CND Peace Education is a non-campaigning wing of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. We aim to empower school students and teachers with knowledge about nuclear weapons and peace, whilst promoting critical thinking around controversial issues. We provide schools across England with free, cross-curricular workshops and assemblies, and offer five free teaching packs suitable to many subject curricula. In doing so, CND Peace Education sparks interesting, engaging and important conversations, both inside and outside the classroom.
Almost 150,000 of our teaching resources accessed
This month has seen our resources’ 100,000th download via the Times Education Supplement’s website! Add to this 100,000 the 750 direct downloads from our new website, hundreds from other websites, and 45,000 teaching packs distributed at teacher conferences, teacher training sessions and in the post, the grand total is higher still. At nearly 150,000, it implies that 50 CND Peace Education resources have been accessed every single day, 3,000 days in a row – bank holidays and all!
It means that nearly 150,000 of our lesson plans and teaching packs accessed, a similar number of teachers considering peace education in their classrooms, and hopefully a comparable number of classes thinking more critically about peace, nuclear weapons and their place in the world. This milestone gives us cause to celebrate not just the quantity of our output, but also the quality of our resources, with our five teaching packs receiving an average review of 4.8 out of 5 stars on TES.
We’ve been sharing resources on TES since July 2011. Whilst the CND Peace Education team has grown, shrunk, chopped and changed in this time, the last eight and a half years have seen us build an impressive network of peaceful educators throughout England: our mailings reach thousands of teachers each term, and in the year 2017-18, we were welcomed into 73 schools, colleges and universities, running our free workshops with almost 6,000 students. By comparison, we’ve already worked with over 5,000 students this year, in 112 sessions with 45 different schools. Add to this the 366 trainee teachers who have participated in our ‘teaching controversial issues’ workshops at 16 different universities, and we look set to exceed last year’s figure!
Putting peace into practice
Why might this be? Is there something especially special about our Peace Education work? We know that our teaching packs are well-received, with three packs boasting ‘TES Pick’ status, two carrying the Association for Citizenship Teaching’s ‘Quality Mark’, and one a finalist in the 2018 Education Resources Awards.
But it might also be down to the fact that our resources are truly, freely accessible. Lesson plans, PowerPoints, supporting documents, and whole packs are available completely free of charge, either online or as a hard copy. No one should be priced out of teaching peace, and we consider accessibility to be an integral aspect of peace education for all. Educators are also free to adapt our resources to suit their class’ needs. We welcome differentiation, enrichment and modification, in the spirit of making our work relevant to all learners. Just as a peaceful approach can’t be constrained in one particular curriculum or subject, we recognise that a peaceful educator might need to make some small adjustments to our templates, so that learning objectives are best realised in their classroom.
For many, peace education is of paramount importance in shaping caring, concerned generations of citizens. As such, it’s imperative that we produce resources that are accessible to both educators and learners alike – and this month’s 100,000 downloads figure speaks to just that.
Ours is an approach that works, and is evidenced not just in number crunching, but also through our reach. From a modest London office, our tweets are seen by 25,000 people around the world each month, and we’ve had requests for teaching packs from schools as far flung as the US state of Georgia, and even Fiji.
Remaining relevant is an ongoing challenge in a world that changes so rapidly. Even as the nuclear threat remains ever present, with the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ ‘Doomsday Clock’ standing, once again, at two minutes to midnight, it’s also apparent that we can, and should, always be doing more to engage with contemporary conflicts. In addition to the rolling updates of our five teaching packs, a sixth will be published this year, considering marginality, race and gender in the context of nuclear weapons. We hope it will give teachers the confidence to approach social justice in engaging, fun and safe ways in the classroom, without losing a principle focus on nuclear weapons and their controversy.
So as we celebrate a remarkable figure, rest assured that we’re not yet complacent! And if you’d like to refresh your memory on what we have to offer, you can browse and download all of our teaching resources for free on TES – maybe your download will be our 200,000th!