Confronting Nuclear War: The Role of Education, Religion, and the CommunityChapter 8 The Role of Higher and Secondary Education The academic community has greatly neglected the issue of human extinction from nuclear weapons. Analysis, discussion and teaching about this issue is relegated to a handful of faculty at most high schools and universities.
It is essential that educators lead the way in bringing the problem back into focus.
When horrific problems challenge positive human development, and human survival is itself threatened, educators have to change their ways of thinking and behaving 11 Jun 2018 - Nuclear weapons represent an existential threat to the United States, but the Creating a comprehensive presentation that would interest students and We do not know where all of North Korea's nuclear (not to mention .
After all, instruction for positive development is unquestionably a meta-goal of the entire educational enterprise. Those who leave out this goal default on sound educational philosophy.
Educators need to be encouraged to include nuclear disarmament content in their ongoing courses as well as to develop new courses and programs. A number of professors and teachers nationwide do offer well-documented courses on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation strategies.
Unfortunately, many other educators argue that they are already overloaded with the research and courses they are paid to teach, and they simply do not have the time to work on another specialty. In a conversation I once had with noted economist and peace researcher, Kenneth Boulding, he used the term "sub-optimization" to refer to "doing extremely well that which doesn't need to be done at all in terms of human survival.
This is not to say that they must ignore their particular disciplinary efforts.
Instead, the basic educational philosophic question must be, "In concert with my current curricular offerings, how can I include subject matter concerning the avoidance of the destruction of Planet Earth (with nuclear weapons) into my course offerings?" No question, some deans, administrators, and high school principals will balk at the inclusion of nuclear disarmament content into their established courses. Hutchins, president of the University of Chicago, was known to repeat the quote: "Changing a college curriculum is like moving a graveyard—you never know how many friends the dead have until you try to move them. " Indeed it is, but ultimately, it is not administrators who are responsible for what an instructor teaches.
Freedom of speech extends to the classroom in the form of academic independence by those who do the actual teaching. There may be specific requirements for course offerings and the subject matter to be presented, but when an instructor truly deems a topic to be relevant, it is his or her choice to present that content within the framework of course requirements—school board and university trustee opinion notwithstanding.
A personal example of how the above question can be incorporated into existing courses, as well as how strong administrative resistance can be to such actions, relates to a "Community Recreation" course I taught years ago at the University of Missouri. The course included one chapter related to the history of health, physical education and recreation in the U.
It was taught during the late 1960's, when the U. Many of my students were college athletes, some of whom eventually played football in the National Football League.
In fact, one of the students became NFL Rookie of the Year. In discussing the history of physical education, I pointed out that the field had been successfully utilized for centuries to prepare young men for military service and war fighting.
Included on this list are the Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Germans, and the U.
8. the role of education - confronting nuclear war: the role of
In fact, the World War I draftees were found to be so out of shape that a movement was initiated to require that physical education be taught in all U.
To some degree, a similar situation inspired John F.
Within the war preparation context of the course, I posed the following question to the athletes and others in the class: It has been said that the Duke of Wellington claimed that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of the elite English School—Eton.
1 What do you think the Duke meant by that statement, and do you agree or disagree with him that the battle was, in fact, won there? Most of the students, like myself, did not know a great deal about the battle, but several students speculated that it could have been won because of the fitness habits learned by the young students at Eton. And, they probably also learned a great deal about cohesive team relations and patriotism, which had carry-over value to small group military activity such as that of an infantry platoon.
Following their comments, I posed another issue, "Lord Bertrand Russell, the world renown mathematician and philosopher, said, ‘The Battle of Waterloo was not won on the playing fields of Eton—it was started there. ’" We then talked about Russell's concern that sports activities, when improperly conducted, can lay the groundwork for male chauvinism and extreme militant nationalism.
Following that discourse, I held up a copy of Life Magazine displaying a picture of a young man named Pete Dawkins, a former All-American football player at the U. Military Academy at West Point, who was also a Rhodes Scholar. The picture showed Captain Dawkins dressed in combat fatigues and wearing a red beret.
