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Open Minds and Open Skies

Open Minds and Open Skies

A paper submitted for International Conference on Research Issues In Education For Peace And Development
Khalsa College Of Education, GNU, Amritsar
March 20-23, 2003

Education for Peace & Development is an extremely delicate subject and requires utilization of decades of thoughts and experimentation. Therefore, exploring research issues in Education for Peace and Education for Development becomes extremely pertinent. It is a valuable opportunity and an appropriate forum to think together & plan together.

Education for peace and development has come to play a vital role in leveraging further advancements in any human endeavour. Living in an interconnected world that is fast emerging into a global society primarily on account of scientific and technological break through is adding new perspectives about the process of education. The importance of education for peace development is felt increasingly which is evident from the growing demand on education at all levels. Not only education helps in peace & development, the surrounding social milieu too brings about concomitant and inevitable changes in realm of education, they respond to each other. The success of any educational programme depends on the development it brings and that can be attained only under peaceful environment – peace at micro level and peace at macro level. Education is both end & means for peace. Therefore, it becomes imperative and pertinent to understand the reciprocal interactionist view of education, peace & development and sensitise to relationship between education, peace & development.

The present scenario of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation is witnessing a transitional phase giving rise to complexities ad conflicts both at micro (personal) and macro (community & universe) levels. The changes can be brought by dominant knowledge and not by exercise of social power. For issues pertaining to peace and development everyone would look towards education to find solutions to adapt to changes emerging. This renders enormous responsibility on education – the catalytic process for moulding characters and minds of individuals. Education is conceived as an integral part of individual & social system therefore, it must primarily respond to the requirement. It can no longer remain conventional & static but should transform itself to progressive, dynamic & responsive system. Issues pertaining to peace & development hold a cynosuric importance in a world, which is fast emerging as a global village. Change is everywhere & all around. Not every change is in a positive direction. Certain changes are desirable others are inevitable. With globalisation becoming a reality change is permeating in education too. Therefore, even goals & objectives of education for peace & development require scrutiny and renewal, visualized in light of the changes in future. The advancements due to technological break through and information & communication revolution have led to the refinement of one of the crucial indices of a matured society and that has heightened the level of awareness of people. New thinking needs to be applied to examine research issues in education for peace & development. Research issues in education for peace & development should just not indulge in textual analysis but to identify and critique interventions and practices after analyzing the political, economical & cultural origins. The major challenge in education for peace & development lies in the design of strategies. There is no universal path to development. Each society must finds its own strategy (Friberg & Hettne, 1985). But these strategies must bear in mind the past & present to focus on how to transcend the negative aspects of the realities. Development’s primary focus on economic growth has ignored other crucial, yet non-material aspect of human need. Scholars have debated on research issues relating to education for peace and development but it must be realized that issues pertaining to value, purpose and meaning of education run parallel to those of peace & development.

The paper explores issues pertaining to educational practices for peace & development. However, the exploration cannot begin without first clarifying our understanding of key concepts, and how these meaning compare and contrast with others use and define them. The most obvious are three concepts: Education, Peace & Development. Definitions of education, peace & development vary not only with definitions of the terms that comprise it, but are also complicated by assumptions about related area of study & practice. Most readily one agrees that education for peace and development is concerned with the role of education for bringing peace at micro and macro level, at individual & social level. Of course, there are substantial differences in focus, emphasis & scope.

Peace – absence of anxiety and unrest, harmony between people, freedom from war.
Education – to draw out, to bring out latent innate potentialities of an individual and
make him a fully realized self
Development – grow & bring to a more advanced stage, improve the value.

Terminology is a problem within the rubric of education peace, & development and related areas, and varies enormously from text to text. The definition and boundaries of all these overlapping inter disciplinary areas have become even more fluid and nebulous in the past decade. The greater polarization along ethnic, religious and nationalistic lines, increased transnationalization, greatly increased information of marginalized groups and diminishing resources have challenged & changed the issues & questions. When the subject matter with which the scientist deals consists of human beings trying to carry out their purposes the social responsibility of anyone who pretends to be an expert obviously becomes very great indeed. In this context it becomes necessary to consider certain fundamental issues like the nature of human beings the nature and purpose of education and role of education for peace & development.

