Betty A. Reardon – USA

Linked with ‘What It Means to “Salvage U.S. Prestige” in Iraq‘, with Globalization and the Eradication of Poverty, with The harm at home and abroad, with U.S. Changing Course In Iraq?, and with Human Rights as Education for Peace.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

She says: “The ultimate goal of peace education is the formation of responsible, committed, and caring citizens who have integrated the values into everyday life and acquired the skills to advocate for them”.

She says also: “The conceptual core of peace education is violence, it’s control, reduction, and elimination. The conceptual core of human rights education is human dignity, its recognition, fulfillment, and universalization. As I have argued elsewhere, human rights is most readily adaptable to the study of positive peace, the social, political and economic conditions most likely to provide the environment and process for social cohesion and non-violent conflict resolution. It is the contention of this essay that education for peace should be primarily perscriptive, and that human rights offers the most appropriate route through which to move from problem to prescription in all the various approaches to peace education. Positive peace, conceptualized by the peace research community to extend the definition of peace beyond the limitation avoidance or absence of war to include issues of justice, poverty, and freedom, is the concept of peace that is the foundational principle of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The inextricable relationship between human rights and peace is articulated in the very first sentence of the Preamble to the Declaration, …recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.” Since the core and seminal document for all current standards of human rights, to which all members of the United Nations are assumed to assent, acknowledges this principle, surely education for peace should also do so. Certainly, both peace researchers and activists and human rights scholars and advocates can agree that violence in all its forms is terms an assault on human dignity”. (See on pdhre.org).

Betty Reardon - USA one rogné redim 85p.jpg
Betty A. Reardon – USA

Books: Comprehensive Peace Education, Educating for Global Responsibility (Paperback), Sexism and the War System (Paperback).

She works for the Peace Education Center at Teachers College (Columbia University, and the Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education.

Betty A. Reardon (born 1929) is acknowledged worldwide as a founder of peace education. For over 40 years she has developed curricula, taught courses, led teacher-training workshops, and given countless talks to grassroots meetings, university symposia, and international conferences. She founded the Peace Education Center at Teachers College (Columbia University) and has been centrally involved in organizing internationally for peace education. Now retired from Teachers College, she continues to travel widely and to teach about peace education in many settings.Betty Reardon was born June 12, 1929, exactly the same date as Anne Frank. She was brought up in Rye, near New York City. At that time Rye was a small town where everybody knew everybody – not the high-priced New York suburb it has become. She attended Rye Grammar School and then Rye High School. The same group of students went all through school together. World War II was an important influence on her thinking. She wrote an anti-war essay in 5th grade and comments: “The teacher thought it was funny. It was a kind of satire, but I was damn serious.” Even then, she believed that there must be an alterative to war.

Other key influences were, as she says, “my parents, especially my mother, one of about two Democrats in town. She was President of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and got the school to give free milk and food to everyone, so kids who did not have much at home in the middle of the Depression got something to eat. She was a feminist without knowing it and an outspoken antiracist, when it was not the norm in the community.”

Rye, like many other such communities, was very racist. Betty writes: “I got my first lessons in racism observing kids in my class. I had some wonderful teachers, one of whom taught us the realities of racial injustice and ‘internationalism’. She spoke about the newly formed UN and took us to sessions at Flushing Meadow, where the General Assembly met before World headquarters were built. I knew that these were the kinds of things I wanted to be involved in. I chose my college because it had a chapter of the United Federalists (though it disbanded before I got there).”

These influences were her inspiration to become a staunch advocate of peace and human rights. She became a teacher, wanting to educate students about social justice and international understanding. During the 1950s she describes herself as a “mild mannered school teacher of junior high school. I did not come back to peace activism until the 60s. My work and the Vietnam War threw me into it completely.”

In 1963, Betty started working in peace education full-time as Director of the Schools Program with the Institute of World Order. She was interested in critical inquiry into war as a system. She understood the need for significant change in people’s mindsets. During the early years of the Vietnam War this was difficult in the USA, as many people supported the war. Betty was subject to “official observation” as most peace movement people were.

Betty was among the first to start substantive work on the theory and curriculum of peace education and she is still engaged in this effort. She developed courses and led teacher-training workshops. She published numerous books and articles on peace, women, peace education and related topics. She founded the Peace Education Center at Teachers College (Columbia University) and used this institutional niche to organize the International Institute on Peace Education that first met in 1982. Betty served as Founding Director of this Institute and brought together peace advocates and educators from around the world under its auspices, as well as through the Peace Educational Centers Network. Thus she has promoted the international solidarity of peace people and organizations.

Betty holds a doctorate in education from Columbia University and a master’s degree in history from New York University. Her insights and perspectives have shaped the field of peace education in the USA and also globally. She has taught at universities in several countries and has broad experience in education at all levels, both in schools and community settings. During her long career, Betty has taught at all levels – in schools and colleges – and addressed issues of human rights, the environment, development, and gender in her courses. She brings to her specialization in peace education a comprehensive perspective that integrates issues of human security, sustainable development, human rights, ecology and gender.

