KON Publications

Leadership for the Human Family:

Reflective Human Action for a Culture of Peace

Sue McGregor, PhD, Kappa Omicron Nu Research Fellow

Professor, Mount Saint Vincent University
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
© 2001

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Table of Contents

  1.  Preamble
  2.  UNESCO International Year for the Culture of Peace
  3.  Overview of reflective human action theory and leadership
    1. Principles of reflective human action theory
    2. Features of any human action
    3. Features of reflective human action
      1. Reflection
      2. Authenticity
      3. Ethical Sensibility
      4. Spirituality
  4.  Overview of Peace Education
    1. Conceptualizations of peace education
    2. Primer on Leading Edge Peace Concepts
      1. Human family
      2. Human security
      3. Human rights
      4. Human responsibilities
      5. Social justice
  5. Synergy Between Family and Consumer Sciences, Peace Education and RHA Leadership
    1. Define as social movements
    2. Advocate for a global, holistic, ecosystem perspective
    3. Value day-to-day life
    4. Embrace a long-term perspective rather than the quick fix
    5. Show concern for relationships and interactions as well as structures
    6. Recognize different levels of physical and intellectual action (how to, talk/values, and emancipation)
    7. See order in the chaos
    8. Respect diversity
    9. Strive for balance between rights and responsibilities
    10. Work for enhanced quality of life, well-being, and security
    11. Be sensitive to issues framing and effect on expectations and actions
    12. Share congruent value systems
    13. Hold common concern for community
    14. Embrace the critical, reflective approach
    15. Conceptualize peace and well-being as outer, inner, and eco-oriented
  6.     Conclusion
  7.     References
  8.     Appendix 1 - AAFCS

Conceptual Framework for the 21st Century (reprinted by permission)

For further information, contact:
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The prime objective of the family and consumer sciences profession is enhancing the well- being of individuals and families. The American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) mission statement sets out the core values of the Association, including diversity, equality and human rights, global and community perspective, and a healthy environment that positively affects the human condition (Chadwick, 1999). There are those who believe that peace education should figure into human relations and family life courses (Reardon 1995; Ulstrup, Cumming & Ebert, 1997). Put another way, peace education touches the whole curriculum (Thomas, 1997). Family and consumer sciences is part of the curriculum; hence, peace education should be part of higher education for family and consumer scientists. This Kappa Omicron Nu project will provide a rationale for bringing peace education, and all it encompasses, within the realm of family and consumer sciences professional socialization. The objective is to position the family and consumer sciences profession in the peace movement so that peace scholars and advocates will turn to the family and consumer science profession as a partner in securing family well-being through peace.

One of the basic premises of this project is that our profession could expand its concern for the family to include the human family. Family and consumer sciences (FCS) is evolving at a time when globalization is shaping the world. This project is based on the reality that globalization has serious side effects that affect peace, civility, human rights, justice, equality, and security, all universal values of the profession (Bubolz & Sontag, 1988). I am assuming that practitioners will benefit from being socialized to appreciate and respect the insights gained from the broad field of peace education while attending FCS pre-professional university programs, at professional in-service sessions, or both. The resultant leadership of family and consumer science practitioners could change profoundly.

Reflective Human Action (RHA) theory applied to leadership will facilitate the development of this project. RHA is a theory that helps us see leadership as intellectually and morally defensible. What could be more appropriate to understand the links between peace and the human family than a moral approach to leading? RHA leadership is action on behalf of the well-being of the earth and its inhabitants (Andrews, Mitstifer, Rehm, & Vaughn, 1995). This well-being is compromised daily by conflict and violence, human rights violations, and a decline in civil society. This project will strive to explain how FCS pre-service and in-service professional socialization can be augmented with a peace perspective such that practitioners are socialized to see themselves as global citizens prepared to shape the future of humanity via RHA leadership strategies.

UNESCO International Year for the Culture of Peace

This Kappa Omicron Nu research initiative is especially relevant given that 2000 was designated as the UNESCO International Year for the Culture of Peace Indeed, this initiative will evolve into the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World. One of the logos is included here. The common picture shows two hands with fingers interlaced and each of the fingers represents the goals of the Year. The goals of the UNESCO effort closely parallel those of human action that is reflective: respect for all life, rejection of violence, sharing with others, listening to understand (empathy), preserving the planet, and rediscovering solidarity and community. The Vienna NGO Committee on the Family (2000) recently recognized the UN Culture of Peace movement and convincingly argued that families figure prominently in the processes of education for peace because peace is socially constructed in families and significantly affects quality of life. Furthermore, family life affects the structure of persons' understanding of themselves and their relationship with others and the world.

Also, culture is not something that one is born with but something that is learned after one is born (Groff & Smoker, 1995). If we can create a world culture that values peace, then future generations will be born into a world that will be committed to socializing its children to value peace. This culture would be based on values and underlying assumptions about a peaceful, daily reality desired by the collective whole--the whole human family would want peace so it would socialize its members to be peaceful. A culture of peace aims to: transform values; empower people with peace building skills and attitudes; encourage democratic participation; help people, especially women, gain equal representation and voice; ensure transparency, accountability, and information flow from government and other institutional structures; eliminate poverty; promote sustainability; preserve the planet; and advance tolerance, diversity, and respect These aims coincide perfectly with the goals and principles of reflective human action theory: reflection, authenticity, ethics, and spirituality.

