Promoting a culture of peacemaking: peace games and peace education


Kamperidou, I. (2008). Promoting a culture of peacemaking: peace games and peace education. International journal of physical education, (4), 176–187. Hofmann. Copy at


One in two Europeans is xenophobic and one in three is racist, according to a survey conducted by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC). Following the riots in France, officials in Brussels had to concede that after 50 years of immigration policies the assimilation of immigrants has not been achieved. In recent years we have seen many manifestations of racial intolerance and violence at football matches, converted into stages for regional and identity conflicts. The impact of globalization on racism and xenophobia has generated international discourse concerning the need to integrate Peace Education in schools and communities around the globe. This paper examines the holistic education model, namely the holistic school-change model and experience of the American Peace Games Organization (Peace Games), an NGO that supports and inspires a new generation of educators, volunteers and activists in becoming peacemakers through curriculum, social action, service-learning activities and civic engagement. Subsequently, it identifies the role of public education as an incubator and laboratory for democracy, taking into account the first Peace Education Seminars recently held in Greece, where a core group of peacemakers—regional trainers from Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Bosnia— combined their experience and expertise. The purpose of the seminars, organized by Women’s Initiative for Peace (WINPEACE), was to introduce the concept as well as the process of sensitizing key stakeholders and decision-makers on the importance of integrating Peace Education into the public school system and the surrounding community. This paper argues that Peace Education should be incorporated into future reforms, in educational policies and practices— integrated into all subjects, classrooms, schools and communities, and not only. Furthermore required is international- interdisciplinary research and collaborations with organizations and

institutions— such as Peace Games, Olympism or Olympic Education (peace education) and the IOC as well as activities such as those of games and sports, specifically the power of play— in order to raise awareness concerning the core values of peace, i.e. promoting multiethnic understanding, respect for ethnic diversity, cross-cultural cooperation, gender equality, non-violent conflict resolution and democratic decision-making, while fostering intergenerational connections and intergenerational interactions. Ultimately, networking or partnerships between international organizations, institutions, universities and NGO’s could prove invaluable, in view of today’s increasing multi-ethnic diversity, multiculturalism and rising violence in public schools and sport arenas. Incontestably, the ‘globalization of peace’ through Peace Education requires allies and networks..


Keywords: collaborative games, a holistic school change model, multicultural awareness, non-violent conflict resolution, ethnic diversity, civic engagement, active agents, ageappropriate curriculum, service-learning activities, “Peacemaker Projects”, cross-cultural understanding, intergenerational activities/projects, an ethos of peacemaking, Peace Education/Pedagogy.

..............................when citing: Kamperidou, Irene (2008). Promoting a Culture of Peacemaking: Peace Games and Peace Education. International Journal of Physical Education (IJPE). Issue 4/2008: 176-188.