Education for Peace

Created on: 12 Dec 2022 | Last modified: 09 Nov 2023

In 2022, the EIS approved an updated and expanded policy on Education for Peace.

The need to develop children and young people’s capacities as responsible citizens and effective contributors to society is central to Curriculum for Excellence. Education for Peace1 aims to develop an understanding of the causes of conflict at all levels and to encourage non-violent conflict resolution.

Children and young people must be aware of where, when and how they can contribute towards change. Change for the better can only begin through conscious recognition of the problem, and an equally conscious commitment to work towards the solution.

There are several definitions of Education for Peace, and, in some ways, they show the evolution of the term to include interpersonal relationships, community and environmental sustainability. The EIS is not defining ‘Education for Peace’ nor supporting any single definition as it is not its role to do so. This paper draws attention to three definitions of Education for Peace:

  1. Education for Peace is defined by UNICEF as “the process of promoting the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to bring about behaviour change that will enable children, youth and adults to prevent conflict and violence, both overt and structural; to resolve conflict peacefully; and to create the conditions conducive to peace, whether at an interpersonal, intergroup, national or international level.” This definition is also used by ETUCE.
  2. The Hague Appeal for Peace and Justice for the 21st Century published in 1999 stated: “A culture of peace will be achieved when citizens of the world understand global problems, have the skills to resolve conflict constructively; know and live by international standards of human rights, gender and racial equality; appreciate cultural diversity; and respect the integrity of the Earth and each other. Such learning can only be achieved with systematic education for peace.”
  3. Education International has published its policy;

“Peace Education is integrated comprehensive education focusing on life skills covering human rights, democracy, international understanding, tolerance, non-violence, multiculturalism, and all other values conveyed through the school curriculum.

“Education is a key tool in combating poverty, in promoting peace, social justice, human rights, democracy, cultural diversity and environmental awareness. Education for peace implies an active concept of peace through values, life skills and knowledge in a spirit of equality, respect, empathy, understanding and mutual appreciation among individuals, groups and nations.

“A culture of peace must take root in the classroom from an early age. It must continue to be reflected in the curricula at secondary and tertiary levels. However, the skills for peace and non-violence can only be learned and perfected through practice. Active listening, dialogue, mediation, and cooperative learning are delicate skills to develop.”

Recent work in Education for Peace stresses the wish to live sustainably within the natural environment and that living peacefully with others involves the principles of equity and social justice.

The EIS supports Education for Peace.

Download the EIS Education for Peace Policy 


Education for Peace Policy Paper  - Pages 2 - 10

Appendix A
How Scotland’s Schools and CfE Promote Education for Peace - Pages 11 - 25

Appendix B
Mapping Professional Learning Opportunities for EIS members on Education for Peace - Pages 26 - 28

Appendix C
Resources to support the delivery of Education for Peace - Pages 29 - 32