Furthermore, the family and consumer sciences profession has a vested interest in family and its well-being. A peace perspective, combined with a reflective human action approach to leadership, implies that the profession needs to expand its understanding: (a) of family to human family, (b) of well-being to human security, (c) of consumer rights to human rights, (d) of rights to responsibilities, and (e) of individualism and self-interest to social justice for the betterment of everyone. The tenets of reflective human action theory provide a powerful bridge between conventional family and consumer sciences curricula and peace education: (a) being true to one's own self (authenticity), (b) being ethically, intellectually and morally responsible (ethical sensibility), and (c) acting with spirituality (universal human capacity for passion and purpose for the betterment of the human condition) (Andrews et al., 1995).

Because the field of peace education is currently reconceptualizing and expanding its own understandings of what constitutes peace, it does not make sense to assume that members of the family and consumer science profession are familiar and comfortable with the concepts of human family, security, rights, responsibilities, and social justice. To that end, after profiling RHA theory and the field of peace education, a primer will be developed about these five evolving peace concepts setting the stage for the final section which discusses the synergy inherent when using RHA leadership to build a culture of peace.

As a caveat, I know there are individuals in the field who are personally involved with larger peace and social justice issues. I do not feel, however, that the majority of current and new members are adequately socialized to appreciate the links between the human family and its security, rights, and responsibilities. Instead, they are socialized to be concerned with individuals and family units at the micro level rather than the broader notion of a collection of people on the earth comprising the global human family. Even though I was eventually exposed to the holistic human ecology perspective and a global perspective and taught these to my students, peace education was never part of my socialization process so it was never part of theirs (unless they received it from other courses). Through professional socialization, family and consumer scientists learn accepted social roles, and mindsets and behaviour associated with these roles, within their own culture. Family and consumer sciences has a professional culture (Kieren, Vaines & Badir, 1984) that could embrace the notion of contributing to a global culture of peace if members were socialized accordingly; hence, this Kappa Omicron Nu research fellowship on RHA leadership for a culture of peace.

Reflective Human Action Theory and Leadership

Although strong and comprehensive materials have been developed by Kappa Omicron Nu on the topic of RHA theory, this project will begin with a short precis of RHA theory as a preamble to a discussion of how it can give shape and meaning to this project. At this juncture, it is appropriate to distinguish between management and leadership because I feel that many of our programs, either by design or omission, prepare students to be managers more so than leaders. Covey (1992) makes a clear distinction between leadership and management. Fundamentally, leaders provide direction for personal and social transformation based on principles while managers provide control of resources used in transactions based on methods and procedures. Leaders adapt to situations, striving to share power while strengthening people. Managers react to situations, striving to maintain power while minimizing costs and maximizing benefits. Leaders work on changing the system and the infrastructure by looking at the lens and saying it is right for us. Managers work within the system and structures by looking through the lens, directing the producers to do the work. Both roles are necessary, sometimes done in tandem but we cannot move forward in new directions if we do not assume leadership. Kappa Omicron Nu advocates bringing a reflective human action approach to this leadership role.

Principles of Reflective Human Action Theory

Andrews et al. (1995) clarify that the reflective human action theory of leadership promotes four principles:

1. Accepting chaos

Despite new and chaotic information, we have an unerring ability to find order leading to the personal ability to change and renew;

2. Sharing information

People need to share information to find creative, consensual solutions. Information is the invisible workings of creativity, the primary life force of the universe and it must be shared, not hoarded;

3. Embracing a vision

We derive clarity, purpose, and a sense of direction from shared values and a vision; and

4. Developing relationships

We grow and construct ourselves through our relationships because nothing is known except in relation to persons, ideas, and events.

In summary, order will come of chaos if one stays with one's commitment to sharing information, developing relationships, and gaining consensus of vision.

One must first appreciate that any action taken by a human is comprised of seven features which are present whether the person knows it or not: mission, meaning, existence, resources, structure, power, and fulfillment. There are also three features of human action that are reflective: (a) being true to one's own self (authenticity), (b) being ethically, intellectually, and morally responsible (ethical sensibility), and (c) acting with spirituality (universal human capacity for passion and purpose) (Andrews et al., 1995). These two major topics now will be discussed, the features of any human action and features of reflective human action.

Features of Any Human Action

As a reminder, any action that a person takes is based on mission, meaning, existence, resources, structure, power, and fulfillment--features that are present whether the person knows it or not. Table 1 sets out a brief overview of the essence of these seven features (Andrews et al., 1995). Succinctly, any human activity is inherently shaped by a larger purpose, is done because it has meaning for the person, happens in a historical context, is affected by the level of available resources, plans and strategies, and involves a commitment of power and spirit to see it through to completion. Terry (1993) provides a powerful approach to help us see the synergy between these seven elements.

Table 2 helps us understand how to deal with leadership issues depending on which of the six features of any human action is the central problem (the seventh feature, fulfillment, is the reason the other six features exist).

Table 1 - Overview of seven features of any human action   (Andrews et al., 1995)

Mission: What is the ultimate purpose of taking this action? What expectations are driving the expenditure of energy?

Meaning: Why something is being undertaken places the mission in context and helps persons make sense of their actions--why am I doing this? Meaning expresses significance of an action, legitimizes the action, and places boundaries around the process of doing something.

Existence: What is the history of this action, this event, or situation? What sets the scene for needing to do something now? What are the limiting factors, forces within and beyond control, and rituals that limit taking action?

Resources: What is at hand that can be used to take the action, including tangible and intangible resources?

Structure: What are the plans and processes that can be used to accomplish this action? What arrangements, schedules, strategies, methods, designs etc. are at hand or could be found?