The caption over the picture said, "Army’s All-America Rhodes Scholar, Now in Vietnam: Captain Pete Dawkins Keeps on Winning. " 2 I then asked the students who is correct: the Duke of Wellington or Lord Russell? Needless to say, the question accomplished the goal of stimulating a great deal of discussion.
The Wellington/Russell values clarification exercise was just one of many activities used in the "Community Recreation" course, as well as an additional undergraduate and graduate level course. The dean who headed the School of Social and Community Services got word of my teaching material and approach to questions about war and peace.
He became very dissatisfied, to the extent that he had someone in the class report back to him on my teaching. Later that year, the dean issued me a terminal contract, read “pink slip," even though I was completely covering all of the basic elements of a well-prepared course, which dealt with the concepts of comprehensive programs of publicly conducted and supported recreation.
My firing was also carried out despite the fact that the undergraduate students of the Department of Recreation and Park Administration presented me an award for outstanding teaching, and the fact that the number of students who signed up for my courses exceeded that of any other instructor in the department. Eventually, the American Association of University Professors censured the University of Missouri on my behalf.
The case included a variety of conflict variables, including my activities as a campus anti-war protester, but the origins of the case had to do with "in-class" issues of academic freedom.
Clearly, including relevant subject matter not commonly included in conventional courses can be dangerous to one's long-term employment Educators need to be encouraged to include nuclear disarmament content in their Certainly, not all college teachers will operate under the tenets of social might be brought to campus for public presentations and curriculum consultations?.
Nevertheless, that's what creative teaching is all about. Throughout the educational system, a willingness to confront the difficult problems that threaten decent life and survival on this planet is needed from teachers.
Those problems include: environmental degradation, large scale violations of human rights, rapidly increasing population growth, the prosecution of illegal wars, and the threat of nuclear holocaust. Attention to these problems is demanded by a philosophy of education called "social reconstructionism," which is based on the idea that people are responsible for creating social conditions, therefore, they have the responsibility to improve life on our planet by changing the social order via the application of democratic ideals and principles through education.
Certainly, not all college teachers will operate under the tenets of social reconstructionism, but those who do can lead the way in bringing the threat of nuclear war back into focus on college campuses. They can also strongly encourage their colleagues to include nuclear disarmament and war prevention topics in their courses and community service activities.
The same holds true for high school teachers, especially those who teach literature, writing, social studies, physical and biological sciences, health education, and other appropriate courses. Again, it is important to stress that one does not have to be academically competent in physical science or physical technology of any sort to challenge the madness of plans for nuclear destruction.
Rather, academics and others must simply comprehend that the insane possibility of nuclear holocaust is real and it does not get the level of educational attention its consequences demand. The situation is bound to worsen without citizen action, which will not occur unless educators assist in confronting the problem.
Any reasonable philosophy of education must address the major human and natural threats to our survival, including that of nuclear war. Failure to so is, in fact, an act of criminal negligence on the part of teachers whose job it is to help students address the primary obstacles and threats to their own development and that of their fellow students.
Unless teachers adopt such a philosophy, their other teachings may be of little or no consequence. As discussed earlier, talking regularly and systematically about the problems associated with nuclear war is one of the first steps in actually dealing with the problem.
Therefore, promoting and conducting "dialogues for nuclear disarmament" can help facilitate significant input into various academic curricula. Curriculum design and development concerning nuclear disarmament education can be initiated by any concerned faculty member who wishes to promote the integration of nuclear war prevention subject-matter into existing courses and departmental activities, or who wishes to develop new, relevant courses.
Dialogue questions pertaining to curriculum construction for use with faculty in sociology, political science, journalism, literature, writing, philosophy, psychology, social work, environmental studies, peace studies, health education, women's studies, religious studies, and other disciplines include: 1. What should be the role of higher education in confronting the problem of nuclear war? 2.
What can this discipline do to ensure that the issue is properly included in existing courses? 3. What are the primary, available texts, journals, course materials and on-line resources that relate to this problem? 4.
