It is imperative that transformative educators understand how education can be manipulated to serve political and authoritarian agendas and to recognize its subtle manifestations in order to reshape education for the purposes of fostering peace, cooperation and acceptance. Bush and Saltarelli (2000) assert that in its extremes, education can have “two faces”. It can be used as a tool to stimulate political unrest, foster hatred, justify violence and promote inequities; or in the case of peace education, facilitate the reconstruction of fragile states. Yet peace education programs continue to be criticized for their lack of rigorous evaluations largely by those demanding adherence to a positivist paradigm. This paper puts forward the conditions and a methodology that will increase the likelihood of program success and suggests that peace educators need to measure the social action taken by program recipients as well as gains made in knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Author Bio(s)

Michelle Savard is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Education at Concordia University. Her doctoral research examines to socio-political, historical, cultural and gendered structures that are inhibiting the successful social reintegration of formerly abducted young mothers in Northern Uganda. Her interests include peace and conflict studies, the radicalization of youth, peace education, critical pedagogy, and social justice. She was a co-editor for a Special Issue of the Journal for Contemporary Issues in Education and for three years she has assisted in the coordination of an international annual symposium on Teaching about Extremism, Terror and Trauma held at Concordia University in partnership with Nova Southeastern University.


peace education, confict, comparative education, curriculum, post-conflict studies, marginalization, non-violence

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