The practice of peace comes in many forms, from simple gestures such as a deep, calming breath, to a complex enterprise, such as the negotiating of the Paris Climate Accords. Peace education is a signature element of PBA's values-based curriculum, but the emphasis in all the school's endeavors related to peace points to the value of practice. If peace is ever achieved, it just as quickly slips away, a consequence of the fundamental truth of impermanence in our lives. This impermanence is an observation, not a cause for remorse, and it is for this reason that the notion of practice is so central.
Peace practice at PBA begins by emphasizing the practice of inner peace.
Each week, at our school's Monday morning assembly to begin the week, we begin with an aspiration – sometimes a poem, sometimes a quotation – and a silent meditation. Many class sessions begin with brief mindfulness sessions designed to still the mind and focus attention.
Peace education is also an inter-related set of academic disciplines that emerged following World War I. Those academic discisplines include:
- International education, focused on international learning and the hope that inter-cultural understanding will reduce the impetus to international conflict.
- Human rights education, focused on the articulation and understanding of universal human rights.
- Development education, motivated by the recognition of the differential development of northern and southern hemispheres, and the consequences of systemic inequality.
- Conflict resolution education, focused on the methods of understanding and disentangling conflict.
- And environmental education, which recognizes that environmental stewardship is essential to the survival of the planet.
Peace practice is threaded across the curriculum, from the Peace Core classes that form an integral part of PBA's core academic program, to the Virtues Practice classes designed to give students opportunities to develop their understanding and mastery of distinct virtues, to the school's method of discipline, focused as it is on harmony in relationships and the development of understanding and awareness of the causes and conditions that lead to decisions, good and bad, and the consequent effects that follow.