Power: What energy is expended and what level of commitment is there to follow through and accomplish the action? Within RHA theory, power it is not just the ability to exert one's will upon another but is also energy that can be released and focused towards attaining fulfillment.

Fulfillment: What has been accomplished by this action? Did expectations, resources, power, structures, meaning, and mission converge into one allowing the action to be fulfilled and completed

Table 2 - Relationship between seven features of human action (adapted from Terry, 1993)

If one of the features below presents itself

 then deal with it by working on....

Mission (toward what are you working?)

Meaning (why are you working toward it?)

Meaning (why are you working toward it?)

Existence (what is the history of the need to take action? what is the current situation)

Existence (what is the history of the need to take action? what is the current situation)

Resources (what assets can you use to take action now?)

Resources (what assets can you use to take action now?)

Structure (through what processes can you take action?)

Structure (through what processes can you take action?)

Power (how much energy and commitment is there to take action?)

Power (how much energy and commitment is there to take action?)

Mission (toward what are you working?)

 All of this should lead to fulfillment or completion of the initiated action--change.

As an example, if the issue appears to be structure, the intervention to deal with the situation should deal with power. If people in an organization say things like "things are not well organized", "I don't know what my job is", "Who should I report to?" then the organization appears to be dealing with the structure set up to get things done. In fact, the leader should focus on power, or a sense of powerlessness among people. Power is the commitment and the energy expended to get things done. If people do not feel like they have any say in the arrangement of their work world, they will feel powerless, complain of structural issues, the obvious symptom, and fail to commit to, or put enough energy into, their job. Rearranging the work environment will not solve the problem but focusing on realigning power relationships will; that is, the leader should focus on the underlying symptoms, not the apparent ones. Andrews et al. (1995, pp. 17-20) provide excellent examples of the other relationships identified in Table 2.

Features of Reflective Human Action

As can be seen from the example above, we are beginning to move from discussing any  human action toward the dynamics among the seven features of human actions. This growing awareness opens the door to reflective human action.


To be reflective entails being able to step back from the immediacy of the situation and examine ones's beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviour in a dispassionate manner (Jackson, 1990). van Manen (1995) identifies three types of reflection. Thinking about what has happened is called retrospective reflection, what may come is called anticipatory reflection, and stopping to think while doing something is called contemporaneous reflection. Schön (1987) discusses reflection on action and reflection in action with the former referring to after the fact and the latter to during the action, while the "live" problem or situation unfolds and one is aware of what one is doing at the same time.

Reflection is comprised of five steps (Dewey, 1933). First, one experiences perplexity, confusion, and doubt due to the nature of the situation. This stage is followed by conjecture, anticipation, and tentative interpretation of the elements or meanings and consequences that the situation has for the person who is reflecting or those affected by future actions. Third, the person engages in an exploration and analysis of the situation, hoping to bring clarity and definition to the problem. This inquiry leads to the formation and elaboration of suggestions to deal with the situation and, finally, to a decision to do something to attain a desired result--that is, to take reflective action! Kolb (1984) tenders a similar set of stages characterizing the reflective process. First, one experiences something. After the experience, persons bring it to the forefront of their minds and think about all of the feelings, ideas, and behaviours associated with the action, often in dialogue with others or one's self through journals. This process of in-depth reflection will lead one to generalize and tease out the insights and principles revealed, leading to the whole cycle beginning again in a new situation.

Reflection helps people engage in observation, questioning, speculation, and self-awareness (de Acosta, 1995). Being thoughtful about one's practice is being reflective. The result is knowledge about one's self or self-knowledge resulting from self-reflection. Augmenting this self-knowledge with technical knowledge enables a reflective practitioner and leader to develop choice rules (heuristics) needed to deal with the unpredictability of real world problems. Reflective practitioners and leaders will gain courage to act in situations of uncertainty or value conflicts and to be responsible for their actions (Schön, 1987). Indeed, Bolton (1998) identifies three paradoxes of being a reflective practitioner: (a) In order to acquire confidence from reflection, one has to let go of certainty and accept and be comfortable with uncertainty; (b) One has to trust the reflective process but also has to be able to look for something when one does not know what to look for; (c) Finally, one has to begin to act when one does not know how one should act. Persons have  to trust that they know their area of practice and that they know how to be reflective about that practice. To that end, Andrews et al. (1995) maintain that human action characterized by reflection is composed of authenticity, ethical sensibility, and spirituality, as well as the seven features for any human action set out in Table 2. Each of these three features will now be discussed.


Being true to one's own self, personality, spirit, and character is an intriguing component of RHA. Authenticity entails the profound task of avoiding self-deception and hidden agendas because this unveiling helps determine what is really going on and how to expand the possibilities. To be authentic is to be genuine, trustworthy, and reflective. It means being courageous, passionate, and hopeful. It means facing reality as it is, looking for common ground among diversity, and embracing the fact that life can be difficult and full of uncertainties. To be authentic means to examine one's self and one's relationships in the community of other human beings. Acting authentically means one can strive for a more humane future for the world and its citizens (Andrews et al., 1995).

Andrews et al. (1995) set out seven C's of authenticity as a way to judge if persons are being authentic in their leadership roles:

1. Correspondence - Follow up intention to act with action.

2. Consistency - "Walk the talk" captures the element of consistency which refers to action connected to meaning--do what you say others should do; mean and live what you say.

3. Coherence - Link each action with the other actions to make sure actions are internally consistent and effectively, synergistically combined.

