A Focus on Peace at HIS, but what does it mean?
The idea of peace is central to our collective identity at HIS, a unifying aspect of our school culture. It is an important part of our Mission and is a fitting concept for us to explore as an IB school in Hiroshima, City of Peace.
Our Vision: HIS will provide an international education that promotes integrity, excellence, cultural sensitivity and a lifelong commitment to peace and a sustainable planet.
Our Mission: HIS will cultivate young people who are prepared for lifelong learning, meeting challenges and outstanding citizenship anywhere in the world.
Peace is a complex concept and is used in many different ways. One problematic assumption related to definitions of peace is that perceived meanings are often based on the absence of something, specifically an absence of war or some other degree of conflict. Interestingly, this is not the case for other complex concepts that represent a state of being such as ‘love’ which is not usually defined (at least I hope not) as the absence of hate, even for someone with the lowest of expectations. So firstly, we need to look for what peace is, not what it isn’t.
Understanding is based on the connections between concepts. The more connections and the larger the concepts, the deeper the understanding will be, as a general rule of thumb. The concepts that are most closely connected to peace, at least within the context of HIS are, at least in my observations over the years, ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusivity’.
Looking at the relationship between these three concepts is important.
DIVERSITY INCLUSION PEACE
The other ideas that are central to HIS in terms of how we relate to each other are ‘identity’, ‘relationships’ and ‘community’. These three are at the heart of many conversations that at HIS when we talk about becoming who we want to be.
Identity Relationships Community
At HIS, we can look for our answer to the question, ‘What is Peace?’ within the connections of these six concepts. The second set provides a context for the first. Each line a prerequisite for the next.
- Diverse identities – Understand and celebrate the uniqueness of ourselves and others.
- Inclusive relationships – Ensure everyone recognizes their own value and that of others.
- Peaceful culture – Share an understanding of the value of each unique individual.
By understanding our own unique identity and celebrating the diversity that surrounds us, we are able to create inclusive relationships and build a peaceful culture. This is the narrative we will explore.
We have adopted the ideas of ‘diversity, inclusivity, peace’ as the central concepts to guide HIS and we use them to help us all understand more deeply what we mean by ‘peace’, an ongoing inquiry for the HIS school community.