is positive peace that counts as a social state which is has been defined as economic independence, stable order, social justice, human rights and well-being
  • Third: Peace education as a learning process. In this kind, peace education is a process in order to reach a mature person
  • Forth: Peace education considered as a life-style movement. [13]

Prasad points out in article "reaching peace education" that real peace education makes human perfect, and this shows the vital significance of the concept. [14] A vital point which is proposed with regard to topics about peace and peace education is that peace trainers have insisted greatly on learning from textbooks, speeches, movies, and stories. [15] However, textbook planning system rarely have designed and implemented an independent textbook planning with the title of peace-oriented textbook program in countries all over the world.

  Effect of Globalization on Education Top

The concept of globalization is vague because of its novelty. Globalization is equivalent to Mondialisation in French. It is an allotropic process that creates mutual dependence among different areas of the world and various aspects of social life in a way that globalization has affected not just economy and social relations, but on cultures and educational systems. Since the human is the subject of education, comprehensive development of humans in various aspects is the main duty of education. Nowadays one of the symbols of globalization effects is its influence on education, advent of learning paradigm and global education. In other words, the effect of globalization on the educational system means a change in the learning paradigm of education, because globalization is able to change textbook planning structure and environment in which educational system exists. [16] According to Kadiver (2005), globalization is a concept that points to either world complexity or heightened awareness of world as a whole or real and mutual dependence to world or awareness of world integration in 20 th century. [17] On the other hand, globalization includes social change in cultural, economic and political aspects. In a brief definition of globalization, waters expresses that it is a social process in which geographical limits are eliminated and its effect on social and cultural pacts and contracts decrease and people's awareness of removing these limits increases. [18]

Toffler believes that education institutions are extremely affected by global approaches, and education should be aligned and in line with social, political and economic changes nationally and internationally. Public attention toward formal educational systems has been drawn more than ever with the advent of 21 th century so that communities would be able to face problems and challenges in a constructive manner with development in this subset and with increasing its efficiency and quality. [19] That is why educational institutions need education in the era of globalization in order for prepares students to be citizens of a global society. On the other hand, according to NaghibZadeh, in area of textbook planning, ignorance of global developments causes school atmosphere to be kept away from students' real lives. It is necessary to create connections between school and real life so that students would perform successfully when facing new circumstances, namely, globalization through gaining skills. [20]

  Globalization and Peace Education Top

Since globalization is here to stay, efforts should be continually made to mitigate its destructive effects. This challenge has been taken up through global education or peace education efforts initiated by people at the grassroots level, in the upper echelon of governments and societies, and by peoples' movements, religious groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and others. Many schools have added global education to their social studies curriculum while others have integrated it into other subject areas. However, greater awareness of and participation in the movement is required, particularly on the part of First World countries. Simultaneously, more education and conscientization is necessary in Third World countries. It has taken centuries to realize the encroachment of globalization into world systems; it may take longer to mollify its negative effects. [21]

Beginning in the 60s, North-based NGOs that worked in the areas of aid and development began to realize that their partnership work in assisting Southern peoples and communities, through people-centered projects, was not sufficient. Equally important, it became apparent, was the need to raise awareness among Northern citizens of structures of global injustice and the role their countries' foreign policies and industries (e.g. trade, transnational corporations, and aid) played in reproducing North-South inequalities - between and within societies. This increased awareness aimed to motivate citizens to take action in solidarity with Third World citizens to transform the structures of injustices and foster a fairer world system. It was in this social context that the movement called development education (sometimes referred to as popular education) Emerged. [22],[23],[24] Development education:

Refers to the teaching and learning processes relating to issues in development (and seeks) to make (people) more aware of the problems of development and to assist in the formation of attitudes and behaviors that will facilitate the constructive transformation of the many relationships between rich and poor countries or (individuals) (p. 5). [25]

Most importantly, development education drew inspiration from the dialogical and conscientization strategies formulated by the well-known Brazilian adult educator, Paulo Freire (1973). Burns (1989) describes Freire's central concept of conscientization in the following way:

It is a uniquely human possibility which stems from the human ability or grasp and expresses the reality in which s/he finds her/himself and simultaneously to transform that reality. Acquiring the "language" to express reality in thought, word and action is a process of becoming conscious of historical and cultural conditioning. Through the realization of the effects of these on individuals and on others, and through a change of position - from passive object to active subject - in relationship to reality, one begins to be able to act to change reality and to acquire a new way of seeing that reality (25, p. 33).

