This qualitative study examined the implementation of a peace curriculum for Kenyan Quaker secondary schools. Fourteen schools were selected for this study 1 year after school leaders attended specific training sessions. On site visits were made to 12 of the 14 schools selected for this study, and interviews conducted with the remaining principals. Schools were ranked on their level of implementation at low, medium, or high. Results indicated that 12 of the 14 schools implemented the curriculum at a medium or high level. Additional findings note the leadership of the principal was key in the overall peace curriculum implementation and addresses successes and challenges of implementing a new initiative in these schools.
The development of the Curriculum for Peace and Conflict Management for the Quaker secondary schools in Kenya was a response to the effects of the 2007–2008 post-election violence. In the aftermath of the violence, more than 1,000 were killed and thousands of others displaced from their homes. Many people experienced neighbors turning violent on neighbors, even though living side by side for many years. The Quakers, also known as Friends, have been historically known for promoting peace and conflict resolution around the world. However, once the violence settled and order was restored within the country, these Kenyan Quakers realized they were ill-equipped to address the impact of the violence and create a culture of peace within their schools and communities.
The first edition of the Curriculum for Peace and Conflict Management was a collaborative effort between George Fox University, a Quaker institution in the United States, and the Kenyan Quaker secondary schools leadership group. Completed in 2011, this curriculum for ninth and tenth graders contains 43 lessons comprised of eight major themes addressing specific Kenyan cultural needs involving peace in society. Those themes are: 1) Who am I? 2) Peace; 3) Virtues that promote peace; 4) Conflict and conflict management; 5) Life skills; 6) Human rights and responsibilities; 7) Peace and health; and 8) Peace and the environment. The primary concepts of the curriculum begin with the theme of Who Am I?, then develop into the themes of valuing one another; diversity as a strength; and the uniqueness and contributions of each individual to school and society. All together, the first edition consists of a Teachers’ Guide, Resource Guide, and Syllabus.
An article describing the development of this project was first published in the 2012 Journal of Research on Christian Education, Volume 21, Issue 1.
Previously published in Journal of Research on Christian Education, August 2015, 24(2), 125-143 http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10656219.2015.1052167