OPEN MINDS Series
Curriculum - General Activity Guidelines
For information or explanations regarding any of this material please
contact our Program Curriculum Coordinator, Mary Prendergast at:
Tel: USA (617) 596-5529
This guide is designed to assist you in utilizing the Learning for Peace program in the classroom and in preparing for the live event on May 29th, 2002. The impetus behind this special student summit is to provide a forum for students around the world to share and discuss their interests and ideas related to the themes of peace, tolerance, diversity, and peaceful coexistence.
This page represents a general overview of the concepts, questions, objectives and educational standards this program is exploring. For more specific and detailed activities please click on the following:
It is the belief of OPEN that establishing and maintaining peaceful ties between communities on both a local and global scale is a learning orientation as well as political necessity. We believe that the learning for peace process can be integrated into curriculums and provide students the opportunity to revisit topics and themes they have encountered in their studies in a fresh way and to explore the dynamism of cultural exchange without diminishing the influences of cultural, ethnic and national identity.
It is our intention that this guide will provide a framework for students to develop the projects they will use for their presentations during the summit. We also hope that the Learning For Peace Summit will lay the groundwork for future engagements between students on an international, cross cultural scale.
The activities in this guide take a variety of learning approaches that are experiential and learner-centered. They include role-playing, discussion, simulation and other participatory strategies. The lessons in this guide can be modified easily at the teacher's discretion.
Before introducing students to the Learning For Peace framework, it is important that students establish a baseline understanding of terms that are frequently used in communication between people from different parts of the world. Students are encouraged to build on these definitions as they deepen their understanding of various cultural groups. For the purposes of this program, we have provided anthropological-based or culturally universal definitions to the following terms:
Culture - people's way of being, knowing and doing; a system of designs for living.
Cultural diffusion - the spreading out of culture, culture traits, or a cultural pattern from a central point.
Culture trait - any trait of human activity acquired in social life and transmitted by communication
Diversity - the state of fact of being different; variety, multiformity.
Identity - the sense of self; the condition of being oneself.
Listen - to pay attention to.
Reciprocation - mutual giving and receiving.
Tolerance - a fair, objective and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry.
General Guiding Questions:
- How can a deeper understanding of our own and other cultures offer us the opportunity to promote tolerance and establish lasting peace?
- How can we develop skills to listen with understanding to other cultures and cultural values?
- How can we learn to present ourselves as individuals within a group?
- How can we learn to maintain our identity and respect other identities within and across cultural groups?
- How can we learn to tolerate and understand conflicting ideas regarding cultural values and cultural rights?
- How are the various elements of culture represented in art, music, poetry and storytelling?
- How does culture influence our individual and collective identity? How can/do we each "view" culture?
- How can we learn to productively manage the inevitable conflicts and tensions that arise within and across cultural groups?
- Students will learn to provide feedback in terms of uncovering the similarities and differences in exemplary and student works, rather than thinking in terms of worth, of various cultural groups and their literary and artistic expressions.
- Students will understand the meaning of culture and cultural heritage.
- Students will gain a broader perspective on the common experiences human cultures share.
- Students will gain an appreciation for the importance of stories in our lives and how stories have been used as a form of communication as well as an art form.
- Students will expand their awareness of themes and motifs common to many cultures and gain critical insight into the ways cultural context influences artistic expression.
- Students will understand and respect cultural diversity.
- Students will become familiar with basic storytelling skills.
- Students will understand the place of storytelling in cultural groups.
- Recognize and respect similarities and differences in traditional stories.
- Students will discuss diverse cultural issues in line with responding to each other's work.
- Students will successfully work in peer groups within and across international classroom forums.
- Students will play a variety of roles in group discussions; ask questions to seek elaboration and clarification of ideas; listen in order to understand a speaker's topic, purpose and perspective.
- Students will understand distinguishing characteristics of representative music genres and styles from a variety of cultures.
- Students will understand the function music serves, roles of musicians and conditions under which music is typically performed in various cultures of the world.
- Students will understand the characteristics that cause various works of music to be considered exemplary.
- Students will develop the skills necessary to engage in a poem's components and thus come to an initial and then refined understanding of that piece's meaning.
- Students will participate in informed discussions of exemplary and student poems representing a variety of periods, themes, and techniques.
- Students will analyze, compare and contrast use of figurative language in various poems as a medium to establish tone and meaning.
Related Educational Standards (USA)
- Standard 3: Students should be able to develop and present basic analysis of works of art from structural, historical, and cultural perspectives. This includes the ability to understand and evaluate work in the various arts disciplines.
- Standard 4: Students should have an informed acquaintance with exemplary works of art from a variety of cultures and historical periods, and a basic understanding of historical development in the arts disciplines, across the arts as a whole and within (and across) cultures.
- Standard 5: Students should be able to relate various types of art knowledge and skills within and across the arts disciplines. This includes mixing and matching competencies and understandings in art-making, history and culture, and analysis in any arts-related project
English Language Arts
- Standard 7: Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
- Standard 8: Students demonstrate competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning.
- Standard 9: Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles.
- Standard 11: Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
- Standard 12: Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information.
- Standard 7: Understands the relationship between music and history and culture.
Internet Links and Resources