Peace School & peace education


Peace School is a workshop-based peace work project, which the Peace Union of Finland maintains together with the Peace Education Institute. Peace School offers peace education with participatory drama methods for school and students groups of all ages. The headquarters for the Peace School is located at the Peace Station in Helsinki, Finland.

The project "Peace School" was first established in the late 90's to meet the requirements that arose from Finnish school children. Teachers felt a need for a student based and participatory way of dealing with issues of war (at that time especially the Bosnia war) and peace. This was a challenge for the Peace Union of Finland and the Peace Education Institute. The actives and the volunteers developed the project called the Peace School. Soon, drama was introduced as a method for giving tools to understand peace and deal with the arising issues. Since 2008, the funding for the two-year projects have mainly come from the development fund of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

At the Peace School, students participate in activity days, which deal with peace and development education themes such as conflict prevention, non-violence, human rights, global responsibility and global development issues. The working methods are participatory drama, role play, process drama and other participatory methods, which are intended to awaken each student's own critical thinking and to increase their empathy and dialogue skills as well as their respect for diversity.

Participatory drama methods help students to step into someone else's shoes for a while, to experience inequality and to realize how important it is to respect other people and their rights. With the aid of drama, the nature of violence and its effects on the victim and the perpetrator can be studied. The aim is to find the causes underlying different conflicts, to understant different points of view and to learn non-violent ways to resolve conflicts.

During the year 2017 the Peace School was visited by 44 classes, i.e. about 950 students. The workshops are held in 4 different cities in Finland: Turku, Tampere, Vaasa and the capital region. Peace School also offers trainings for teachers and youth leaders about global education through participatory drama methods (during year 2017 approximately 500 participants). The working languages are Finnish, Swedish and English.


For Further information please contact

Annukka Toivonen
Project coordinator/ Peace School Programme
Peace Union of Finland
+358 50 597 9629