“For peace and non-violence to prevail, we need to foster a Culture of Peace through Education.”
from the introduction.
Carolyn Pogue is a multitalented peace activist — poet, writer, visual artist and organizer (of Calgary women in Black, among other things) but in recent years she has deliberately chosen to concentrate on children; she sees our young people as the real hope for changing the world.
Seasons of Peace is one of several books she has written directed at peace education for children. This is peace education in its fullest dimension. As Dr. Lois Wilson says in her introduction,
“Many years ago I learned from K.H. Ting, a Chinese friend, that the three words for peace in his language spell out the conditions which make peace possible. Translating the visual Chinese symbols literally, he explained that the word peace can mean “a roof over one“s head,” or rice in the mouth.” or “two hearts beating together in understanding and friendship.” Without social security, economic security and human reciprocity, there can be no peace.”
Pogue has integrated this rich definition of peace into this guide for teachers, community workers, parents or any interested peace activist. Throughout the year she illustrates people, organizations and causes from around the world which are appropriate for the time. For example in April she writes about Earth Day; in June on Aboriginal/Solidarity Day and in August about Hiroshima & Nagasaki.
Her action and presentation suggestions are well laid out and accessible. For June she recommends book displays, a visit to a local native centre or an invitation to a native to speak; talking about Pauline Johnson and her poetry; she includes a read aloud story about the Tree of Peace and actions for children on the concerns and information given.
For August she does not only explain the use of the first atom bombs, but she draws children into the stories of children involved and the present actions of many activists, including Japanese mayors to ban nuclear weapons.
All her monthly topics are richly illustrated, have many references for more information and wonderful creative suggestions from planting seed to mask making for children to do.
In the appendices are sample letters, music and words to songs, puzzles, graphics, and for teachers, curriculum suggestions. Together with the monthly presentations they form an invaluable guide towards Pogue’s bold vision,
“Every day more of us are learning that the planet cannot sustain a culture of greed and violence, so we follow the new leaders and lead the followers on a new path that is daring, courageous, visionary, and practical. We are building a Culture of Peace.”
This is a unique and important collection of creativity and information on an important subject; peace in all its manifestations concerns us all; Pogue’s book should be in the hands of every teacher and activist who seeks to inspire and inform the next generation.