An autoethnography of a peace educator: Deepening reflections on research, practice and the field


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I am sitting at my desk, finalising this article. As I write, we are again in the midst of terrorist attacks that are bringing global conflict into the heart of our cities. The challenges for peace education are increasing at the same rate as the need for it. This article is written as an autoethnography of a peace educator. It tells the story of a journey, starting with memories of key events in my early professional life as a committed and idealistic young peace education worker, and ending with reflections on the paradoxes, disappointments and new directions that have arisen out of twenty-eight years in the field, latterly as an academic. It contains reflections on the Midlands Peace Education Project at its heart. The fresh opportunities for exploring space, time and emotion offered by autoethnography are put to use to attempt a synthesis of research, philosophy and personal history, as well as to find new ways of engaging with academic writing. The ultimate aim of this article is to influence change for peace educators (and teachers more generally) and peace education researchers (and researchers more generally).

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4702 Cultural Studies, 44 Human Society, 47 Language, Communication and Culture, 4406 Human Geography, 4410 Sociology
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Emotion, Space and Society
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Elsevier BV