In the broadest sense, the
What you are seeing here today is the tip of the iceberg. In addition to our focus on continual development and improvement of our exhibits, displays, children’s interactive materials and library resources, the Museum is also developing a far-reaching educational strategy for engaging local constituencies in direct learning about the history, potential, and immediate benefits of non-violent approaches to conflict management. We plan to offer a wide variety of classes, workshops, lecture and film series and forums for public dialogue, working in and with area schools and other interested partnering institutions, as well as here at the Museum itself.
We believe there are three important educational components to creating a culture of peace—personal inner peace and serenity, awareness of peaceful alternatives to violence in our daily interactions with others as well as on the larger social scale, and skill building in the areas of emotional intelligence, empathy and compassion, and conflict management/resolution. Our educational strategy will address each of these three components in a variety of creative programs, from meditation and centering classes, to lively presentations of the social impact of historical non-violence movements, to classes and workshops teaching the skills of non-violent conflict management…and much more.
We hope to reach and work with a broad base of constituencies, including:
v Area school children of all ages
v At-risk youth on the streets and in detention and social service settings
v Domestic violence victims and their victimizers
v Youth facing choices about military service
v Families, Workplace groups and Church groups dealing with conflicts
v Interested Clubs and Civic Organizations
v Service-learning students from area high schools and colleges
v Teachers, Parents and Social Service workers
In addition to classes, workshops, lectures and film series offered at the Museum itself, we will deliver educational programs through:
v On-site workshops in schools, workplaces and other organizations
v Addresses to school assemblies and social sciences classrooms
v Summer camps and Parks programs
v Sunday school classes
We are very fortunate to count among our volunteers, Debbie Wolf, who holds a Masters degree in Pastoral Studies and has many years of experience teaching her own unique curriculum for conflict management skills at all educational levels. Her Peace-Abilities ™ program centers around a simple, yet powerful “working metaphor” for how feelings not only get us into conflict with one another, but can get us out of conflict if we learn to manage them appropriately. Using small, soft vinyl balls, Debbie artfully demonstrates for young and old alike, the destructive power unmanaged feelings can have, and the even greater power—for healing and reconciliation—they can have when skillfully managed. The balls provide the basis for an effective program of discussion, learning and skill-building for teachers and students alike.
The Peace-Abilities ™ program has been used with
great success in public and private schools from elementary to college
level in the
The Virtues Project ™
We are also delighted to be able to offer the services of a trained workshop facilitator in the critical area of Virtues Education. Jackie Hagan, a Montessori teacher, is preparing to offer this unique workshop at the Museum, teaching parents and teachers the skills of using the language of Virtues in working with children instead of the language of power.
Developed by Canadian psychotherapist and educator Linda Kavelin Popov, The Virtues Project ™ has been featured on The Oprah Show and in its own 13 episode TV series, “Virtues: A Family Affair”. It teaches character-developing activities and practices for all ages, inspiring such virtues as Respect, Cooperation, Compassion and Justice. Teachers and parents are trained to empower children to make moral choices, deal with problems and resolve conflicts through their own inner strength. Children learn to lift each other up instead of put each other down. The result is that adults and children alike learn to resolve conflicts with compassion and respect instead of angry words and violence.
Peace through Creative Expression
Dayton’s own Frank Swift, poet and artist, has developed a workshop for children, which encourages them to exercise their own, individual creative expressions as they explore the concepts, emotions and practices of non-violence. Rather than travel the well-worn path of teaching through a single medium, Frank honors the children’s natural diversity of intelligences and talents by offering them a variety of techniques and media for expressing their ideas and feelings about conflict. He uses music, movement, poetry, drawing, and other spontaneous modes of creativity to capture the essence of non-violence and help children incorporate it in body, mind and spirit.
This workshop will run simultaneously at the Museum with parent workshops in The Virtues Project ™ so that families can enjoy a morning or afternoon at the Museum together. The separate workshop groups will come together for a period at the end to share their experiences and responses.
The Spiritual Paths to Peace
In January 2006, we will launch our first
lecture/discussion series with monthly presentations by
How can you help?
With your interest and participation—We’re just getting started. So far, we’ve been fortunate in attracting the participation of some very dynamic, experienced and committed educators. But we can always use new input and feedback, as well as the active participation of those who have experience and expertise to offer as trainers and curriculum developers. If you have ideas or skills to offer, or a way to help us connect with potential educational partners, please speak to Kate Johnson or email her.
With your financial support—We’re proud of the programs we’ve been able to put together in such a short time. But to develop the Museum’s overall education vision and strategy is going to take time, consistent commitment from volunteers, and a working budget to support our activities, materials and human resources. Please consider making a generous financial pledge to the Museum today!