Summary of the project
“Preserve peace, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security” (Article 21(2), Lisbon Treaty) is one of the EU’s core values and it is a transnational issue which involve all countries of the world. “The Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign And Security Policy” have clearly established links between education, conflict and peace. Higher education is not exempt. Indeed, education plays an imperative role in peace building; if a university student (learner) is educated he/she not only understands and possesses academic knowledge, but also acquires moral values, norms, etiquettes, proper code of conduct, decency and effective ways of communication; education will enable him/her to find out means to resolve the conflicts in an effective manner without being aggressive. Through an effective peace building education, students become more effective communicators, more engaged citizens, and learn to think critically about the relationships between local and global issues. These skills are all vital to building peace in a world full of conflicts.
However, much of the current educational provision is offered piecemeal, disconnected from other relevant learning opportunities. There is no clear guidance for students on the skills and competencies they should acquire and no easy way for them to combine courses strategically. Indeed, students who wish to learn about peacebuilding and develop their skills in this area can turn to a range of learning providers. These include formal educators, such as universities, and nonformal educators, such as NGOs. Collaboration between these two learning providers is often challenged by differences in pedagogical perspective, underpinning ethos and teaching methodology. So, the immediate consequence is that these educators are disconnected from one another, with a particularly huge gap between formal and non-formal education providers.
Following, DACG will provide the educators new innovative tools and competences to develop competences and enhance students’ knowledge by using an integrated learning approach, which will encourage university students to question, reflect and increase their decision-making abilities, grounded in ethical and peacebuilding values.
All of this will be achieved through integrating two different teaching (formal and non-formal) methods and partners experiences. Indeed, the DACG project will consider formal and non-formal education as a part of a lifelong learning process and do not separate these different methods, stressing the necessity of an integrated approach for peacebuilding education. Indeed, formal education is usually criticised for lacking interactive methods for learning and that the one directional process limits the involvement of the student in the overall learning process, while in contrast, non-formal education methods promote active learning with participation of the student within the knowledge building process. Therefore, the integration of both approaches is vital for a complete cognitive experience by the student (learner).