The PeaceBridge Project™ is Pacific Buddhist Academy's answer to the senior year experience.
PeaceBridge is borne of the observation that "senioritis" is not a motivational ailment the national culture traditionally ascribes to high school seniors on the cusp of adulthood but rather a problem of educational program design. Most schools ask seniors to stay put in the same four walls environment a final school year, and they exert significant energy to fixing them in place. PBA does the opposite, by addressing the absence of meaningful work by directing PBA seniors' efforts where they most naturally need to go: into the community. The PeaceBridge Project also addresses PBA’s mission to nurture students’ courage to make peace, particularly as the school focuses on graduating students who exhibit the ethical and skillful application of their actions.
PeaceBridge is an interdisciplinary, inquiry and problem-driven curriculum that engages PBA seniors in meaningful work responding to the needs of the community.
Through the consideration of essential questions based in large themes – e.g., truth, beauty, justice, community – and the application of specific methodologies, seniors will develop a personal and group ethos and practice peace based in this ethical foundation.
Learning goals of PeaceBridge
The primary learning goal of PeaceBridge is to teach seniors how to match ethos to action.
- Seniors will acquire the courage, know how and thinking skills live independently and ethically.
- Seniors will learn and practice multiple approaches (methodologies) to the production of knowledge and wisdom.
- Seniors will be able to: identify peace problems in their communities; analyze impediments to peace arising from those problems; devise and carry out solutions to those peace problems; and assess / re!ect on their processes and outcomes.
Animating questions of PeaceBridge
- Are there tensions between individual fulfillment and communal fulfillment?
- How do we make real in our communities what we believe should be real?
- How should people best live?
- What does it take to create lasting happiness? Is there a tension between happiness and the good? Or between the good and the beautiful, or the just?
- What is the role of the beautiful?
- How can I judge whether something is good, just or beautiful?
- What is the role of my actions?
- What responsibilities do I have to myself? To my family? To my community?
- How do I live responsibly in this time and place?
- What are my core interests? Given these, what opportunities might I pursue in college and career?