Institut für Friedenspädagogik Tübingen e.V.

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Institute for Peace Education Tübingen e.V.

Since its establishment in 1976 (first called “Association for Peace Education”), the Institute for Peace Education (ift) has consistently pursued the goal of bringing the problems of peace and conflict into the forefront of public consciousness. Our work tries to bring the results of scientific study – in particular peace research – combined with practical work (which is relevant for peace education) into the public eye. Peace education is based on the conviction that attitudes and behaviour can be changed through education, and they have an influence on political decisions and structures. Peace education, as it is developed and practiced by the Institute for Peace Education, is also a means to further individual participation in society and politic processes. Peace education sees the responsibility of the individual, and considers how it affects political processes. For its work in peace education, the Institute for Peace Education was awarded the outstanding German “Theodor Heuss Medal” in 1982, and in 1999 an honourable mention for the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education. More recently, the Institute received the "Chosen Place" award in 2007 by the Deutsche Bank as well as the WinWinno award in the same year.

The Institute for Peace Education critically examines inter-personal, social and international conflicts in order to offer possibilities of peaceful settlements of conflicts. The traditions and history of non-violence are thereby substantial components to achieve these goals. The philosophy of peace education means that different, and even opposite points of view, are freely discussed without prejudice. The Institute for Peace Education prepares and carries out discussions between different groups that sometimes do not even trust each other (for example soldiers and conscientious objectors).

For many years, the Institute for Peace Education has been making an important contribution to the expansion and development of international campaigns through public education. The international campaigns against nuclear weapons, atomic tests and armament exports and the international campaign against the spread of land mines have been supported by the publication of educational materials. The Institute of Peace Education has also expanded public awareness of the UN Agenda 21 and the global campaign “Overcoming violence” by the World Council of Churches. Many internationally active Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) are important co-operation partners in this endeavour. Over 100 publications with well over 100,000 copies, several films, and CD-ROMs have been developed and published by the ift.

In 1988, a member of the executive committee of the Institute for Peace Education participated in the United Nation’s third special session in the General Assembly on the topic of disarmament. The representative was the only NGO Delegate from the German Federal Republic with the right to speak at the assembly. Since the year 2000, the entire work of the ift has been integrated into the UN-Decade of the culture of peace. The Institute for Peace Education has also designed museum exhibits for the “European Museum for Peace” located in Schlaining, Austria.

International reconciliation and communication are constant topics at the Institute for Peace Education. In addition, the ift supports school partnership programs with schools in other countries, conducts discussions during international youth conferences, and maintains close co-operation with human rights and relief organisations. Over the last few years, the Institute has held international, peace-educational conferences. The Institute for Peace Education had advisory status within the structure of an electronic network for young people in former Yugoslavia and is in the publishing circle for a Peace Education magazine in Denmark.

For several years the Institute for Peace Education has taken advantage of new possibilities and opportunities for the expansion of peace and peace education through new electronic media. Over the Internet (http://www.peace-education.net), the ift is available worldwide. The website is very popular (approximately 30,000 hits per week). In 1989, the Institute for Peace Education created an extended international database directory, the first tool of its kind in Germany regarding peace, and the Institute has continually updated it every two years.

A central task for the ift is the promotion and development of the educational program “Global Learning.” The Institute for Peace Education is greatly involved with this new educational tool, developed together with Non-Governmental Organizations. In 1998, the Institute for Peace Education completed a crucial contribution toward this project: widening the possibilities of new electronic media for global learning with the development of a CD-ROM entitled “Global Learning.” This important task was completed together with the international NGO “Bread for the World.”

The Institute has tested new educational possibilities in the field of peace education in connection with large international sports events. The use of Fair-Play-Education is not only apparent in the behaviour of participants in a sports match, but it also concerns the relations between societies and countries all over the world. On the occasion of the world championship soccer tournament in 1998, a campaign was started entitled “Fair Play for Fair Life,” in co-operation with “Bread for the World.” An action newspaper found large interest in the project (250,000 copies were distributed). Further materials were prepared for the 2000 Olympics and for the World Championship Soccer Tournament in 2002.

In view of the escalation of hostilities toward foreigners and of right-wing extremism in Germany, the Institute for Peace Education submitted several recommendations to handle increasing racism and violence. The possibility of training people for specialized civilian peace service in crisis and war regions throughout the world plays an important role in the work of the Institute for Peace Education. Curricula for training these people were developed and manuals were published. The Institute for Peace Education places great value on the influence of the media. Intensive projects, in co-operation with Media Watch, are dedicated to the critical analysis of reporting about international crises and wars. The results were published as didactical guides for educators.

The Institute for Peace Education was established as a recognised peace-educational service institute. The programs and curriculum are freely available and used by people from all educational backgrounds and by other interested parties. The ift maintains an office in Tübingen (since 2002, in the new “Georg-Zundel-House of the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Studies”). In addition, the ift works with groups of experienced specialists from science and research, education and media, as well as electronic design. All publications and media are published in our own publishing house. All of our work is financed through grants and through member contributions.

One of the most important tasks at the Institute for Peace Education is to unify various and international approaches towards peace like education for development, intercultural education or peace education. In this way, the ift contributes new visions of global education and learning in the 21st century. These visions also include a recollection of past values. The German poet and writer Bertold Brecht is rightfully quoted in the preamble of the statute of the Institute for Peace Education: “The memory of mankind for endured suffering is amazingly short.”

Institute for Peace Education Tübingen, Corrensstr. 12, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
Phone: 0 70 71 / 920510
Fax: 0 70 71 / 9205111
E-Mail: kontakt@friedenspaedagogik.de
Internet: http://www.peace-education.net

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