peace education is
Social criticism and social change
in the field of education and training with the aim of reducing violence. It is a contribution to the emancipation of individuals and violent groups. It enables people to recognize and analyze violent relationships and to work on reducing them, as well as to consider alternatives and to implement them step by step. Peace education makes sense and is realistic as part of an overall strategy for peace policy and culture - as Education for a culture of peace. However, it is not a matter of adding a peace-pedagogical component to the existing education and training, but of redesigning education and training in such a way that they are no longer an element of a culture of war and violence, but serve peace.
Peace education is therefore not only an important pedagogical field of work, but also a sub-discipline in its own right - a fact that has become common knowledge at least since the days of "critical peace education" in the 1960s. She holds an important place in the professional association for peace research, IPRA. Nevertheless, there are a number of chairs for peace research in the entire German-speaking area, but not a single one for peace education. But transdisciplinary cooperation within multidisciplinary peace research is needed to achieve its goals - research for to achieve peace, not just about peace.
Peace education has many fields of work that also overlap with other political pedagogies, for example with Global Citizenship Education, which is presented here separately for reasons of clarity.
Since the early 1980s, my peace education work has gradually developed in various fields and in cooperation with various institutions and, especially since I moved to the University of Klagenfurt in 1987, it has also become more professional (peace education dissertation Pedagogy of the Other).
A few important fields of work should be highlighted here, they are all linked to my activities in other fields such as peace policy, Alps-Adriatic or German didactics.
Teacher training and further education
That was (and in some cases still is) a mainstay: seminars for teachers in Austria, Germany, but also in Switzerland, Italy and Luxembourg; for student teachers, especially in the context of German didactics; the EURED course (see below) for all of Europe; Peace education inquiries within the framework of the ZFF (Center for Peace Research and Peace Education at the University of Klagenfurt) and much more
Alps-Adriatic Peace Network
This loose cooperation of peace groups from Italy, Slovenia, Austria and finally also from Croatia formed the framework for cross-border joint seminars on peace education for teachers from Austria, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia (1988, 1991, 1992, 1993), creating a new transnational perspective was introduced; documented in the book The new Europe is growing from below (see publications); Participation in the establishment of the "peace school" in Gorski kotar in Croatia from 1993 (see: https://www.friedenskooperative.de/friedensforum/artikel/ein-alter-mann-als-friedensstifter or the field of work Alps-Adriatic).
Alps-Adriatic Alternative and European Youth Academy
The association “Alpen-Adria-Alternativ. Association for Peace, Human Rights and Intercultural Cooperation" (Graz and Villach, 1990-2000) mainly carried out intercultural learning and peace education at the Villach location, in particular the "European Youth Academy" (1993-2001), a cooperation project of schools from East and and Western Europe. The work of the individual passages and projects is in several issues of the journal alpe-adria documented. A complete overview can be found in the book Education for intercultural understanding. The Handbook of the “European Youth Academy” (see publications below). Another important activity was the theoretical and practical work led by Bettina Gruber Municipal political youth participation, which as a result also had the establishment of a youth council in Villach (1996/1997).
The Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution (today the Austrian Center for Peace ACP) in Stadtschlaining has been a place and a partner for peace education work since it was founded. I had three opportunities to participate:
- As speaker and organizer of peace education events in Stadtschlaining
- As co-editor (together with Arno Truger) of the publication series “Peace Education Concrete. School practical handouts for peace education" (1993-1999) https://www.aspr.ac.at/top-navigation/publikationen/publikationen-bis-2014/friedendenspaedagogik#/
- As Lecturer/guest professor at the “European Peace University” (epu) based in Schlaining on the subject Peace Education and Culture of Peace.
With the support of the two Klagenfurt professors of education, Dietmar Larcher and Peter Gstettner, the international research project "EURED - European Education as Peace Education" (2000-2003), for which I was the scientific director, was able to settle at the University of Klagenfurt. One result was the book Peace Education in Europe (see publications, https://www.waxmann.com/, Table of contents: http://d-nb.info/96792667X/04).
A follow-up project was the university course “Human Rights and Peace Education in Europe” (2004-2006), which was also based in Klagenfurt and was officially recognized by UNESCO. Please refer:
The UNESCO / EURED course – overview:
The EURED Teacher Training Program's Peace Education: An Overview.
