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Educación y Educadores

Print version ISSN 0123-1294On-line version ISSN 2027-5358


JIMENEZ, Manuela; LLERAS, Juanita  and  NIETO, Ana María. Peace Begins in the Classroom: Evaluation of a Program to Reduce Violence in Colombia. educ.educ. [online]. 2010, vol.13, n.3, pp.347-359. ISSN 0123-1294.

The National Citizenship Skills Program instituted by the Ministry of Education (2004) marked a change in the government's proposal to encourage education in citizenship and civics at the nation's public schools. It did so by shifting the emphasis from knowledge and values to skills. This change included the development and socialization of standards for citizenship skills, in addition to new processes to impart and evaluate education in citizenship. This article addresses the question of how a new type of education, specifically one that is consistent with the standards proposed by the Ministry of Education, can be developed and implemented in a sustainable way. The objective is to outline the different strategies a program to promote peaceful coexistence and to prevent aggression (Classrooms at Peace) applied to deal with the challenges it faced during the developmental stage and particularly when going to national scale. The process used to design, execute and evaluate the program is analyzed by identifying the various categories or types of problems that arose, and the solutions that were reached. The study pinpoints three types of challenges to be considered when developing and conducting programs focused on citizenship skills: teacher training, making the program part of the institutional framework, and ensuring its sustainability in schools. It also underscores the complexity and difficulty of maintaining the quality of a program, while trying to broaden its influence and coverage.

Keywords : Education for Peace; Conflict Management; School Violence; Education Policy; Colombia.

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