Prep School Global Peace Studies Brings Faculty Experience to Light

In the Prep School, history teacher Marc Greenside wants his students to explore the nature of conflict and peace studies in his history elective, Peace Makers. Peace Makers traces the history of conflict and resolution, and the key figures who have stood their ground or pushed for change in times of unrest, notably, Nobel Peace Prize laureates. Their most recent unit was about organizations that have won the prize. Among discussion of Doctors Without Borders and UNICEF, students were curious as to why another famous nonprofit had not won the prize yet: the Peace Corps.

To offer insight into the underpinnings of life in the Peace Corps, Mr. Greenside invited Prep School Director Joanie Dean to speak to the class. In the late 1990s, Ms. Dean was a Peace Corps volunteer teaching in Cameroon. “Her presentation was enlightening,” Mr. Greenside said. “How valuable for them to learn about the Peace Corps first hand, rather than just through articles and essays.”

Students asked Ms. Dean questions about her life in a remote rural village and about the political and cultural issues she encountered as a foreign volunteer. Overall, Ms. Dean’s experience left a very positive impression on the students about the Peace Corps, prompting students to further debate why it hasn’t received a Nobel Peace Prize.

To wrap up the unit, students each researched and wrote about a different Nobel prize-winning organization from around the globe, expanding their cross-cultural knowledge and understanding of the history of conflict and resolution.