Making Peace with the Pieces of My Masculinity: Developing A Research Methodology for Educating Peace.
This research is about being able to return to peace education as a reputable educator. To be able to do so required research that not only found pedagogical resolutions but embodied the values I hold as central to peace education. This research is about me trying to walk my talk.
I felt peace education was ineffective for many of the young men with which I worked. The research aimed to develop new innovative pedagogies for engaging young men about peace. However, it soon also became a deeply personal journey into my own relationship with masculinity and peace. This research tries to make peace with those pieces of my masculinity so I can facilitate peace with other men.
The research showcases a novel methodology using autoethnography, interviews and innovative perspectives of second-order reflexivity and diffraction that propelled me to an additional research step of undertaking a Vision Quest. This approach was developed as I believe it not only provided approaches for finding resolutions to my questions but did so in ways that espoused the values of peace important to my identity. In so doing I believe diffractive autoethnography showcases a peaceful research methodology useful for undertaking research that ensures “synergy with peace values” (Cremin 2016). This approach provides the new methodology I can embrace as a peace educator.
A key theme that emerged is the importance of my own being as a peace educator. This being is achieved through commitments to constantly work on myself through diffractive reflection, vulnerability, and authentic presence during interactions with others. The research also suggests a possible importance of providing opportunities for participants to similarly diffract their perspectives and supporting them craft and transition to new stages in their lives. The utility of autoethnography in particular emerged as a viable peace pedagogy for these endeavours with its ability to challenge individuals to reflect and reach out in conversation with others. In this role I seek to develop myself as an Elder rather than expert: one where I am there for participants opposed to educating them. Through this research I might finally come to believe in myself as a peace educator and come into the peaceful male I hope to be. I hope this research engages you in conversation and challenges you to reflect upon your life so we might keep the conversation going (Bochner & Riggs 2014).