I believe that to reach Peace we need to teach Peace.

At the United Nations International School (UNIS) we have a formal curriculum based on teaching about the United Nations and Peace. Every classroom has a ‘Peace Table’. The ways in which the teachers use the Peace Table are personal. I was lucky to have the guidance of veteran teachers who really showed me how to use the Peace Table effectively. I want every teacher, parent and child to have access to this too. It’s a work in progress and there are many ways and philosophies.

At UNIS the children use Peace Tables to resolve minor conflicts on the playground or in the classroom. When the children are properly trained it is amazing to see how, independently, they are able to discuss and sort out their own problems without adult intervention. They feel empowered and in turn the teacher is able to put their time into other more important things like teaching!

What does a Peace Table look like?

Every teacher has a different way of setting up and using their Peace Table.

I always have a globe in the middle, international flags, storybooks about Peace and the UN and a collection of artifacts from around the world. The children love to bring things they find on their travels to ‘share’ on the Peace Table. I also have a pin board displaying information about the UN and Peace related images.

 How to use a Peace Table

These are some basic guidelines that I have written in collaboration with my class in the past but every class has a slightly different way of using the Peace Table. For the Peace Table to be effective it needs to be discussed on a regular basis and become personal to that class.

Invite the person to the Peace Table and explain why.

Both put your hands on the globe to show you are listening.

Take turns and start your sentences with ‘I feel…’

If you can’t solve the problem find a Mediator or Peacekeeper to help.

Shake hands when you say sorry or come to an agreement.

The children also chose to go to the Peace Table if they feel they need quiet time or need to be alone in order to focus.