Abstract 4- Volume 1, Number 3, Summer 2006

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 1, Number 3, Winter 2006



Importing Peace Education from Belfast: A Prosocial Approach to School Improvement in the US

Linda Pickett
University of Michigan-Flint

Susan Carson
Grand Valley State University


This paper presents the results and experiences of one school within a unique university/K-12 school district partnership that approached school reform through a framework of peace education. Faced with the challenge of improving academic achievement in a district with a history of five years failing to meet Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act, university faculty collaborated with elementary school teachers to implement principles of peace education that have been successfully applied at Oldwood Integrated Primary School in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As two university faculty involved in the project, we present challenges, theoretical perspectives, and the model that guided our initiative, the process, and results of social change in teaching practice.

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About the Author(s)…

Linda Pickett, Ph.D. is an assistant professor and chair of the Early Childhood Department at the University of Michigan-Flint in Flint, Michigan. She received her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Pickett’s 20 year career in public education includes positions teaching young children in multicultural and inclusion classrooms. Her research interests include peace education, early childhood education, and school transformation. Contact information: lpickett@umflint.edu.

Susan Carson, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the College of Education at Grand Valley State University. Dr. Carson’s 27-year career in public education includes positions as classroom and special education teacher of various programs*K-12. She also served as a K-12 inclusion and instruction specialist. Her research interests include peace education, spirituality in teaching and learning, and GLBTQ concerns. Contact information: carsons@gvsu.edu.