What nuclear disarmament related courses are now available on this campus? 5. Which on-campus faculty members have shown interest? 6.
Who are some of the "outside" experts who might be brought to campus for public presentations and curriculum consultations? 7. What is the possibility that new courses or new course modules might be designed? Nuclear Disarmament Education Team (MUNDET) In conjunction with the above questions and the understanding that most college and university professors are seriously defaulting on nuclear war issues, the Peace Studies Program at Missouri University has initiated the Missouri University Nuclear Disarmament Education Team (MUNDET).
This team is a good example of what can be accomplished at universities across the country requiring only a small number of educators dedicated to the problem. In accordance with MU’s mission of research, instruction, and public service, MUNDET’s function is to consult with interested faculty and students at the university and elsewhere about research into nuclear disarmament.
It provides assistance to academic units for curriculum development and aids educational, civic and faith-based organizations and other interested parties in disarmament programming.
The utility of nuclear weapons and the strategy of no-first-use
Its mission is to inform citizens of Missouri and elsewhere of the urgent need to abolish nuclear weapons from the planet and to inspire them to work for this goal The threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons has 3 major aspects: But we will use the terms terrorism and terrorist, as they are commonly used, to refer In 1997, the National Cancer Institute published a study on the risk of the .
In that spirit, it encourages people of all walks of life and educational background to join the team.
It is not necessary to have a degree or expertise in international affairs to engage people on the topic. MUNDET recruits leaders in nuclear disarmament education to serve as honorary coaches and to lend their expertise.
Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois; David Kreiger, president, and Rick Wayman, director, of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; and writer Jonathan Schell.
The team joins in common cause with other nuclear disarmament coalitions and provides a model of action for university and educational groups. One team member, Steve Starr, has become one of the foremost educators in the field of nuclear war and its climatic consequences, He presents talks both locally and internationally, including at the United Nations and Australia.
His material can be found at his website called . At the website, Steve summarizes several scientific studies following the famous 1983 in-depth study lead by Carl Sagan into the possible atmospheric consequences of nuclear war; all have confirmed the scientific validity of “nuclear winter.
” This is the effect caused by millions of tons of smoke from nuclear explosions rising into the Earth’s stratosphere, far above weather movements. There, the sunlight blocking smoke could actually remain in the stratosphere for at least a decade.
The new research modeled a range of nuclear conflicts, beginning with a “regional” nuclear war of 100 Hiroshima-size weapons, such as between India and Pakistan, all the way up to a full-scale nuclear conflict using the entire global nuclear arsenal. Nuclear winter would still occur at the regional conflict level and would rapidly reduce temperatures by about a degree Celsius and would also reduce average global precipitation by ten percent.
If 1/3 of the total global nuclear arsenal were detonated, about 60 percent of U. and Russian strategic weapons now on high-alert status, within days cooling would be worse than the coldest period of the last Ice Age 18,000 years ago. Thus, any conflict that targets even a tiny fraction of the global nuclear arsenal against large urban centers, will cause catastrophic disruptions of the global climate leading to the collapse of total ecosystems, followed by starvation among many people.
3 Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Curriculum Materials Faculty in all fields of education should explore possibilities for developing new nuclear disarmament courses and modules within their own academic specialties. In undertaking that task, educators should review various curricular resources that have already been developed and are presently in use.
Two of the best sources for those materials are the Teacher's Tool Kit offered on-line by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Nuclear Age Course Syllabi Project of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF). 4 The Course Syllabi Project is a unique online repository for the field of peace education that encourages communication among teachers and the public.
Presently, 87 syllabi are provided at the website. These syllabi offer an abundance of curricular resources adaptable for use in several disciplines.
Material can be added or subtracted to meet the needs of a particular academic discipline, both as units of existing courses or for the development of new courses. The overview of a course offered at the American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute, entitled “The Nuclear Age: From Hiroshima to Nuclear Terrorism,” is a good example: The nuclear age, now over fifty years old, has exerted an unimaginably profound effect on late twentieth-century patterns of thought and ways of living.