4. Concealment - Reveal all sides of an action--not just the positive ones, but the downside too.

5. Conveyance - Communicate and transmit thoughts and actions to assure openness and depth in future dialogue--take responsibility for one's dialogue.

6. Comprehensiveness - Expand frame of action as a result of embracing depth and breadth of meaning taken from dialogue.

7. Convergence - Seek common ground so it is easier to bridge differences.

Leadership that is not authentic can happen for several reasons. First, people may feel disconnected from other people and social institutions (e.g., community, church, school, work). Second, they may also question the validity of social institutions, especially the economy, government, organized religion, even family. Third, people cannot be true to themselves (authentic) if they make up their realities rather than face daily life. This virtual reality and escapism is especially prevalent and possible now with current computer technology, telecommunications, and transportation. Fourth, shifting from people-based activity to information-based activity leads to inauthentic leadership, as does a tendency towards relativism, the fifth factor mitigating authenticity (Andrews et al.,1995). Relativism refers to valuing functional information, accepting and conforming to societal norms and standards without critiquing them, seeking the short term advantage and quick fix, shunning responsibility for one's actions and not being accountable, seeking immediate gratification, and striving for self-interests at the expense of others and nature. Relativism means that "everything is relative" and useful only for the moment and that "persons should do their own thing"--individualism versus collectivity (Schneider, 1994).

Ethical Sensibility

To be sensible is to take action marked by awareness, reason, perception, good judgment, and prudence. To be ethical means to act in accordance with principles of good or right conduct. Ethical sensibility refers to leading and taking action that embraces: responsibility and accountability, justice and fairness of process, freedom (potential and possibilities), and attention and care of one's existence and situation (Andrews et al., 1995).

Andrews et al. (1995) further explain that human action shaped by sensible, ethical actions "takes tremendous courage to choose to act based on principles of human dignity and respect, to be honest with yourself, to recognize rationalizations that keep you from living true to yourself, to stand up for the principles in which you believe, and to act for the common good" (p.33). Ethical sensibility obviously involves a concern for ethics, taken to be questions of right and wrong, duties and obligations, rights and responsibilities. one's behaviour is judged to be ethical if it adheres to the following five principles:

  • Value for life - acting in a way which does not harm human life,

  • Goodness or rightness - using the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number,

  • Justice or fairness - assuring equality of treatment and fair distribution of benefits and burdens,

  • Truth-telling or honesty - basing action on truth, and

  • Individual freedom - assuring self-determination (Mitstifer, 1989).


If authentic leadership is grounded in courage, hope, and the faith that one's actions will contribute to the well-being and quality of life of all those we meet, touch, and serve, then spirituality is the component that links us to the larger world. The spirituality component of RHA leadership helps one feel attached to and connected with the world and people and fosters the call to contribute to something larger than one's self (Andrews et al., 1995). It challenges us to take responsibility for ourselves in concert with others as we seek to create and build a global commonwealth worthy of the best that we human beings have to offer each other and nature. The spirit is the component that links each person to the larger world (Terry, 1993). By way of clarification, one's soul is personal while spirit is universal. This distinction is important. A pre-requisite for being a reflective leader is having a respect for, and faith in, one's inner self (Bolton, 1998). In order to engage in authentic, ethical, spiritual leadership for the betterment of all, one must consciously recognize the non-physical dimensions of being human--one's soul. The soul is one's personal substance--the depth, heart and essence of one's inner self, beyond the material and physical dimensions of life. Coming to terms with one's inner self empowers a person to expand compassion and energy to the needs of others (Zukav, 1989). A healthy, individual human spirit contributes to one's professional goal to practice using reflective human action; that is, to engage in spirituality of leadership which leads to the betterment of the overall human condition in the world.

Overview of Peace Education

This section will provide an overview of evolving conceptualizations of peace education, a rationale for elaborating on specific concepts of peace, and then discussions about human family, human security, human rights, human responsibilities, and social justice.

Conceptualizations of Peace Education

Peace education has evolved considerably over the last 100 years. Groff and Smoker's (1995) compelling discussion of the evolution of approaches to studying peace is set out in Table 3 and is the most comprehensive discussion to date.

Table 3 - Evolution of approaches to study of peace (extracted from Groff & Smoker, 1995)

1930's Absence of War 1940-50's Balance of Forces 1960's
No structural violence
1970-80's Feminist Peace 1990-2000's Holistic (Gaia) peace (outer and inner)
Peace defined as absence of war between nations or within nations.  Peace defined as balance between political, social, cultural, and technological factors. This balance was between nations and between people and community.  Peace defined as negative peace (absence of war) and positive peace (presence of justice and structures that respect values of peace). Scope of peace expanded beyond nation and community to include institutional structures (social, economic, political, and cultural) and global structures arranged in such a way that structural violence was taken into account.  Definition of peace expanded beyond the organized macro level (war) to include peace at the unorganized micro level (individual and family relationships). Concern for peace expanded beyond organized war to unorganized violence within the home and at the personal level (family, women, children, elders). Also, structural violence expanded to include systemic discrimination against particular individuals and groups. Definition of peace now includes peace within the environment and peace within oneself (spiritual inner peace) as well as the previousconceptualizations--a very holistic and contextual approach to understanding peace.

An analysis of Table 3 reveals that the concept of peace evolved from: (a) single to multi-factored definitions; (b) single to multiple (micro, meso, macro, and exo) levels; (c) negative to positive conceptions; (d) structural to include interactions and relationships; and, (e) outer peace only to outer, inner, and ecological peace. Outer peace can be found in family and individuals, community, within states, between states, internationally, globally, and environmentally. We are very fortunate to live at a time when peace is seen as such a broad, holistic concept because this conceptualization provides a powerful approach to working with families, societies, and world structures at a time when the integrity of each is in jeopardy.