In recent decades, a growing number of critical educators, including those in development education, have argued for a more holistic framework of consciousness-raising through peace education. While the major issues of underdevelopment and global injustice remain central to building a more peaceful world, humanity must also resolve a range of other issues and problems in social, political, and cultural life. Thus, as peace and global educators [26],[27],[28],[29],[30] have argued, development issues cannot be understood when isolated from other problems including militarization, human rights abuses, cultural conflicts, environmental destruction, and personal or inner peace. Peace education - delivered formally in classrooms, informally in communities, as well as in boardrooms - tries to address the globalization issues. Some of its gains, big and small, give us reason to be hopeful.

Human rights, "the fundamental values societies hold to be at the core of human dignity," [31] are guaranteed by the United Nations. Starkey makes this point about the Universal Declaration of human rights:

The advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people…the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom (p. 11). [32]

Yet human rights are often violated in the process and safeguards of modernization, particularly by the practices of class-based injustices, racism, sexism, discrimination, and others. A holistic global education needs to integrate the core issues of human rights, such as gender equity, into the classroom. [33] Similarly, as the young campaigner on child workers Keilburger (1998) noted, dominant development models have exploited the labor of children and violated their rights as children and as human beings. In North and South contexts, hopeful indications of women's rights movements and child abuse prevention movements often surface in newspapers, although the struggles continue. In schools, child abuse prevention programs are included in the health curriculum. Women's centers and income-generating activities, such as co-operatives, are more consistently in place in numerous Third World countries. The ratification by 191 countries of the Convention on The Rights of Children, an international treaty protecting the rights of children signaled an engagement with, and the empowerment of, child laborers, few of whom are normally given access to alternative economic and social resources. [30]

Peace educators today cannot avoid dealing with the effects of war and other consequences of militarization. Massive global spending on weapons and other military technologies clearly diverts valuable resources away from many nations' basic needs. As Floresca-Cawagas and Toh note "peace education motivates citizens to become more aware of the antidevelopment effects of militarization, and hence lobby for the conversion of arms expenditures into programs which satisfy the basic needs of the poor, (e.g. food, housing, health care, jobs, education)" (p. 7). [34] In school, efforts are being made to stop violence. Most recently, Edmonton Public Schools announced a "Zero tolerance campaign for bullying," which is one of the curricular expectations covered in Edmonton classrooms, as well as The Safe and Caring Schools program. Peace demonstrations and peace rallies against wars across the globe-lately against the war in Iraq-are gaining more momentum by the hour. The stand that the Canadian government has taken to not support the United States' invasion of Iraq is impressive. Although new tensions are emerging, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reduction in arms that were accumulated during the Cold War era, the "Walk for Peace," the reconciliation effort in Cambodia, and the bloodless People's Revolution in the Philippines, May all be examples of peaceful responses to physical and structural violence.

There is now widespread consensus among peace, global, and development educators which future development projects must promote sustainability. [35] Environmental degradation and the depletion of resources adversely affect the earth's ecology and thus bring about poor living conditions. Many people are forced to leave their homes when their land can no longer sustain them as a result of destructive environmental practices. "The resulting environmental damage undermines the peoples' abilities to support themselves, furthering the cycle of poverty," CCIC (2003) claims. Peace education also tries to address the issue of environmental destruction, among others, through formal education. For example, the subject of waste management, the study of trees and forests, pond life, and ecology are all topics taught in science classes in elementary and high school in Alberta. On the informal side, environmentally and ecologically conscious groups have been formed throughout the world to protest against commercial logging, mining, damming, and other deleterious activities that destroy the earth. In many Asian countries, laws have been passed that require developers to meet environmental guidelines before roads and tourist facilities can be built.

Development Education is conducted within a peace education framework and centers on issues of intercultural/"ethno-racial" conflicts. Ethnic diversity is found, in some degree in most, if not all, of the world's countries. However, there are increasing numbers of examples of conflicts between cultural groups that have led to ethnic cleansing and genocide (e.g. Rwanda, Bosnia, India, Iraq, and Kosovo). In other cases, people are denied their rights because of the color of their skin. Conflict ensues when a nation's or community's dominant group tries to integrate or to assimilate minority groups without regard for their identity or cultural diversity. Most displaced peoples are poor, and it is minority groups that are often blamed for the country's economic downturn. If globalization is to equitably benefit all cultural and ethnic groups within a society, and around the world, intercultural respect and solidarity clearly need to be developed. With the mobility of world populations that is enabled by globalization, governments, particularly those of Canada and The United States, have sanctioned educational policies and practices that affirm cultural pluralism. They have done so not only to address issues of ethnic diversity, but other sociocultural differences such as behavioral patterns, literacy practices, bodies of knowledge, language use, and cognitive skills. [36] The indigenous people in the Nunavut Territory have been given the opportunity to apply their own way of governance through self-determination. Also in Canada, the Alberta government tries to include aboriginal wisdom in its new social studies curriculum. One of the core values upon which a comprehensive peace education is based on the ideal of global citizenship. Reardon states that:

The value of citizenship calls on us to educate people to be capable of creating a nonviolent, just social order on this planet, a global civic order offering equity to all Earth's people, offering protection for universal human rights, providing for the resolution of conflict by nonviolent means, and assuring respect for the planet that produces the life and the well-being of its people (p. 59). [28]

This idea is further developed by Reardon in relation to the other core value she discusses - the value of human relationships which starts "with interconnections between the human order and the natural order and emphasizing a human order of positive relationships…that make it possible for all to pursue the realization of individual and communal human potential" (28, p. 59). There is an urgent need for peace education so that globalization problems such as the violation of human rights, poverty, environmental destruction, and structural violence can be alleviated and eventually eliminated. Peace education is necessary in order to resolve global issues, to preserve the environment, to safeguard human rights, and to ensure peace within and between countries. In a time of economic interdependency, world citizens have to learn to work co-operatively in culturally diversified settings. Peace education can assist in the development of social harmony, equity, and social justice as alternatives to tensions and wars.

The empowerment component that lies at the heart of peace education coaches citizens to exercise their social, political, and economic rights. [34] It helps people to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will ideally free them from hunger, from abuses and exploitation, and from structural violence as they take greater control over the direction in which their lives are headed. [29] Global education, or peace education, puts "great emphasis on participatory and experiential modes of learning, which foster both pupil autonomy and the development of critical thinking skills. Effective learning is seen as arising out of affirmation of each pupil's individual worth, the development of a wide range of cooperative skills, the ability to discuss and debate issues, to reflect critically on everyday life and events in the wider world, and to act as responsible citizens," observes Hicks (1993, p. 20). Citizens are empowered when they are given the chance to participate in the decision-making processes, especially on those that directly affect them. [37]

Finally, a holistic model of peace, or global, education is ideal, especially one that DePass et al. (1991) describe:

To develop a "partnership between professional development educators, … schools and the broad range of social movements…. What is required of partnerships is mutual respect and common recognition of common important goals. When the right to life and viable community is threatened anywhere, by nature, social, or political cause, we have a common goal and a common responsibility to protect and support those who are threatened (pp. 1-2). [38]

Peace education must not only involve school personnel, but also the community, private citizens, governments, business and everyone else since for it to be effective, it must be taught holistically.

  Research Questions Top

Question 1: How much is the "loving others" component considering in the elementary textbooks?

Question 2: How much is the "Rejection of ethnic, racist, and religious discriminations" component considering in the elementary textbooks?

Question 3: How much is the "Individual varieties recognition" component considering in the elementary textbooks?

Question 4: How much is the "Responsibility to others" component considering in the elementary textbooks?

Question 5: How much is the "Forgiveness" component considering in the elementary textbooks?

Question 6: How much is the "Sense of Solidarity" component considering in the elementary textbooks?

  Methods Top

One of the increasingly methods in the last decade is content analysis. Berelson defines content analysis as a research technique applied in the observable and regular description of the content of obvious connections and whose purpose is interpretation. [39] According to Sarouhkhani content analysis is one of the most important and applicable research methods and it can truly be said that every researcher must use it in some way. [40] Therefore, in the present study content analysis has been used to investigate peace education variables in elementary textbooks including Persian literature (reading and writing books), social studies, sciences, spiritual gifts, and Quran. Unit of analysis are concept (such as sentences, questions, practices, and images).

Stages of content analysis in Shannon Entropy technique (technique used in this paper) are:

First stage: Obtaining matrix of frequencies of the frequency chart, normalized, according to the following equation:

Second stage: Calculating information load of every part and inserting them in related columns using the following equation:

Third stage: Coefficients of significance of each part (J = 1, 2… n) has been calculated using their information load. Every part that has more amount of information load is more significant. To calculate the coefficient of significance the following equation has been used. [41]

  Results Top

The research results showed that the most attention related to "Sense of Solidarity" and lowest attention to "Rejection of ethnic, racist, and religious discriminations" component. More details are in the following [Table 1]:
Table 1: Regarding the components of peace education in the textbooks

