Training Programs for the Toolkit for Teachers on Citizenship, Memory, and Peace Culture in El Salvador

Continuing the momentum created by the recent publication of the Toolkit for Teachers and Educators on Citizenship, Memory, and a Culture of Peace in El Salvador, the Educational Policies Program (EPP) of the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) organized two training workshops on July 9 and 10 in San Salvador. The events were organized in collaboration with the National Institute for Teacher Training (INFOD) and the national Office of the Ombudsperson (PDDH).

The objective of both workshops was to train teachers and specialists in human rights to work with the contents and the proposed methodology of the Toolkit on Citizenship, Memory, and Peace Culture in El Salvador. The Toolkit was developed over the course of 2017 and part of 2018 in order to facilitate and encourage work on topics related to democratic citizenship, memory, and peace culture in Salvadoran schools and other educational spaces for children and adolescents in the country.

Following a brief methodological introduction, the majority of the toolkit – comprised of three books in total – is made up of two different modules. The first module, devoted to memory and citizenship, functions as a proposal for strengthening the capacity of teachers to work on democratic citizenship in the classroom. The module is premised on sensitive, critical, and pluralistic reflection on El Salvador’s recent past. The second module, on peace culture and coexistence, looks to offer an array of strategies to teachers and managers of educational centers to contribute to the prevention of scholastic violence by strengthening the role of, and resources available to, schools to confront this problem.

Workshop with teachers at INFOD headquarters
San Salvador, July 9, 2019

On July 9, the first of two workshops was held at the headquarters of INFOD and featured the participation of approximately 30 teachers from across the country, representatives from several scholastic centers and institutes, as well as the Salvadoran Minister of Education, Science, and Technology. After participating in this training workshop, the attending teachers emerged equipped to act as multipliers and facilitators of an online certification course that AIPR is developing in collaboration with INFOD on Citizenship and Peace Culture. INFOD will offer this course to all teachers in the country over the course of the coming months.

The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Ramírez Barat, Director of Educational Policies at AIPR, and Dr. Georgina Hernández Rivas, a Coordinator of Educational Research at INFOD who acted as one of the authors of the Toolkit. Among the primary objectives of the training initiative was the examination of assumptions related to education on citizenship and peace culture – contextualized in the existing educational frameworks in El Salvador – as well as the urgent challenges contained therein. The event also worked to facilitate an open and respectful exchange between participants with the intention of working with the Toolkit’s pedagogical proposals.

Workshop with PDDH specialists
San Salvador, July 10, 2019

Following this workshop, on July 10, a second workshop was organized by AIPR and INFOD for specialists from the national Office of the Ombudsperson of El Salvador (PDDH) ­- Focal Point of the Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention and partner of AIPR in the development of the Toolkit project since 2016. Similar to the preceding workshop, this training event sought to familiarize this group with the methodological proposal and contents of the Toolkit for Teachers and Educators on Citizenship, Memory, and a Culture of Peace and to generate an initial network of multipliers within the context of informal education. More than 30 members of the PDDH – including the members of the School of Human Rights and representatives from the 14 departmental delegations of the Office throughout the country – attended the event.

According to Dr. Ramírez Barat, AIPR’s Director of Educational Policies, “These two workshops signify a great advancement in relation to the task of effectively bringing the proposed pedagogy and Toolkit to the classroom and other educational spaces.” For her part, Dr. Hernández Rivas underscored “the importance of direct work with teachers and other educators in order to be able to establish opportunities for exchange and collective learning on the themes of citizenship, memory, and peace culture.”

For more information on the Toolkit for Teachers and Educators on Citizenship, Memory, and a Culture of Peace in El Salvador and for links to download a digital copy of the resource, please click here.