This broad range of categories for peace thinking opens up wide avenues for peace building, making, and keeping--towards a culture of peace. In more detail, peace is more than the absence of war. Peace requires special relationships, structures, and attitudes to promote and protect it (Gregor, 1999). Peace implies that love, compassion, human dignity, and justice are fully preserved. It entails appreciating that we are all interdependent and related to one another and are collectively responsible for the common good ("Declaration", 1994). Peace generates an equilibrium in social interactions, so that all the members of society can live in harmonious relations with each other. Where there is violence, injustice, and absence of liberty, there is no peace (Canadian Centers for Teaching Peace [CCTP], 1998b). Fisk (2000) recognizes that a dominate conceptualization of peace includes negative and positive peace. Negative peace is the absence of war or other forms of violence like terrorism, warfare, etc; that is, anti-militarism. People being socialized to achieve negative peace are taught the importance of, and skills necessary for, putting out fires and stopping conflict after it has broken out (CCTP, 1998a). Positive peace represents the presence of economic, political, and cultural practices, which contribute to the safe, fair, and healthy living of citizens. Positive peace is society building by diminishing violence. Ryan (1999) further clarifies that negative peace is the absence of violence and positive peace is the presence of justice.

Fisk (2000) also set out a three-way distinction between: (a) education about peace, (b) education for peace, and (c) peace through the education process. Education about peace refers to accumulating knowledge, facts, and ideas about things that affect peace: social justice, tolerance, gender equality, social literacy, just and peaceable living, human rights, environmental security, human security, morality, diversity, and conflict and dispute resolution. Education for peace refers to a process wherein people learn ideologies, values, attitudes, moral standards, sensitivities to others, and new perceptions such that they are moved to take different actions than they did in the past.

Fisk (2000) describes gaining peace through the education process. From this perspective, he appreciates that education, done right, will lead to a collection of individuals who strive for wisdom, clarity, cooperation, democracy, human potential, and a critical awareness of life's conditions. Education done right will lead to people who appreciate that the world is full of uncertainties but who have faith in the possibilities of the future. Education done the right way will sensitize people to appreciate that they have to face their own limitations, develop capacities for trust and commitment, and be willing to let go of their preconceived notions and values for the sake of new and greater knowledge and insights. People who work for the larger truths by diligently verifying facts and findings and who know it is necessary to live with uncertainty couched in human potential will have been educated to respect, strive for, and settle for nothing but peace and the fair, safe, and healthy living of all citizens.

To reiterate, peace requires special relationships, structures, values, and attitudes to promote and protect it (Gregor, 1999). The Peace Education Network of the British National Peace Council (1999) developed a useful conceptualization of peace education, one that matches values and attitudes for peace education with the aims of peace education (see Table 4). These values include diversity, equity (treat differently leading to equality), equality (treat the same), self-esteem, integrity of the ecosystem, respect, and empathy. These values should lead to positive change, social justice, and non-violence.

A special session was held at the 2000 Peace Studies Association/Consortium of Peace Research Education and Development (PSA/COPRED) Conference in Texas on conceptualizing peace education. Table 5 summarizes the result of a conceptual mapping exercise to identify the building blocks of peace education. This process marked the beginning of the task of conceptual clarification for the area of peace education. Many of the concepts set out by the British National Peace Council are reflected in Table 5 and reflect the evolution of peace as set out in Table 3. 

Table 4 - Values, Attitudes and Aims of Peace Education (Peace Education Network of the British National Peace Council, 1999)

Values and attitudes for peace education

Aims of peace education

Respect for others

Understand the nature and origins of violence and its effects on both victim and perpetrator

Empathy (understand other's points of view)

Create frameworks for achieving peaceful, creative societies

Belief that people can make positive change

Sharpen awareness about existence of unpeaceful relationships between people and within and between nations

Appreciation of and respect for diversity

Investigate causes of conflicts and violence embedded within perceptions, values, and attitudes

Self-esteem - accept the intrinsic value of oneself

Encourage the search for alternative non-violent skills within each person

Commitment to social justice, equity, and non-violence

Equip people with personal conflict resolution skills

Concern for the environment and our place in the ecosystem

no information provided


Commitment to equality

no information provided

Table 5 - Building blocks of peace education identified at the 2000 Peace Studies Association/Consortium of Peace Research, Education, and Development (PSA/COPRED) Conference, Austin, Texas

Human rights Individual responsibilities Negative/positive peace
A way of life Pedagogy/andragogy Respect
Fairness Civil society Democracy
Holistic, not fragmented Security Justice
Humanity (human family) Mutual understanding Awareness/consciousness
Reframe and re-socialize Power issues Social justice
Literacy Non-violence Citizenship
Dignity Privilege and power Global awareness
Environment Life Human condition
Community Decision making/problem solving Listening
Consumption Gender Values
Racism and ethnicity Deeper levels of living Relationships
Trust Cooperation Caring
Diversity Communication on different levels Conflict

Primer on Leading Edge Peace Education Concepts

Rationale for a Primer on Specific Peace Concepts - Select concepts from Table 5 will be developed in the next section--concepts most related to reflective human action's features of ethics, accountability, and spirituality and to the central concepts shaping family and consumer sciences: the human family, human security, human rights, human responsibilities, and social justice. They are leading edge concepts within the peace education field. The other building blocks of peace education noted in Table 5 are supposed to be in the FCS curricula already because they form the foundation of the 1993 Scottsdale Conceptual Framework for the 21st Century for Family and Consumer Sciences (see Appendix 1 in Section II of this manuscript). These notably include: relationships and power, consumption, diversity, environment, communication, other professional skills and values, and a holistic approach to practice.

