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Integration of Peace Education in Mathematics Curriculum

Author Information:

Shandelene Binns-Thompson
Graduate of UWI, Mona
shandelene@yahoo.com

Keywords:

peace education, conflict, conflict resolution, awareness, knowledge, attitudes, achievement

Presentation Information:

Presentation #: 6
Date: 3rd June, 2015
Time: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Location: KHAIROON EAST (Room 1)

Abstract:

Crime and Violence in the Country of Jamaica has reached a record high and is being filtered in the nation?s schools. Coupled with this issue of crime and violence in Jamaica is under performance in mathematics; thus the need for the integration of peace education in mathematics curriculum. Peace education has been proven to increase critical thinking and problem solving skills. These are skills that are needed for success in mathematics. Thinking critically is one of the values that should be addressed in conflict resolution and peace education; the development of critical thinking is a necessity for success in mathematics (UNESCO, 2005). This study which employed aquasi-experimental mixed method design, examined the impact of the integration of peace education on student?s performance in mathematics. It identifies strategies that can be used to integrate peace education into mathematics classes. It also investigated the impact the integrating of peace education has on students? peace knowledge and conflict resolution skills and it identified the barriers for integrating peace education. A sample of 120 students and four teachers were conveniently selected from 2 schools; a technical high school and a primary school in the parish of Manchester Jamaica. The quantitative data was obtained from the pre- test, experiment (integration of peace education in mathematics lessons) and post- tests that were administered, and through the survey questionnaire. During the experiment students were taught six steps for resolving conflicts adopted from the one developed by Nichole McDonald. The qualitative data was obtained through the use of interviews, lesson plans, students? reflective journals and classroom observations. The quantitative data was analyzed by means of descriptive statistics. This involved the use of the statistical software SPSS. In analyzing the qualitative data, the data was coded, themes formulated and assertions made. The finding from this experiment revealed that the integration of peace education into mathematics classes significantly impact students? mathematical achievement. Students? performance in mathematics increased significantly after the intervention. It was also found that there are several strategies for integrating peace education. These strategies were wide ranged and catered for the diverse learning styles of the students. The results indicated that the integration of peace education helped in increasing students? peace knowledge and conflict resolution skills. Students also exhibited increased skills in violence prevention. It was also found that there are barriers for integrating peace education. At the end of the research it was reached that education is a primary vehicle for the development of peace in school age children. It was also concluded that the mathematics syllabus contains objectives and skills relevant for problem solving and has already being seen as suitable for use in situations requiring conflict transformation. It is recommended that for future research on the integration of peace education in the mathematics curriculum that more emphasis be placed on how to effectively integrate peace education into mathematics Curriculum.