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What is Peace Education?

Art or Science – A Closer Look at the Master's in Conflict Management and Resolution

Thursday, January 24, 2019TOPICS: ChangemakerFaculty and StaffResearch

Today’s world is turbulent. Growing conflicts around human rights, systemic flaws in socioeconomic structures, and conflicting priorities across cultures contribute to a rocky-at-best world. But it does not have to be. 

The solution: Peace Education.

Peace education aims to end cycles of violence and shape a more just world through innovative teaching and ideas. Individuals who study peace education are courageous, idealists, and innovative. They research conflict intently and formulate thoughtful solutions. Peacebuilders influence conflict at the policy level and empower society to move towards more just and equitable decision-making. 

The goal of peace education is simple: peacebuilding. But the means of achieving the goal can be more complex. There are four key concepts at the Joan B. Kroc School at USD. We have our own style of peace work. 

Key Concepts of Peace Education

To better understand peace education, we can divide the work into four main concepts. These concepts or goals are deeply intertwined with each other. When evaluated at the individual level, you can better understand the intense work being done to influence the larger goals of peace making. 

Nonviolence and conflict resolution

Without resorting to violent tactics, including physical, psychological, or influential violence, peace is achieved. Peace education is rooted in non-violent tactics to influence change and reach your goals. 

Human rights and social justice

Peacemakers understand that violence is directly tied to inequitable human rights. You seek to restore justice by creating equitable rights among all people. 

Intercultural communication and understanding

When societies lack cross-cultural understanding, tensions may arise between different sects of people. Agents of peace aim to bridge the misunderstanding across cultures to instill empathy and trust between conflicting peoples. 

Global citizenship and sustainability

Societal turbulence and conflict can stem from disruptions in food source, climate change, or resource scarcity. Peacemakers address these global issues and their influence over peace. 


Grow Peace Building Skills at Kroc School

Students at the Kroc School immerse themselves in innovative changemaking and peacebuilding. As a global hub in social innovation, the Kroc School has been rooted in transformational learning and driving change since 2007. 

Our mission is to equip and empower changemakers to shape peaceful and just societies through transformational learning and knowledge generation that drives change. Our core values that are critical to the success of our mission and vision are: academic excellence, compassion, curiosity, diversity, empathy, global awareness, innovation and practical experience.

Programs and Certificates Offered

The two-year, interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Peace and Justice (MAPJ) is designed to transform passion into change. Students are trained as practitioners with the theoretical grounding, skills and tools to address social justice challenges and to promote and advance peace.

The Master of Arts in Social Innovation (MASI) is a nine-month program that equips and empowers students to advance as social entrepreneurs and social intrapreneurs. 

The 15-month Master of Science in Conflict Management and Resolution (MS-CMR) equips students to anticipate conflicts, engage with conflict actors constructively and develop effective approaches to navigating the intra-societal conflicts that we're all experiencing. 

The only program in the U.S. that combines the graduate studies of peacebuilding and human rights advocacy with legal training, the Juris Doctor and Master of Arts in Peace and Justice is a four-year concurrent degree program designed for those who seek to advance social justice using both law and policy frameworks.

This graduate-level certificate program in Mediation and Conflict Resolution trains students across a myriad of disciplines, providing the tools and skills necessary to effectively mediate conflict in any setting.


Kroc’s Approach to Peace Studies

The Kroc School offers academic programs for the purpose-driven peacebuilders, social innovators and positive change makers of today. 

With several top-ranked programs and the only dual degree of its kind, the Kroc School is home to two renowned institutes, world-class faculty practitioners, immersive learning experiences, seed funding and research opportunities and a growing, global alumni network. 

Kroc values and inspires: 

Experiential learning and active engagement to immerse budding peacemakers in experiences that will equip you for a life of creating change. 

Dialogue and critical thinking skills to perpetuate difficult and heavy conversations across cultures and groups. 

Participatory methods and inclusive practices to engage you deeply in your understanding of the world. 

Community-based learning and fieldwork to challenge you to dive into grassroots work and policy influence. 


How Does Peace Education Impact Us?

When you engage in peace education, you begin to see a change in nearly every aspect of your life. The influence of peace making begins at the personal level and radiates through communities and systems. 

On the personal level, you begin to see the world differently and the relationships you build with others see changes. From your very first class at Kroc, your perspective shifts and already you’re on your way to becoming an engaged changemaker. 

As more understanding changemakers enter the world, the communities and systems you are involved in see change as well. The main goal of peace education is to affect social and systemic change through deep understanding of peace building. 

When societies experience turbulence, opportunities are created for peacebuilding roles and careers. For example, as corporations, governments, and communities put more emphasis on creating just systems, the role of peace education will become increasingly more important than it already is. 


The First Step Towards Peace Education 

At the Kroc School, we strive to become a microcosm of our extremely diverse world because we know that it’s only through representative perspectives that we can generate solutions that work for all of us. Join us.


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What kind of peacebuilder are you? Take our quiz to find your potential path. 

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