Betty served as Director of the Peace Education Center at Teachers College (Columbia University) for many years. In 1999, she was a founder and the first Academic Coordinator of the Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education, now operating with centers and network members in several regions. This campaign seeks to introduce peace education into all schools and non-formal educational settings throughout the world.

After 40 years of experience in the international peace education movement, Betty Reardon is recognized worldwide as a leading theorist and designer of pedagogic materials and processes in this field. She received the UNESCO Honorable Mention Award at the Peace Education Prize Ceremonies in Paris in 2001. She has been a visiting professor at a wide range of universities in the U.S. and abroad; has served as a consultant to several UN agencies and education organizations and has published widely on peace, human rights education, and women’s issues. Major influential publications include: Learning to Abolish War, Educating for Peace in a Gender Perspective, and Sexism and the War System.

Betty argues that women’s visions, intelligence, energy, and experiences are indispensable to the peace process. She writes: “Women, whose experience of conflict has been long and varied, particularly as peacemakers in the family, see the best ways to resolve conflict as those that help to meet at least some of the concerns of all conflicting parties, what has come to be called ‘win-win solutions.’ This familial or kinship model of conflict resolution, in which maintaining constructive human relationships is a primary concern, seeks fairness and reconciliation rather than victory or retribution.

Her book, Educating for Human Dignity, designed for teachers and teacher educators, is the first resource offering both guidance and support materials for human-rights education programs from kindergarten through high school. Betty Reardon writes, “The ultimate goal of this kind of education is the formation of responsible, committed and caring planetary citizens, who have integrated these values into everyday life and acquired the skills to advocate them.”

Elsewhere she notes, “Thinking about how the world might be and envisioning a society characterized by justice are the essence of conceptualizing the conditions that comprise positive peace. If we are to educate for peace, both teachers and students need to have some notion of the transformed world we are educating for.” “We must change ourselves and our immediate realities and relationships if we are to change our social structures and our patterns of thought…. We cannot achieve change unless we can think it.”

Teaching students to make ethical choices means fostering the ability for “nuanced ethical thinking in the light of fundamentalism.” Dr. Reardon makes an optimistic analogy: “Peace education” can be to the contemporary university what “liberal arts” has been to the traditional university.

Betty Reardon has given herself fully to the field of peace education. She has mentored and inspired countless people and groups through her teaching, workshops and publications. Her commitment has inspired many others to be passionate about peace work and peace education and to dedicate themselves to this mission. Some of those she has influenced have established peace education centers in their countries and others have taken peace work/education as their life’s endeavor. Now retired from her position at Teachers College, Betty continues to travel widely and to teach about peace education in many settings. (Read all on 1000peacewomen).

She is Consultant to the TCPEC and Founding Director Emeritus. She is recognized world wide as a leading theorist, and designer of pedagogic materials and processes in peace education. She was the recipient of the special Honourable Mention Award in Paris by UNESCO at the Peace Education Prize Ceremonies in 2001. She was the initiator and the first Academic Coordinator of the Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education. Having taught as visiting professor at a wide range of universities in he U.S. and abroad, she has 40 years of experience in the international peace education movement and 25 years in the international movement for the human rights of women. She has served as a consultant to several UN agencies and education organizations and has published widely in the field of peace and human rights education, and women’s issues. (Read all on Columbia.edu).
In addition to her nearly fifty years of professional work in peace education, Reardon has for more than thirty years been an activist in the international women’s peace movements. Many of her peace education publications such as “Education for a Culture of Peace in a Gender Perspective” have focused on the essential relationship between gender equality and peace. She has as well been active in the disarmament movement and it the development of disarmament education, as well as the human rights movement and in the development and dissemination of human rights education. (Read more on humiliation studies).

As an academic at one of the world’s leading universities, Dr. Reardon has contributed to the literature and pedagogical development of her field to such an extent that many view her as one of the most important and influential educators of our time. The scope of her research and direct action has taken her around the world to contribute directly in advancing regional and global educator networks, in-service programs, disarmament, human rights, human security and gender-based education initiatives, and global citizenship education programs. She brings to her specialization in peace education a broad and comprehensive perspective that integrates into the field issues of human security, sustainable development, human rights, ecology, and gender. With over forty years of experience in the international peace education movement and 25 years in the international movement for the human rights of women, it is no wonder that governments, international agencies, regional and local bodies have called upon her expertise. (Read more on Volvo for life awards).

Women have something a prior claim to equality because they represent half the human race and because no matter what the society, they have been excluded from power and from privilege, whether they are of the upper classes, or lower classes, and that’s true in Western society, Eastern society, North and South. (Read more on Peace Diaries).

links:

TC Record, the voice of scholarship in Education;

IMDb;

Towards a Women’s Agenda for a Culture of Peace;

Betty A. Reardon’s Curriculum Vitae.

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