The International Institute on Peace Education is a weeklong residential experience for educators hosted in a different country every other summer. The Institute facilitates exchanges of theory and practical experiences in teaching peace education and serves to grow the field. In serving the field, the IIPE operates as an applied peace education laboratory that provides a space for pedagogical experimentation; cooperative, deep inquiry into shared issues; and advancing theoretical, practical and pedagogical applications.
Since its inauguration at Teachers College Columbia University in 1982, the IIPE has brought together experienced and aspiring educators, academics, professional workers, and activists in the field of peace education from around the world to exchange knowledge and experiences and learn with and from each other in its intensive residentially based learning community. The IIPE is held annually at various universities and peace centers throughout the world.
Also an opportunity for networking and community building, the IIPE has spawned a variety of collaborative research projects and peace education initiatives at the local, regional, and international levels.
The International Peace Bureau, in nominating IIPE for the 2005 UNESCO Peace Education Prize described it as “probably the most effective agent for the introduction of peace education to more educators than any other single non-governmental agency.”
The objectives of each particular institute are rooted in the needs and transformational concerns of the co-sponsoring host partner, their local community, and the surrounding region. More widely, the educational purposes of the IIPE are directed toward the development of the field of peace education in theory, practice and advocacy. In addition to the important learning of contextually relevant issues and pedagogical approaches, the purposes of the IIPE are threefold:
1) To aid in the development of the substance of peace education through exploration of new and challenging themes to contribute to the on-going development of the field.
2) To build strategic international institutional alliances among NGOs, universities and agencies involved in peace education thereby increasing the benefits of shared expertise on substance and practice as well as advancing educational reform initiatives.
3) To encourage regional cooperation toward the maximization of resources, cooperation in pedagogical and substantive developments and increasing regional perspectives on the global issues that comprise the content of peace education. This is accomplished through significant involvement of regional organizations and participants with an annual goal of 50% of the participants from the region.