Abstract 1-Volume 7, Number 3, Winter 2012

What Does Peace Mean? Kindergarteners Share Ideas

Cynthia Szymanski Sunal

The University of Alabama

Lynn A. Kelley

University of West Alabama

Dennis W. Sunal

The University of Alabama



Kindergarteners’ (n=41) concept of peace, a foundational social studies concept, was investigated via pre- and post-assessments that first, asked them to physically demonstrate how they looked or felt when they were at peace, second, asked them to draw a scene showing peace, and third, to caption the drawing.  In pre-assessments all but three children demonstrated aggression and drew aggressive stances accompanied by captions indicating aggression.  After opportunities to read about, discuss, and explore the concept of peace over five weeks, post-assessment occurred.  In the post-assessments none of the data indicated aggression.  Categories coded showed peace described as enjoyable activities, pro-social behaviors, and quietness/calmness/privacy.  The study suggests hypotheses for further research investigating the concept of peace among very young children and possible factors influencing their concept and implications for social studies curriculum.

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