As the world changes, so must our conceptualizations of that world; hence, the following section provides an overview of emerging views on five fundamental concepts in the field of peace education: the human family, human security, human rights, human responsibilities, and social justice.

Human Family

From the moment we are born, we are destined to be in relationship with others (Jackson, 1990). Family and consumer sciences has always been concerned with relationships but has often focused on intra-familial relationships leading to strong individual family units (spousal, sibling, and parent/child relationships). This focus needs to be expanded to include the human family, which refers to the relationships between people comprising the world population--the collection of beings called humanity. Jackson notes that people desire to bond together, not only at the family level, but at the community level as well. Relationships with teachers, clergy, teams, co-workers, etc. build a sense of solidarity--an identity among members of a group. He takes this solidarity to a higher level, that of nations and cultures, urging those studying peace to extend it to the global level as well--the human family. Respect for the dignity of each person in the human family creates bonds between people. Jackson makes the interesting point that people tend to have less of a personal relationship with nationality and other cultures than they do with family members and close friends. It is this disconnectedness that needs to be mended if we are to nurture the human family as a whole. Our relationships with more distant members of the human family have to become personal because we all share a common destiny, that being to promote the common good. The common good is the totality of social conditions, which make it possible for people to reach their full potential in a timely fashion. This common destiny means it is time for an ever-expanding sense of community so that all members of the human family can reach their fullest potential.

The profession's general slogan for the 21st century could expand beyond "the voice for strong families" to include "the voice for a strong human family." Table 6 illustrates the creed for "The One Human Family" as set out on the One Human Family web site. This creed is especially poignant when one appreciates that "it is the diversity of the human family which gives it so rich a pattern of relationships. Every race and every culture has its own quality to contribute, its own note to sound, its own force to add to the whole of humanity's progress on the evolutionary path to completion of its destiny" ("The human family", n.d., web citation).

Table 6 - The One Human Family Creed

As a member of our One Human Family, I choose of my own free will to treat all people with respect and dignity. I recognize that every person is my brother and sister in our human family regardless of what they look like, what they believe, how they choose to live, and whether I agree with them or not. I will do my part to help all people receive fair treatment and reach their highest potential. I will have the courage to help people when they are down or in harm's way and the wisdom to let them learn for themselves. I will show empathy to those who suffer, forgive those who have wronged me, and be a friend to those who will let me.

This is my promise to our human family.

Clay (1997) recognizes family, among education, work, play, and religion, as one of the things that makes us all distinctly human. By extension, each family should be concerned for the world's human family. This is a profoundly exciting new direction for family and consumer sciences and builds on the emerging body of research on inclusion, diversity, community, and the global education/perspective found in the Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, the Journal of Vocational Home Economics Education, the Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Education Yearbook and Kappa Omicron Nu's FORUM and newsletter, Dialogue. Everyone has a rightful place, and inherent responsibilities, in the world "family." New and existing professionals have to be socialized in such a way that this foundation is embraced and practiced. The human family, the peoples of the world, should feel strong and connected to one another, and FCS has a key role to play in guaranteeing these global relationships.

Human Security

The family and consumer sciences profession has always been concerned with family well-being and security (McGregor & Goldsmith, 1998). A recent focus in the peace education field is the notion of human security, as opposed to national security. The latter is concerned with national defense, war, and peace keeping initiatives of a nation while the former is concerned with the well-being of the citizens within the nation and within the human family.  In more detail, national defense is traditionally concerned with protection of the nation-state, defense of territories and boundaries, and the preservation of political sovereignty. After the end of the Cold War era, security expanded to include the personal well-being of individuals and their ability to feel secure in the basic needs that affect their day-to-day existence: food, health, employment, population, human rights, environment, education, etc. (Ayala-Lasso, 1996; Nef, 1999).

Security, simply put, is protecting oneself, other people, or society from threats and challenges to safety and existence. Being secure means that risks (exposure to harm or danger) have been reduced or eliminated--feeling insecure means the risks, or the reality, of harm are still there (Nef, 1999). The concept of human security is multidimensional and these many dimensions are set out in Table 7.

Table 7 - Multidimensional concept of human security (extrapolated from Nef, 1999)

