Peace Studies program

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Peace Studies is an interdisciplinary area of education relying on a number of social sciences and humanities, as well as the experience of lecturers and participants.  It seeks to understand the cause of conflict, develop approaches to prevent and stop violence, war and serious human rights violations and build sustainable peace – fair systems and societies strong enough to resist violence, inequality and injustice.

Peace Studies of CPS are an area of mapping, analysis, questioning and dialogue of the past, present, and potential conflicts in society. Peace studies educate and empower citizens and other actors to recognize and transform the imbalances of power within society through interdisciplinary work on the understanding of social inequality and encouraging social solidarity i.e. lasting and sustainable peace. Peace studies have been conducted at CPS as an informal educational program continually since 1997 and are still a unique program of that kind in the region.

Peace studies value both theoretical foundations and the direct experience in activist efforts for social change equally. They support the paradigm that learning involves the experiences of participants and encourages participation, in the process of learning as well as in the society.

Peace studies are a place of preparation and contribution to the institutionalization of Citizenship Education in Croatia.

The educational program of Peace studies is comprised of over 200 hours of lectures, discussions, presentations, public forums, mentored work on projects and volunteering opportunities. Lectures usually take place during weekdays, in afternoons (Tuesday, Thursday after 17:00) and one Saturday per month.

Methods and Types of Learning: Peace studies utilize a combination of diverse methods enabling the participants to get involved, exchange experiences, and participate. The empirical and participative approach to learning assumes each individual comes with certain experience and knowledge, that the knowledge is among us and it is important to distribute it both among the participants themselves, as well as two-way between the lecturer and participant. Lectures are combined with practical and empirical studies through a broad range of methods: analyses of publications and media content, discussions, presentations, work in small groups, role playing and other empirical methods, brainstorming, attitude barometers and many others.

Guest speakers are experts from appropriate fields who combine their theoretical expertise with direct activist experience and motivation to participate in changes.

The program of Peace studies 2013/2014 is comprised of five mutually complementary areas/modules:

Basic terms and understanding conflicts, Human rights: theory and practice, Peace building and human safety, Combatting racism and xenophobia, Social solidarity.

Several lessons within each area contribute to understanding said area from different aspects as well as to connecting it with other areas

Participants of Peace studies are “restless citizens” who want to actively participate in the building of a society with less violence and more equality and justice.

 

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