Peace Education as a Tool to Address Youth Violence and Delinquency in Morocco

Open Access
Author:
Taylor, Kendra Adele
Graduate Program:
Applied Youth, Family, and Community Education
Degree:
Master of Education
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 10, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Nicole Sheree Webster, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • peace education
  • evaluation
  • youth violence
  • Morocco
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to understand how the Skills for Constructive Living peace education program influenced a particular group of participants in Ksar El Kebir, Morocco in terms of attitudes, perceptions, sense of empowerment and problem solving skills. I employed qualitative and quantitative measures in order to gain a detailed and in-depth understanding of the outcomes of this program. Individual interviews and pre-tests and post-tests were used with youth participants’ in order to understand their views on the peace education program, and how they could use the knowledge and skills from this program in aspects of their day to day lives. After analyzing the interviews, I found two emerging themes, peace education as personal change and peace education as something new. The pre-tests and post-tests showed that participants did increase their sense of empowerment and problem solving skills, but that the female participants made greater gains than the male participants. Based on these findings, three key things can be implied about the program, and more broadly, about the field of peace education. First, gender must be considered when planning and implementing a peace education program. This is rarely addressed in the literature and given the findings from this and other studies, this issue demands further attention. Second, the utility of English as a foreign language in peace education is considered given the overwhelmingly positive response of participants to the use of English in this program. This is linked to the literature which discusses a need for peace education in areas of intractable conflict where I argue that EFL can play a role as a language that does not link into identity politics and collective narratives that fuel intractable conflicts. Third, this study points to the importance of evaluation for peace education efforts. Too often peace education programs consider evaluation as optional or add-on, and a lack of evaluation is one of the strongest critiques of peace education. Along with the implications of this study, several suggestions for future research are also discussed.