Project will change approaches to peace studies and education in Africa

Lancaster University is part of a new £2.2 million project that will explore knowledge and values of peace in Africa.

The project, ‘Decolonising Education for Peace in Africa’ (DEPA), aims to decolonise and change the way peace studies are taught and incorporated into education in Africa.

It is funded by UKRI through the Global Challenges Research Fund.

The project employs arts and humanities methodologies to work with displaced and marginalised communities who have long experienced conflict.

Co-Investigator Dr Melis Cin, a lecturer in education and social justice from Lancaster’s Department of Educational Research, will lead on a Zimbabwe case study and work on exploring meanings and mechanisms of gender in peacebuilding.

“The project will aim to challenge and dislocate peacebuilding literature founded on Eurocentric values, principles and methods,” says Dr Cin.

“The peace education research is operating under a colonial rationality, through top-down interventions imposed on conflict-affected societies from ‘outside’, and hence, lacks contextual sensitivity or specificity. We are aiming to change this through a four-year long research with partners from Africa.”

The project aims to train around at least 50,000 teachers on peace learning and teaching in Africa and produce a wide range of training materials and content.

DEPA is led by Professor Parvati Raghuram, at the Open University, working alongside academic and non-academic partners from five countries including:

  • Coventry University, UK
  • Durham University, UK
  • Lancaster University, UK
  • Midlands State University, Zimbabwe
  • Makerere University, Uganda
  • Pan African Development Education and Advocacy Programme, Nigeria, Uganda, UK
  • University of Abuja, Nigeria
  • University of South Africa, South Africa

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