Center for Peace Research and Peace Education (today: Peace Education)
With the founding of the center at the Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt and the employment of scientists, the possibility for longer-term and systematic peace education was created for the first time in Austria. Numerous projects testify to this and my own research and publication activities have also increased significantly since then (see list of publications). The installation of the university course Global Citizenship Education (see this work area) was also only possible through the establishment of the center. (https://www.aau.at/erziehungswissenschaft-und-bildungsforschung/arbeitsbereiche/friedensforschung-und-friedensbildung/)
Within the framework of the ZFF, there was also a stronger intertwining of peace education and political education. From 2006 to 2010, the ZFF was one of the supporting institutions of the university course in political education, which was held in cooperation with the Danube University Krems, whereby the ZFF introduced a peace policy and peace education focus for the first time.
My main areas of focus in the field of peace education:
- Philosophy and concepts of peace education
- Connection of peace education to related fields such as political education, global citizenship education and intercultural learning
- Peace education and culture of remembrance, especially in the Alps-Adriatic region
- Peace Education and Literature
- History of Peace Education
Especially in a discipline that is relatively weakly anchored institutionally like peace education, international networking is a very important factor for development. The following were or are particularly important for me:
- German Peace Education Networks
"Educators for Peace" in the 1980s to 2000s; Institute for Peace Education Tübingen, then the Peace Education Working Group of the AFK (https://afk-web.de/cms/arbeitskreise-der-afk/arbeitskreis-friedenspaedagogik/) and the North German network for peace education (https://netzwerk-friedenspädagogik.de/)
- Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education
This network, launched by Betty Reardon and Cora Weiss at the Haguer Peace Conference in 1999, brought together a small group of peace educators from all continents for consultations, events and projects in the first phase (overview of this first phase: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17400201.2013.790250). In the meantime, the network has grown considerably and maintains an extremely varied and informative website (https://www.peace-ed-campaign.org/) and also organizes the annual seminars of the International Institute for Peace Education/IIPE (https://www.i-i-p-e.org).
- PEC of IPRA
The Peace Education Commission (PEC) of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) is the most important international exchange forum for peace education, especially at the biennial congresses. (http://126.96.36.199/SkyIsland/peacesig/PEC/)
The PEC also has the magazine Journal of Peace Education (JPE), I was a member of the ad-hoc committees for the preparation of the JPE (first number 2004). https://www.tandfonline.com/journals/cjpe20
Everyday and Systemic Racism - Peace Education and the Toils of the Plains. In: Susanne Umbach/Christoph Pinkert (eds.): Practicing peace - bridges and breaks in thinking and acting. Frankfurt: Newsreel / Dr. Kurt Debus Verlag 2022, 86-100. ISBN 978-3-7344-1378-0.
Helmolt Rademacher/Werner Wintersteiner: Peace Education and Peace Education. In: Wolfgang Beutel, Markus Gloe, Gerhard Himmelmann, Dirk Lange, Volker Reinhardt, Anne Seifert (eds.): Handbuch Demokratiepädagogik. Frankfurt: Debus/Wochenschau Verlag 2022, 395-404. ISBN 978-3-95414-185-2.
Betty Reardon - Pioneer of feminist peace research and peace education. In: Die Friedens-Warte, Vol. 94 (1-2) 2021, 109-123. ISSN 0340-0255.
Werner Wintersteiner/Jan Brousek/Daniel Grafenauer/Daniel Wutti: Liberate the future from the violence of the past! Motives, goals and results of the PRAA project | Osvoboditi prihodnost od nasilja preteklosti! Motivi, cilji in rezultati projecta PRAA. In: Jan Brousek / Danijel Grafenauer / Werner Wintersteiner / Daniel Wutti (editors | right): SLOVENIA | AUSTRIA: Liberating Remembrance – Osvobajajoče spominjanje, Dialogic processing of the past – Dialoško obravnavanje zgodovine. Klagenfurt/Celovec: Drava 2020, 13-34 | 35-53. ISBN 978-3-85435-948-7.
Próxima estación: esperanza. How a piece of democracy is emerging in the fight against the climate crisis. In: exercise book 178/2020, 120-128. Innsbruck: StudienVerlag. ISBN 978-3-7065-6026-9.
Peace education, peace research, peace action - reflections on a complicated relationship. In: Critical Pedagogy. Interventions and Perspectives, Issue 7 (2020): Pedagogy of Peace in Peaceless Conditions. Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag Hohengehren 2020, 45-60. ISBN 978-3-8340-2069-7.
Militarism as a peace education challenge. In: Peace Forum. Journal of the Peace Movement 3/2020, 32-34. ISSN 0939-8058. https://www.friedenskooperative.de/friedensforum/artikel/militarismus-als-friedenspaedagogische