Netherlands, Utrecht (Utrecht City Campus)

Creative Peace and Human Rights Education

when 7 August 2013 - 16 August 2013
duration 2 weeks
credits 2.5 ECTS
fee EUR 825

“[S]ince wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed” (Archibald MacLeish)

Due to a change of conflict patterns in the last decades, the ‘theatre of war’ is no longer a distant battlefield, but close by in the street, the neighborhood, and the city. Contemporary conflicts are connected more to identity than ideology or territory. Claims to power are based on cultural forms, including differences in language, religion, history, ethnicity, nation/clan.Based on the vision of the UN Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence (COPNV) for the Children of the World (2001-2010), education plays an important role in the construction of identity and in the development of a ‘culture’. Here within, violence is framed as learned behavior and advancing positive peace as a human responsibility. The COPNV initiative aims to change those mechanisms and evidences of cultures that legitimaze the use of violence in conflict at every level of the society, including the inter- and intra personal level. The international summer school ‘Creative Peace and Human Rights Education’ builds on the UN vision. Education is envisioned as an important tool to develop and promote strategies and competencies which can contribute to cultures where human rights are respected and positive peace prevails. Special emphasize will be placed on the role of the arts and creative educational approaches (photography, music, drawing, movement, etcetera) as a response to situations of injustice/violence. Attention will also be given to the potential of artistic expression as an empowering informal education tool in processes of reconciliation andidentity (re) construction. Peace and human rights teachers give account of positive results when involving art means in their education programs. Creativity and art can e.g. be used for: non-violent campaigning; to promote critical thinking; to build awareness on cultural practices or structures legitimizing violence; and to stimulate interaction and dialogue between different groups.

Themes that will be addressed are: a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence as a challenge for education; the photographers lens and violence; theatre and non-violence theory, strategies, practices; prejudices, discrimination and a culture of diversity and tolerance; drawing to reflect on identity and diversity; storytelling and dialogue; human rights as a moral agenda for peace; gender, violence and education; games and children’s rights education; music, movement and reconciliation; creative evaluation techniques for peace and human rights education.

This course is taught in cooperation with the Peace of Utrecht.

Course leader

Marloes van Houten

Target group

Students, creative therapists, (art) educators, peace builders, human rights professionals, youth and social workers, socially engaged artists, psychologists, parents and anyone else with a keen interest in approaching peace and human rights education creatively.

Course aim

You will get an understanding of the potential of creative peace and human rights education, both as a content and as a methodology. As a student/professional you will build up knowledge, skill-sets and critical awareness that make it possible to recognize different types of violence. You will be motivated and trained to employthe arts and education as non-violent catalyzers for social change.

The summer school will offer a mix of academic theory (knowledge and reflection) and practical applications (skill building activities, platform for participants to exchange experiences, and examples of practitioners how to put the PE/HRE theory into action). You will be challenged to develop your own body of knowledge and opinions, which can help to position yourself within the context you are part of.

Credits info

2.5 ECTS
Certificate of Attendance

Fee info

EUR 825: Course + course materials + housing

EUR 490: Course + course materials

Discounts for those in financial need are available. You can send an email to Please include a statement of financial concern and your motivation about why you want to take part.


We are in the process of arranging full scholarships. As soon as any information about this is available, we will post this here.

Register for this course
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