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According to the finding of the study, 3467 pages of textbooks of elementary course in total, 38 cases of solidarity, 8 cases of forgiveness, 18 cases of responsibility toward others, cases of individual varieties recognition, 3 cases of rejection of ethnic, racist, and religious discriminations, and 21 cases of loving others were seen in these textbooks as presented in the above table. According to this table, it can be expressed that the greatest amount of attention has been paid to solidarity variable while the least amount of attention has been paid to the variable of the rejection of ethnic, racist, and religious discrimination. Further, this table shows that in spiritual gifts and Persian (let's read and write) textbook most attention has been paid to solidarity and in sciences textbooks the least attention has been paid to this variable with no mention of that. According to forgiveness variable, the most frequency is evident in spiritual gifts and Quran textbooks, 3 instances, and the least frequency is evident in social sciences and sciences with no instances. In Persian textbook (let's write), the most amount of attention has been paid to responsibility to others with 12 instances and the least amount of attention has been paid in Quran and sciences textbooks. Regarding variables of individual varieties recognition, largest frequency which is in fact the only frequency among other textbooks is shown to be in Persian textbooks (let's write) with 4 instances while in other textbooks no mention of this variable has been made except for social studies. Persian (let's write) textbooks has noticed the rejection of ethnic, racist, and religious discrimination the most while other textbooks have not noticed this at all except for social sciences with only 1 instance. With regards to "loving others" variable the greatest frequency was found to be in Persian (let's write) textbook and the lowest frequency was observed in "sciences" and "spiritual gift" textbooks [Table 2] and [Table 3].
Table 2: The amount of research variables in pages of elementary textbooks

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Table 3: Coefficient of significance for research variables in pages of elementary textbooks

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The above table shows that in all pages of elementary textbooks the highest coefficient of significance is related to "solidarity" variable while the lowest coefficient of significance is for the variable of "rejection of ethnic, racist, and religious discrimination."

  Conclusion Top

Peace is rooted in human's minds. Every person living in a healthy environment can get acquainted with life values, love others, respect animals, and learn that he has not the right to hamper life from other people. [42] In many declarations peace maintenance or hindering war have been vividly expressed. United Nation has a fundamental commitment to create peace and has taken measures through media, educational system, etc. On the other hand, educational system has been considered to be among the most important tools in the creation of peace. [43]

Actually, peace is the main prerequisite for the survival of human, generations, and nations; that is, human survival as a unity is dependent on peace creation and maintenance. In this way, appropriate education is of great importance. Current world is mostly a violent one that has made some people hopeless about human development. Without implementing necessary education, violence and war increase, which are reasons for devastating human ethnicities and others' lives on earth would continue. In other words, in a world full of clashes and contradictions in which reformations are taking place due to globalization, peace education can make people informed of the concept of peaceful symbiosis. As a result, we would see perfect human beings all over the world because, as it was mentioned before, real peace education can make perfect human beings. So, according to the effects globalization has on all aspects of human lives making its own clashes, promotion of the universal notion of nonviolence, peace, and equality can create a peaceful living among people and this is possible through presenting peace education.

In this sense, Diuyee! has delineated that schools can be taken into account to serve as a basis for dynamic changes one of which is the tragedy of war. He declared that "It is people's attitude which is crucial to the promotion of peace among nations, economic security, use of political tools in developing freedom and equality." In creating a peace education plan, Diuyee has offered an educational plan based on attitude development. Promotion of the idea of patriotism through social sciences, geography, and history textbooks is assumed to be as a bridge to other cultures. [44]

According to the results obtained from this study, it can be stated that with regards to the first research question, that is, "how much is the amount of attention to solidarity in the textbooks?," 38 instances of this variable was found with information load of 0.810 and coefficient of significance of 0.069. Further, results illustrate that the greatest amount of attention and the highest coefficient of significance are for this variable. According to the findings obtained from the second question, "how much is the amount of attention to forgiveness in the textbooks?" 8 instances of frequency were found with information load of 0.672 and coefficient of significance of 0.032. For question 3 "how much is the amount of attention to the responsibility toward others in the textbooks?" it can be pointed out that 18 instances take account of that. Concerning question 4 "how much is the amount of attention to individual varieties recognition in the textbooks?" 5 instances of frequency are seen with 0.354 of information load and coefficient of significance of 0.027. Obtained results from question 5 shows that 3 instances have taken this variable into consideration. Information load for this variable is 0.0298 and the coefficient of significance is 0.21. As regards "how much is the amount of attention to loving others in the textbooks?" as the last research question, 21 instances of attention have been paid to this variable. Information load is 0.578 and the coefficient of significance is 0.054.

Generally speaking, it is worth mentioning that a bulk of studies has so far been done to investigate peace. A number of researches have also take accounts of textbooks in different level of education in last years, each adopting different variables. Also, nowadays the content of textbooks are different from those in the past. The present study has aimed at investigating the variable of peace in current textbooks. With regards to this and those presented previously, one can point out that beside other measures; textbooks are among the crucial strategies. Since, however, in educational system of this country textbooks are of great importance due to book centeredness, content analysis of these textbook to reach at our purposed is of great significance. On the other hand, today's world is a violent one and it has made some people hopeless about human development. Wars and violence increase which are reasons for devastating human races and others' lives on earth would remain unchanged in case there is no sufficient education and this notion seeks increasing attention to peace education and to confront with the previously posed issues.

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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]


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