The Vilamoura International School (CIV) presented, on the 10th, 11th, and 12th of February, at the IV International Congress of Pedagogy, in Braga, the results of a research project underway in the Kindergarten in the context of Education for Peace.
The meeting was organised by the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the Braga Regional Centre, the Catholic University of Portugal, the Pontifical Gregorian University, and the University of Deusto, and counts, amongst others, with the partnerships of the Centre for Philosophical and Humanistic Studies and the Foundation for Science and Technology.
“This conference aims to provide an opportunity for the presentation and discussion of work and research on the place and role of Education in the promotion and implementation of social, cultural and political justice, as well as human rights in a critical and transforming perspective.” It gathered many university researchers from Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Italy, Lithuania, Angola, Mozambique, education professionals from pre-school, primary and secondary education, and personalities from the national and international political scene.
In the conference, in which Nobel Peace Prize winner Ramos Horta participated, and was moderated by Professor João Duque, Ramos Horta proposed "a more committed investment in the fraternity, in solidarity, in the creation of truly democratic political projects."
The communication "Education for Peace: the recognition of goodness in an open and multicultural educational environment", presented by the Vilamoura International School, resulted from research that involved all kindergarten teachers, music and English teachers, librarians, technicians and assistants, students and their families. This research arises under the motto of the Educational Project "Educating for Kindness". It aims to answer the initial question: "How can the educational environment promote an education for Peace?"
The results of the research being carried out in the kindergarten, in a multicultural educational environment, where pupils and families from 24 different nationalities live together every day, clearly show that language and cultural matrix are not a barrier to peace and that the open educational environment, promoting autonomy, responsibility, respect, mutual help, peer cooperation between all those involved in the educational process is an inspiring example for the children.
The transfer of learning to the family was also visible through terminology and concrete actions, such as greater empathy and caring for others or care for nature and animals. Therefore, it is concluded that, as Thomas Lickona argues, children's capacity for kindness is born with them. However, the teams have found that it is necessary to cultivate it throughout life and from a very early age to reap the fruits in future society.
Invoking the wisdom of Gandhi: "There is no path to Peace. Peace is the path", so the school has an essential role in the transformation of society.