Education and learning

Authored by: Patricia A. Maulden

Routledge Handbook of Peacebuilding

Print publication date:  January  2013
Online publication date:  February  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415690195
eBook ISBN: 9780203068175
Adobe ISBN: 9781135082130


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War and violence can break down established socio-cultural norms, values, and practices, normalizing aspects of violence in everyday and community life. When peace arrives, these non-violent concepts of legitimacy require review and perhaps reconceptualization or re-learning as part of building and sustaining peace. Education represents a process of individual empowerment, fostering the progression from one cognitive or affective state to another in a bottom-up rather than a top-down progression, requiring shifts in perceptions and an inner transformation. Change at the individual level can affect the family and household as well as the community levels. Empowerment, however, is socially-embedded agency and choice inextricably linked to values which reflect the wider community context (Snyder 2011: 182–3). That said, education and learning increase human capital or knowledge and cognitive skills as well as allowing individuals to use non-cognitive or affective skill, for example, attitude, motivation, and talent to enhance their productive capacities (Nübler 2000: 48–51). As they do so, they develop self-confidence, a sense of value as a contributing community member, and hope for the future, overriding the wartime doubt, hopelessness, and despair.

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