The Promise of Peace Studies: An Effective Weapon for Today’s Challenging South African Classrooms?

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Thabo Israel Pudi
Vuyisile Msila


Research is beginning to show that school violence is becoming a global concern. Schools in various countries experience some form of violence. Long before they go to school, children learn that the society solves its conflicts and its problems through violent means. In many schools learners soon internalise the violence that they witness daily in their classrooms and school playgrounds; they grow up suspicious, angry and violent. The society influences what happens inside the school premises simply because schools are the microcosm of society. This review article explores the potential of peace studies in South African classrooms. Currently, the curriculum does not emphasize this discipline, although in the past few years violent incidents have been happening in schools. In this paper the authors approach the topic by firstly looking at the historical significance of violence in South Africa and its bearing on the present society. Secondly, they investigate important philosophies that have a potential to enhance peace in schools. South Africa is unique in that the apartheid legacy played a role in breeding a violent society. This paper argues that there is much need for policies that would directly address the challenges linked to violent behaviour in schools. Conscientious and proactive educators can use peace studies for example, to address the violent youth culture. Peace studies can also curb violent behavior sometimes displayed by teachers upon learners.

Peace studies, Ubuntu philosophy, youth violence, schools

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How to Cite
Pudi, T., & Msila, V. (2012). The Promise of Peace Studies: An Effective Weapon for Today’s Challenging South African Classrooms?. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, 2(2), 127-138.
Review Article