Two Colorado State University School of Education professors are engaged in peace, reconciliation and restorative projects overseas under separate Fulbright Scholar Awards. Edward Brantmeier, assistant professor in the School of Education, recently completed working in India and William Timpson, professor in the School of Education, will be working in Africa.
Edward Brantmeier traveled to India in the summer of 2009 to complete a five month apprenticeship with the Malaviya Center for Peace Research at Banaras Hindu University and co-organized a seminar on peace education and development. The peace program is the first of its kind for an Indian institution. Brantmeier taught about how human rights education, environmental education and providing everyone with clean water, medicine, food, shelter and education can alleviate violence.
“Outside of the United States, peace studies and peace education is a very serious discipline, especially in India given the legacy of the Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Theresa,” Brantmeier said. “My project in India focused on alleviating cultural conflict. The students and I explored how to eliminate direct and indirect forms of violence.”
Through this examination of peace and violence on a local and global level students’ desire to work toward peaceful schools, businesses and communities were enhanced.
Two professors from Banaras Hindu University are contributing chapters to Brantmeier’s new co-edited book “Spiritually, Religion and Peace Education.” While overseas Brantmeier also lectured on peace education at Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu University and the Fulbright Commission of Nepal, a country emerging from decades of violence.
During the summer of 2011, Timpson will spend time at The University of Ngozi in Burundi, Africa. Burundi is one of the four poorest nations in the world and it is now recovering from civil war and genocide, resulting in the deaths of 300,000 people and another 1 million refugees of the country. He will offer seminars, workshops and lectures for students, faculty, teachers and members of the community.
This University of Ngozi was established in 1999 after the assassination of the country’s first democratically-elected president to promote peace and reconciliation throughout the area and teach the importance of unity and community service. Timpson will teach about other post-conflict societies and the importance of participating in local and global peace building efforts.
“Knowledge and understanding are at the heart of our educational mission and just as essential for peacemaking,” said Timpson. “In schools, colleges and universities, we can do so much more to link the skills of reflection, emotional intelligence and critical thinking to the goals of peacemaking. The practice of peacemaking at the classroom level has much promise for building a better foundation for nonviolent conflict resolution once schooling has ended.”
In collaboration with a Burundi native, Brantmeier and other CSU School of Education faculty, Timpson authored, “147 Tips for Teaching Peace and Reconciliation.”
The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the U. S. government. The mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and countries around the world. More than 300,000 individuals have participated in the program since its enactment in 1946. Individuals are chosen to receive funding based on their leadership potential and academic merit.