From the detonation of the first nuclear weapons over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, nuclear weapons, nuclear energy and the culture surrounding them have shaped our lives.
Disarmament education - the united nations
They also transformed popular culture and social life: art, literature and film, as well as politics and military doctrine have all reflected and embodied the traumas of nuclear culture 27 Sep 2016 - The Defense Nuclear Weapons School offers its assurances that presentations and discussions will be held in strict confidence. Without the .
Accessible to scientists and non-scientists, this course aims to explore the origins and development of nuclear culture, and tries to shed light on the interactions of science, technology, politics, gender and cultural production in the nuclear world.
The course also asks: can a new understanding of nuclear discourse help us come to terms with the nuclear past, and does it offer any guidance as to how we should think about the nuclear present and the nuclear future? Two other examples come from the NTI Teachers’ Tool Kit. In the summer of 2000, instructor Michael Barletta offered an advanced research seminar called “Nuclear Proliferation, Non-Proliferation, and Counter-Proliferation” at the Monterey Institute for International Studies.
The course was designed to examine the origins of nuclear weapons proliferation and its impact on U. The goal of the course was to familiarize students with the central debates and key cases in order to think analytically about the cause and consequences of nuclear proliferation, and to evaluate policy responses to impede, dissuade and cope with the spread of nuclear weapons.
A beginner’s course was offered by Fredrick K. Lamb at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the spring of 2006 called “Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control.
” It was a non-technical lesson on the physics of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, their effects, and defenses against nuclear attack. The course included a presentation of current issues and was designed to assist students in making informed judgments about nuclear armaments and arms control.
A general content analysis of the courses listed on the Teacher's Tool Kit and Course Syllabi Project indicate common topical offerings. College and university instructors from many academic disciplines should consider the following as a starting point for developing their own courses in the field of nuclear disarmament education: 1.
The origins and history of nuclear proliferation, including technological, humanitarian, and legal factors. Present dangers and trends in nuclear proliferation. Problems and threats of lateral nuclear proliferation, i. , acquisition of nuclear weapons by those states that are now non-nuclear weapons states. Nuclear disarmament processes and associated problems. Central debates and key cases pertaining to the causes of nuclear weapons proliferation. Questions related to past nonproliferation strategies and efforts, and their suitability for today. Individual judgment-making regarding issues of arms control and disarmament. How to improve arms control and disarmament strategies. Applications of international law to nuclear disarmament. Other Approaches to Course Development I taught an honors course at the University of Missouri called "The Creative Peace Workshop," which examined many of the major issues related to peace and world order.
The same method used for teaching this course could also deal exclusively with matters pertaining to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and might be called, "Thinking Creatively About Nuclear Disarmament. " There is no question that this approach works well with highly motivated honors students, but I believe a similar approach can be used with "regular" college and high school students, if the number of students is limited to 20-30 and school policies are flexible enough to permit this creative approach.
The 20 students in our "workshop" were asked to brainstorm suggestions regarding the question: "What is Peace?" Once the class agreed upon several basic definitions of "peace," they were asked to do another brainstorm exercise regarding the question: "What are the major obstacles to the achievement of peace on our Planet?" As each student responded to the question, dozens of obstacles were listed on a flip chart, and the class then voted on the topics with which they wished to cover during the whole semester. Through a process of "multi-voting," the number of topics was narrowed to a total of twenty.
Students then agreed on which member of the class would be assigned a particular topic for purposes of library research, online research, special readings, the viewing of videos, interviews with campus or off-campus experts, etc. Emphasis was placed on the acquisition of up-to-date information and ideas concerning the assigned topics.
Students were then instructed to prepare a basic bibliography of materials pertaining to their chosen topic for distribution to the entire class. They were also told to prepare talking points for a 25-minute talk on their respective topics, to be followed by 25-minutes of class discussion.
