Since our inception we conduct research into peace education and conflict management. We focus on such questions as: What does peace education mean and how can we interpret this? How do schools in Flanders organise peace education? Which approach works, and which doesn’t in the context of peace education?
One of our main themes is dealing with controversy at school. Both in classrooms and at school political and social discussions become heated debates, contradictions become explicit. A pupil makes a hateful comment. Pupils become embroiled in a conflict. Sensitive topics in the curriculum, such as the theory of evolution, are met with resistance or give rise to intense discussions. Or polarisation rules the classroom. These situations create huge challenges for teachers and headmasters. How to respond to violent or hateful statements? How to deal with conflicts in school? How to teach sensitive themes in the curriculum? How to defuse polarisation? How to engage in debates on controversial topics without causing a riot in class? We search for answers to these questions. Our mission is to provide insights from scientific research to people in the field, as well as map the existing expertise of teachers, headmasters and trainers, and share it as widely as possible.