Humans have been described as child of God. All religious have defined humans in one or other as child or representative of God. Kahlil Gibran, in his famous poetic work “The Prophet” told the parents that “The child is through you” implying that the child is from God. The major implication of accepting this proposition, human as child of God, is that every human being has the potentiality of achieving godliness & immorality. Leonard Ore has also argued upon this proposition in his work ”Breaking the Death habits”. Despite the potential immortality and godliness human have developed the habit of dying also they have included animal instinct and behaviours. Therefore, human beings are positioned from continuum of animality & godliness at the two end of continuum. The animality is indicated by the instinct & processes of acquisition and godliness by instinct & process of distribution. Every human being has the potentiality to move from towards the ultimate destination – Godliness. This implies that nature of human will be determined much more by the values rather then by the amount of information one has mastered. Even from the angle of modern western philosophy says, Transactional Analysis, the values & impressions of the early years of life determine the core of human behaviour.

From the paradigm on the nature of humans portrayed above the purpose of education becomes comparatively clearer. It is to facilitate the movement of an individual from his/her relative position in the continuum from animality and towards Godliness. Among the various definitions on the purpose of education, Swami Vivekanand’s contention represents the best in this paradigm- “manifestation of the perfection already in man”. That “already in man” (humans) is the Godliness, because only the God is perfect and complete. Individuals can be placed taxonomy of educated ness.

Informed-----> Cultured -------------> Emancipated ----------> Self actualized

The purpose of education is to move an individual from level of information to self-actualisation. Super imposing these stages with the earlier contention of purpose of life as movement from animality to Godliness, it construes that self – actualization at the top end merges around godliness concept. The proposed construct can also be checked against the Delor’s paradigm of four pillars of education.

- Learning to know
- Learning to do
- Learning to live together &
- Learning to be

Being informed & cultured is nearer the concept of learning to know and learning to do. Emancipation is social context is the key to learning to live together and self-actualization corresponds to concept of learning to be. This would imply that purpose of education is much beyond studying history, economics, and mathematics. It is the process of developing the wholesomeness of the person – integrated human development, (combined one whole) where the central core is the values & perceptions, and information & knowledge provides the outer edge for construction of values. How does one impart that kind of education? Such education can be more by imbibing than by reading & listening. Issue of imbibing certainly brings into light the crucial role of teachers. As in the process of education, the information and knowledge disseminating extension agent is “Educators in family & School.” The teacher exerts a powerful influence on pupils through actions and attitudes. Hence the challenges is to find methods for providing holistic education with requisite depth to all. Any aim of education largely depends on the contribution made by teachers. It is the future teachers coming out of the portals teacher education institutions who will largely influence the educational system. One could hardly argue with the assertion that education depends on acts of communication. No educational goals can be achieved with absence of communication. Education is a communicational activity (Salomon, 1981).

The thesis realistically approaches the issue and proposes an Instructional Package In Effective Educational Communication (CARE – Communicative and Responsive Education) for teachers to collaborate efforts in generating peace and fostering development through education. The logical implication is that education must aim at establishing respect, trust and affirmation in students to reflect critically on their own experience and identities. The committed and best efforts of educators can make that happen. The educators – the principal repository, producer, disseminator and transmission belt of all forms of knowledge is the central element in development of human personality. The thesis evolved is based explicitly on this premise and explores the possibility hopefully that when knowledge and education are the tools for breeding religious fanaticism and terrorism, why can’t the same be the strategies for generating peace and development. Individual educators have a considerable degree of control on how they structure their interaction with culturally and individually diverse students. Although there are many constraints and influences on how educators define their role, ultimately they have choices in the messages they communicate in classroom to promote peace and foster development.

Construct of Effective Educational Communication

Effective Educational Communication is a process of creating meaning(s) in the mind of another (one individual stimulates meaning in the mind of another) whereby meaning is consistent with the intended purpose. It involves entire learning climate including totality of the personality of teacher, the endowments and receptivity of students, their backgrounds, personal schemas, their knowledge state, attitude, extraneous and intraneous influences.

Components of Effective Educational Communication

The Components of Effective Educational Communication are stated, as they are observable in the behavior of the teacher.

Following are the components of effective educational communication.