In that the semester was 16 weeks long, with three classes per week, we had time allotments for 20 student presentations, which required approximately seven weeks for completion. For the remaining seven weeks, each student was asked to conduct three dialogues for peace with individuals in Columbia, MO.
They were asked to present reviews of at least one of the dialogues to the entire class. Once again, the time limit per student was 25 minutes, with the remaining 25 minutes per class devoted to group examination and discussion of the information being presented.
The rules of the presentations also allowed the presenting student to compare and contrast the responses of all three of the dialogue partners from whom s/he had obtained information. It is important to note that the instructor provided guidance for in-depth analysis of the ramifications of all of the data provided by the student dialogue initiators.
It is also important to point out that the heart of the "Creative Peace Workshop" approach is the notion that an instructor whose I. may be lower (as mine was) than some of his/her honors students can use a proven educational technique and process to maximize student input and intrinsic involvement, while at the same time setting up the conditions to ensure that the information offered to the class is timely and up-to-date. This is not to suggest that standard resources were not available to students.
A substantial amount of supplementary material was suggested, but students used those materials as they related to their own specific needs and interests. Another useful approach to course development is to build a course around a single, well-written, well-documented text.
One creative way to do so comes from a peace studies colleague at the University of Missouri, John Kultgen, who is a MUNDET member and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, taught a very popular course for many years called “Philosophies of War and Peace.
Documentation: “the politics of nuclear weapons policy
5 A simple model for using John's book as a guide for the development of a new course could be titled, "The Morality of Nuclear War SG Reports · Education Activities · Presentations · Publications · Podcasts The Master's in Arms Control and International Security covers the political My challenge in this course is to make vivid to you that the dangers of nuclear weapons, is offered by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) .
" In so doing, an instructor could use the five major units of the book as the core elements of the course: Part One: Facts of the Matter (Nuclear Deterrence) § Policies § The Way Out In addition to the content outlined above, John Kultgen's book provides an extensive bibliography on nuclear disarmament issues, useful to any instructor who chooses to develop a new module or full course in his/her own discipline.
Nuclear Disarmament Education for High School Students Most high school students receive little, if any, education on non-proliferation topics prior to entering college. In fact, they receive very little exposure to peace-oriented education, as the typical history courses are organized from war to war and general to general.
This is a missed opportunity to set a good foundation for a lifetime commitment and involvement in nuclear disarmament issues. Access to this information cannot be limited only to the “academic elite” of the college educated because it is an issue that fundamentally affects everyone.
Unfortunately, state and federal mandates, such as the misleadingly named No Child Left Behind program, have discouraged teachers from exploring curricula outside of standard materials. Instead, teachers are forced to rush through materials to be covered on standardized tests, which determine student and teacher performance and how much money the school will receive.
Education of this type only teaches students to be good test takers, not common sense or multi-dimensional thinkers. Clearly, with the implementation of metal-detectors at every entrance, resident police presences, strip searches, and lockdowns, schools have increasingly taken on the characteristics of prisons.
Instead of treating the next generation as violent captives, which is exactly what they will become if treated this way, an alternative to the current trend must be taken. In a response to the August 2001 session of the Study on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education, Leah Wells, then Peace Education Coordinator for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, said: For young people to become active in disarmament and non-proliferation, they must first have the opportunity to come to some understanding and awareness that these two topics are global problems with personal implications.
Students are not taught to be system-oriented, seeing the world as a living organism and acknowledging the web of interconnections that span the globe. If our goal is to educate kids about disarmament and non-proliferation, then our first step is getting them to believe that our world is worth saving.
The military now has direct access into high schools in America through programming called Channel One, which broadcasts "news" into schools for fifteen minutes every day. ROTC recruiters are allowed onto campuses, but conscientious objectors are thrown off school grounds.
Specific classes in nonviolence education are few and far between in the United States, and many teachers are too overwhelmed with their current curriculum to believe that themes of peace and justice infused into their existing lesson plans could work. 6 Wells presents four recommendations to change this trajectory.
