How can teachers facilitate constructive and educational conversations about global conflicts in the classroom?

First of all, these conversations are never to be conducted with children in either an Infant Community or a Casa.  The children are too young to truly understand global conflict.  They deserve to live life believing in the good of humanity; we can demonstrate our love for everyone by how we communicate with all the children in the group. 

In an Elementary class, these conversations can arise from studying human migrations, economic geography, history, morality, etc.  Elementary children are very interested in morality – in what is considered right and wrong. This is an opportunity to bring situations back to the classroom to discuss social issues in their community and to allow the children to do some problem-solving around how to handle personal conflicts.  They can also create various fundraising opportunities to support a situation of their choice.  The adults must be very careful not to allow their judgements to enter into the discussions – but to remain objective about the children’s concerns.  Just as we do not impose our various religious beliefs on the children, we do not impose our various political beliefs on the children.  

As children today are overly exposed to the media and all the negative aspects of humanity exposed via various media platforms, it might easily come up in discussions. Teachers should be very clear about their responsibilities, be clear about the characteristics of the elementary children. Through discussions, try to ‘root out’ the children’s concerns and problem-solve.  Let them express their ideas of how to solve conflict. Then utilise those skills in solving conflicts that arise within their group.

With the over-exposure to these global conflicts, many children can be left feeling insecure so we have to remember that the majority of humans are peaceful and that we strive to maintain peaceful co-existence in our relationships with each other.

If a child is overly concerned, discuss this with the parents and try to minimise a child’s exposure to the media.

Children having a discussion with teacher