Curriculum and Instruction

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

Spring 4-25-2012


Children are combatants in nearly three-quarters of the world's conflicts and have posed difficult dilemmas for the professional armies they confront. There are moral and strategic arguments for limiting the use of child soldiers. When conflicts involving children end, experts say the prospects for a lasting peace are hurt by large populations of psychologically scarred, demobilized child soldiers. Parts of Africa, Asia, and South America risk long-term instability as generations of youth are sucked into ongoing wars. There is a need to teach about maintaining peace in post-conflict classrooms. The author proposes a lesson plan to develop themes for peace education using child-soldier narratives and critical incident questions. The teacher will supervise and give continuous and authentic feedback to student projects. The paper contains material on peace education, child-soldier narratives, and critical incident questioning. Students read background information on a selected country, a child- soldier narrative, and other relevant material. They work collaboratively to develop themes on peace education by responding to critical incident questions provided by the teacher. The teacher will analyze these responses and identify peace-education themes that emerged from them. The students complete a final project – a poster. The teacher will use the emerging themes to prepare future lessons on peace education.