1. The teacher is fair and impartial. Operational behavior - The teacher’s behavior is consistently unbiased.

2. The teacher encourages. Operational Behavior - The teacher behavior is inspiring and motivating

3. The teacher is genuine and warm. Operational behavior- Teacher is friendly in manner and tone of voice to all pupils.

4. The teacher generates interest. Operational behavior - The teacher creates a happy situation so that pupils express a liking for class and subject. She is dramatic, generates excitement, is entertaining and enthusiastic.

5. The teacher is trustworthy. Operational Behavior - The teachers who are perceived as secure and kind. They care about child’s welfare.

6. The teacher has sense of humor. Operational Behavior - The teacher conveys the idea that learning is fun, interesting, amusing, punctuated with laughter and still reaches intended outcomes. It reaches the intended outcomes.

7. The teacher is efficient. Operational Behavior -The teaching has working skill and is self disciplined.

8. The teacher is responsive. Operational Behavior - The teacher is responsive to the needs of learner.

9. The teacher is reflective person. Operational Behavior - One who is imaginative and well rounded person of many interests of wide interests in different fields.

10. The teacher has balance of mind. Operational Behavior - The teacher is emotionally controlled.

11. The teacher models the values. Operational Behavior - The teacher is a specimen of cultural and social values.

12. The teacher has positive mental attitude. Operational Behavior - Teacher’s behavior towards students & profession is positive.

13. The teacher can resolve interpersonal conflicts. Operational Behavior - The teacher effectively resolves interpersonal conflicts.

14. The teacher has good communication skills. Operational Behavior - The person who is a teacher has good communication skills.

Instructional Package for Communicative And Responsive Education (CARE)


- To develop a clear perception of process of effective educational communication (EEC) emphasizing role of EEC in teaching.
- To make teachers aware of barriers in EEC.
- To develop in Teachers the ability to discriminate between effective and ineffective communication situations.
- To inculcate in them positive attitude towards profession and students.
- To develop in Teachers the ability of effective interpersonal relationships with students.
- To develop better communication skills.
- To develop in them responsiveness and situational flexibility.
- To develop in Teachers the ability to apply Effective Educational Communication in various contexts and situations.
- To inculcate in them an insight of their own communication behavior while communicating with students.

The critical analysis of current scenario indicates emerging areas to be tackled by teacher education. The CARE package is no panacea for culminating peace and development through education but is definitely a step in the direction. Through this package the teachers shall make students more self assured, confident, secure, objective, unbiased, free of any influence – a fully self actualized individual and hence “Open Minds”. Such a mindset paves way for environment of transparency and openness reducing suspicion and distrust – and hence “Open Skies”. The path to peace at micro (personal) and macro (community and globe) is mapped.

Education and hence teachers ‘Blossom Human Excellence’ but ‘human excellence’ not with the perspective of breeding competition in the society giving rise to anxiety unrest and intra & inter personal conflicts but to step up individual’s own perfection helping an individual to achieve peace at micro level. The mission of education is to enable each of us, without exception, to develop talents to the optimum and realize creative potential, including responsibility for one’s own life and achievement of one’s personal aim. One can live together in PEACE in global world only if one can live together in communities, in families and at personal level where one naturally belongs.

Synthesizing our own insights paves way for new directions in educational theory and practice for peace and development. The reconsideration has become obvious since the balance sheet of human endeavor and achievement of the gone century do not build enough confidence. Enormous achievement in human knowledge during the gone century has destroyed more humans and civilization than resurrecting human life to a higher plane.

An attempt to untangle the contested & overlapping meanings of these terms and the area of study and practice they signify has been made. A case for integrity and value of education for peace & development has been discussed threadbare. Old views of the field are no longer appropriate. Yet, as long as development projects are carried out education for peace & development will take place. Planned yet self-reflexive education, accounting for mistakes of the past, will remain crucial to the relative success- on going transformation, of peace and of development.


Mc Ewan , Elaine K. (2002). 10 Traits of Highly Effective Teachers , California : Corwin Press
UNESCO Report (1996). The Major Project of Education in Latin America & the Caribbean , Bulletin 40,Santiago
Zehm J. Stanley & Kottler A. Jeffrey (1993) . On Being a Teacher : The Human Dimension, USA: California
http://www.icpd.org/development_strategies/Developing Human Resourcefulness.html

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