Peace by PEACE’s curriculum revision team has worked very hard to ensure that the topics we discuss and the approach we take is aligned with the Ontario Curriculum (Grade 4-6). Our multidisciplinary program covers key aspects of the Language, Health and Physical Education, Arts and Social Studies curriculum.
Peace by PEACE provides students with opportunities to understand how the use of language in interactions with individuals and communities could affect their ability to sustain positive connections with others and resolve conflicts that they might face on a regular basis. One such example is shown in the use of a technique called “I-statements” which is not only an exquisite implementation of sentence structure in interpersonal interactions but also a great way for students to improve their diction. Students are provided with ample opportunities to engage in a critical analysis of ideas relating to conflict resolution and bullying behaviour, which effectively incorporates students’ different learning styles. Students are provided with opportunities to engage with the idea of how different points of view in any particular situation could alter individuals’ interpretations of what the situation entails. This is a skill that is imperative for developing effective reading, writing, and analytical skills.
Peace by PEACE places a strong emphasis on effective communication, including good listening skills, which is at the center of active conflict resolution. We emphasize the learning of skills and strategies that allow students to understand and communicate their feelings, opinions and desires in a variety of contexts and for various audiences. Non verbal communication is also considered. Our curriculum enables students to reflect on the effectiveness of their own communication and listening to aid in the development of their meta-cognitive abilities. While effective communication is discussed and practiced throughout the curriculum, Unit 3 is devoted entirely to this theme. Students are provided with weekly opportunities for group discussions as well as for role-play and the preparation of skits.
Health and Physical Education
Peace by PEACE strives to equip students with communication, anger management, negotiation, and conflict resolution strategies that they can apply when dealing with various situations in their daily lives. Such strategies give students the confidence to deal with potentially threatening online or in person situations appropriately to not only ensure their personal safety but also to improve their social interactions and mental health. Students are also encouraged to reflect on a central Peace by PEACE concept titled “Choices and Consequences,”, which is primarily focused on the positive and negative effects their actions can have on others. Unit 7 in particular invites students to reflect on the concept of “Choices and Consequences” within the context of responding to bullying behaviour. More recently we have emphasized the effects of cyberbullying on students as it is a growing issue within the classroom and beyond.
Peace by PEACE always encourages students to consider different perspectives in any particular situation. While students are encouraged to think critically about situations in different contexts throughout the program, the concept of critical thinking is formally introduced in Unit 8 in which different forms of media are analyzed and discussed. Students also reflect on what it means to be an engaged member of their community and how they can work to make their communities stronger, with special consideration given to diversity. Discussions on various social issues such as bullying and stereotyping allow the students to understand and investigate the complexity of these issues.