Dimension of Human Security Main theme of each dimension Symptoms of insecurity (risks) for each dimension of human security
Environmental Right to preservation of life and health and to dwell in a safe and sustainable environment - Death of rain forests - Thinning of ozone layer - Air pollution and acid rain - Freshwater contamination and depletion - Land degradation and erosion - Food insecurity - Damage to oceans - Epidemics and disease - Threats to the genetic pool - Dangers to the Green Revolution - Hazardous waste
Cultural Preserving and enhancing the ability to control uncertainty and fear - Crisis (not crash) of civilizations - Mindless incrementalism (short term fixes) - Hegemony of neoclassical economics - Crisis of learning and crisis of ideas - Impractical pragmatism (short term fixes) - Abandonment of politics (no voice, laws that favor transnational corporations) - Lack of moral obligations and human responsibilities - Westernization - Telecommunications, transportation, information technology, media control
Political Right to representation, freedom and autonomy, participation and dissent combined with empowerment to make choices with a reasonable probability to effect change. This includes protection from abuse, access to justice and legal-juridical security. - Spread of conflict - Terrorism and counter terrorism - Crime and counter crime - Neoliberalism - Neofascism
Social Freedom from discrimination based on age, gender, race, ethnicity or social status. This means access to information, freedom to associate and access to safety nets. Access to integrated and strong communities - Population growth - Migration - Refugee flows - Hyberurbanization - Decline of communities and civil society
Economic Access to employment and resources needed to maintain one's existence, reduce scarcity and improve material quality of life in community - Persistent and expanding poverty - Crisis of economic growth - Debt crisis - Deteriorating terms of trade - Down side of global competition - Unemployment and underemployment
Personal Cooperation, cohabitation and personal responsibility for own, and collective security, leads to continuity of individual lives, transmission of collective knowledge, and provision of food, medical, shelter as well as physical protection from injury or death - Weapons of mass destruction - Family in crisis or transition - Violence in the home - Isolation and disconnectedness from collective - Excessive consumerism - Illiteracy

The notion of human security should resonate loudly with family and consumer scientists who have always been concerned with well-being. Fleck (1980) set out four functions of families related to the four traditional aspects of well-being: (a) provide physical necessities (food, clothing, shelter); (b) facilitate physical, intellectual, and emotional development of members; (c) provide every opportunity for every family member to be happy and successful; and (d) provide a chance for every member to be contented and close to all other family members. Respectively, Brown's (1993) model of well-being refers to efficiency in management and control over things in the home (economic and physical well-being) and to interpersonal relations and personality development within the family (social and psychological well-being). Table 8 provides a comprehensive summary of McGregor and Goldsmith's (1998) discussion of the seven dimensions of well-being. They expand the concept of well-being to include the spiritual, the environmental, and personal autonomy--the political. These dimensions of family well-being are evident in Nef's (1999) conceptualization of global human security.

Using the human security label is a sign that governments have begun to recognize the importance of the well-being of citizens as well as the security of the state and the nation. It should be easy for us to embrace the notion of human security. Heinbecker (1999) elaborates further, noting that human security complements, but does not substitute for, national security; that individual human beings and communities, rather than states, are the measure of security; that the security of states is necessary, but not sufficient, to ensure individual well-being. This approach to family well-being places families at the forefront of policy and government programs, dialogue, and deliberations because their interest is now also in focus along with deficit, debts, and military might.

Table 8 - Summary of dimensions of various aspects of well-being (extrapolated from McGregor & Goldsmith, 1998)

Economic Physical Social Emotional Environmental Political Spiritual
The degree to which individuals and families have economic adequacy or security. Concern with or preoccupation with the body and its needs plus maintaining the integrity of the human body by protecting it and providing sustenance The social space of the family as a group, the social needs of the individual played out daily in interactions via interpersonal relationships within the family group and with the larger community, including the workplace. The mental status or space of individual family members versus the group as a whole Concern for our role in the earth's diminishing resource Family and individual's internal sense of power and autonomy based on moral and ethical freedom, concern for the welfare of the community and nation Captures a layer of well-being, a sense of insight and ethereal, intangible evolution not readily imparted by either social or psychological well-being as they are conventionally defined
Money income, transfers and in-kind income, financial assets, human capital, community resources, durable goods and services, time, deferred consumption, attitude toward money, control over financial affairs and resources, values, insurance-risk management ability, job security, benefits, ability to adjust to life transitions, life style decisions, loss of employment, illness, bankruptcy, bank failures, poverty, destitution in old age, unpaid labour in the home Unsafe and irresponsible personal conduct or the actions of a third party; illness, disease and malnutrition; lack of or inappropriate exercise; dangerous and hazardous products; adulterated foods; incompetent and irresponsible service delivery; environmental degradation (e.g., depletion of ozone layer), managing physical impairments or disabilities as well as sleep, tension and stress, adequate and affordable housing for protection against the elements or abusive partners; safe, durable, and comfortable clothing and textiles, safe, healthy, edible food products and nutrient supplements Interpersonal relationships and the dynamics of familial interaction; ability to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others, to participate with others in society, and to learn the ways of daily life; processes of cooperation and conflict, communication patterns and problem solving; conflict management, decision making and goal setting patterns; resource management, stressors in and on the family; any special needs; interpersonal skills, love, romance and relating to others Self esteem, self worth, self image,self identity self actualization, self formation and fulfillment, self concept self expression, sense of belonging feeling connected with others, status, feeling superior, self respect, prestige, ego-defense, independence self control Waste and energy management, reduction and recycling, reduced and more considered consumption habits; depletion of the ozone layer, destruction of plant and animal species, loss of oceans, growing deserts, soil erosion, deforestation. protecting the integrity of the near environments (noise, water and sound pollution) the internal environments of the buildings where we work, live, recoup and play. Sick building syndrome due to harmful indoor pollutants. On control of one's life, being able to and having the freedom to make decisions, being aware of and able to anticipate the consequences of one's actions on one's self and others;having the skills to act on one's decisions;no longer accept unquestioningly those practices in society that are frequently taken for granted, those practices which reinforce inequality and injustice Joy and sense of completeness, holistic connectedness of the world, pure joy of living, peace, hope and faith gained from insights and moments of growth and enlightenment; being and relating rather than having and doing

Human Rights

Human security is synonymous with human rights (Nef, 1999). Peace and human security are dependent on universal adherence to human rights (Weiss, 2000). Human rights are about the denial of the full humanity of a person due to oppressive, prejudicial, discriminatory actions of government (Thompson, 1997). A right is something to which an individual has a just claim. A "just claim" refers to a morally correct demand for something that is due or believed to be due (Gove, 1969). Human rights are those that individuals have by virtue of their very existence as human beings (to live, eat, breath, have shelter). Civil or legal rights are those granted by government (e.g., the right to vote at age 18). Rights are often associated with freedom. Bannister and Monsma (1982) define a right as powers, privileges, or protections to which people are justly entitled or which law has established.