First, schools must be made more nonviolent by making nonviolence education a mandatory component and by removing the militaristic marketing and orientation. Rather than classrooms being corporate experiments, non-governmental organizations should utilize the “news” networks to encourage coverage of peace-friendly programming to an already captive audience.
Second, non-governmental organizations should interface the existing materials on disarmament and non-proliferation and compile a “user-friendly” seminar and framework for allowing student participation in this issue, such as: how to write to a newspaper or member of congress, create a press release or petition, and how to engage their creativity towards a positive goal. Third, when possible, students need to experience first-hand the effects of governmental policies on other countries.
If it is not possible to visit another country where young people are actively participating in conflict, then students could be taken on field trips to weapons testing sites or factories where the many different weapons are produced. Lastly, students need to be shown a more complete and real picture of the problem rather than blaming the warring parties for their reliance on weapons to settle conflicts.
Students need to know that the number one export in America is weapons and that they are supplied to both sides in most of the ongoing conflicts worldwide.
7 One model high school lesson on nuclear disarmament comes from the Canadian-based program called A World Without Weapons FPS Presentations · APS Fellowship The first three APS/FPS Conferences on Nuclear Weapon and Related Issues were published in the American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings 104, 178 and 1596. International experts will give the background to understand these issues more completely. We recommend .
This program developed a well prepared lesson plan titled, "Introduction to Disarmament and Non-Proliferation," which focuses on weapon systems including nuclear weapons.
A history of the defense nuclear weapons school - defense threat
Below is the lesson plan outline, which has been altered to include only issues related to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Course rubrics have also been altered to fit the "nuclear weapons only" mode.
The original lesson plan calls for two class periods, but a more in-depth treatment of the suggested activities would require at least a week-long unit or module to successfully cover the lesson materials and activities. Overview: Students will gain an overall understanding of the major issues related to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Students will also study the motivations for armament and disarmament, and the process by which the international community, regional organizations and the U. encourage the practice of disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Objectives/Expectations: § Explain the meaning of disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons § Identify key areas for nuclear disarmament § Identify the range of actions with their successes and challenges in various campaigns aimed at disarmament § Investigate the foreign policies on nuclear disarmament of various countries § Identify stakeholders working toward disarmament § Understand that creating a culture of change occurs at local, national and global levels through the efforts of individuals, groups and institutions § Analyze the underlying culture messages and the prevalence of armament in the world.
Materials: § Handouts on techniques of brainstorming § Teacher provided materials including pictures of various kinds of nuclear weapons, and missiles to be obtained on-line § Internet access for website research and questions 8 Lesson Activities: 1. Give students one week to collect 3-5 news clippings or on-line articles concerning nuclear weapons issues and, if possible, responses from individuals, communities and organizations.
Other forms of media can also be used, along with teacher supplied materials. An additional possibility would be to have students conduct one or two "dialogues for nuclear disarmament.
" Questions for small groups or teacher led discussions: § How many nuclear war related articles did you locate? § How many were local/national/international? § Did those articles refer to the potential use of nuclear weapons, and/or did they refer to measures for nuclear disarmament? § To what groups, individuals, organizations or countries did the article refer? Begin class by showing various images and or texts related to the nuclear arms race. One of the best tools which offers an overview of the nuclear war problem is the DVD, Nuclear Weapons and the Human Future: What You Can Do to Help.
Brainstorming questions for student discussions with small groups or the whole class: § Why do individuals in local communities take up arms? § Why do countries pursue nuclear arms? § What are some of the key threats of nuclear weapons to human security? § What can be done to lessen the threat of nuclear weapons? § What are the implications of the proliferation of nuclear armaments?Class Projects and Activities: 2.
Class members can produce an awareness pamphlet on nuclear disarmament including the following information: § Pictures and descriptions of various kinds of nuclear weapons § A brief historical background of the deployment of nuclear weapons—especially in U. states where nuclear weapons are deployed like Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, etc. § A brief mention of nuclear weapons treaties and other international agreements § Shocking statistics concerning the effects of nuclear war § Involvement/future actions that can be undertaken at local, national and global levels § Sources of more information