Human rights are inalienable, meaning incapable of being surrendered or transferred. These rights apply to every single person on this earth simply because they are living on this earth! After the atrocities of World War II, the newly formed UN issued the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. It is intended to protect humans against actions taken by their governments. It is comprised of 30 articles organized around six themes: (a) born free and equal (2 articles); (b) civil and political rights (next 19 articles); (c) economic, social and cultural rights (next 8 articles); (d) social and international context within to achieve rights--that is, peace and human security (1 article); (e) duties to protect rights and freedoms of others in the community (1 article); and, finally, (f) one last article says that no one can take any one of the rights out of context and use it as an excuse to violate other rights in the Declaration, and that every single person, group, organization, and government is responsible for making the Declaration work, see Table 9 (Canadian Human Rights Foundation, 1986).

Table 9 - - United Nations Human Rights provide protection from actions of government, not business, and are comprised of 30 articles organized around six themes:

(1) Born free and equal (2)

(2) Civil and political rights (next 19)

recognition under the law, rights to fair trials and freedom of movement in and out of a country, freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile, and freedom from torture as well as the rights to privacy, to have a family, to own property, to have free conscious and thought, right to public assembly and to participate in government

(3) Economic, social, and cultural rights (next 8)

employment and working conditions, social security, leisure, standards of living, education, moral and material interests/authorship, and arts and cultural enjoyment

(4) Social and international context within to achieve rights - that is, peace

and human security (1)

(5) Duties to protect rights and freedoms of others in the community (1) and,

(6) No one can take any one of the rights out of context and use it as an excuse to violate other rights in the Declaration, and every single person, group, organization and government is responsible for making it work.

Another way to conceptualize human rights is provided by Thompson (1997): personal, social, and instrumental rights. Personal rights protect the fundamental characteristics of the person: life, bodiliness (food, shelter, medical care, security), self-determination, sociability, work, sexuality, family, and core values. Social rights specify society's obligation to each person: health care, political participation, adequate working conditions, education, and public assembly. Finally, instrumental rights promote individual participation in the development of institutions that shape and structure daily human life: the economy, government, health care, educational systems, labour market, the law, etc. An extension of this schema was developed by Christiansen et al. (1974). They broke human rights into eight dimensions, each with three levels also labeled instrumental, social, and personal, all relating to human dignity (see Table 10).

Table 10 - Human rights classification scheme (adapted from Christiansen et al., 1974)


Three different levels:


Instrumental (institutional)




Security in sickness, inability to work, old age, and unemployment

Food, clothing, shelter, rest, and medical care

Life and bodily integrity


Judicial protection of political participation (suffrage and due process)

Political participation



Internal and external migration

Nationality and residence

Freedom of movement


Form societies and organizations

Assembly and association

Social intercourse


Organize unions and right to property

Adequate working conditions and a just wage

Right to work

Sexual and family

Economic, social, cultural, and moral conditions necessary for family life

Right to found a family or live singly, right to procreate

Choose a state of life


Religious freedom

Private and public expression of religious belief

Religious belief


Be informed truthfully

Freedom of expression, education, and culture

To communicate

Table 11 provides a summary of the individual articles in the Declaration and the full text is available at Reardon (1995) clarifies that the list is not a legal guarantee but rather a statement of belief.  Protecting these rights should lead to a better world.

Table 11  - Summary of Basic UN Human Rights, 1948

Free and equal

Entitled to all rights and freedoms in the declaration

Security of person

No slavery

No torture

Are a person before the law

Right to protection of the law against discrimination

Right to effective remedy

Need a reason for being arrested

Trial by peers

Presumed Innocent

Freedom from interference of privacy (family, home or correspondence)

Free to move within the country

Can leave and return to country

Can seek asylum

Can choose a nation(ality)

Can marry of own free will and have a family

Family is fundamental unit of society

 Can own property

Can have free thought, conscience and religion

Can express opinion

Can gather in public


Right to access to public service

Right to dignity and personality via social services


Equal pay

Pay equal to assurance of human dignity

Can form and join a union

Standard of living adequate for health and well-being with special status for women and children


Share and participate in community and culture

Copyright and intellectual property


Responsible to community and democratic society

Tables 10 and 11 and profile the first generation of human rights agreed to in 1948. Second, third, and fourth generation of rights also have evolved. In the 50s and 60s other rights were added: prevention of genocide (1951) and elimination of racial discrimination (1969). In 1976, more human rights were added through two conventions, one on socio-economic and cultural rights and the other on civil and political rights. In the 80s and 90s, the right to self-determination (1981, notably in Africa's Charter), the rights of women (1981), rights against torture, etc. (1987), and the rights of the child (1990) were added. In 1984, the UN added a significant right--the right to peace. Only through peace can civilization be preserved and all other rights ensured (Canadian Voice of Women for Peace, 1999; Reardon, 1995). It is noteworthy that United States has not accepted the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (Fraser, 1998).This lack of endorsement affects efforts by the profession to obtain results from efforts to lobby for peace and human rights.

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