The Peaceful School: Models That Work


115 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 1-55379-000-6
DDC 371.7'82




Reviewed by Susan Thomas

Susan Thomas is a middle-school guidance counselor, teacher, and social
worker in Milton, Ontario.


With a focus on “teaching peace” and a profound commitment to
eliminating school violence and bullying, van Gurp has created a how-to
catalogue of snapshot descriptions of models that currently exist in
elementary schools. Most of these schools are in Nova Scotia, where the
author lives and works as a peace education consultant.

A brief foreword explains why it is essential to teach peace and
introduces the Leave of Peaceful Schools, a network that has been
established in Nova Scotia and more recently introduced in Saskatchewan.

Next are summary descriptions of 20 models currently operating in
schools. Some summaries are fairly detailed (e.g., with plans for
creating paper cranes), while others give an overview of the school
calendar year with a focus on peace-building activities.

An appendix offers an outline for developing a peace plan in your
school, some suggestions for student conferences, a script for a
performance that was originally developed by the Sierra Club, and some
black-line masters that would be useful in the classroom.

Developing a vision for peace within a school requires the commitment
of all staff and needs to be modelled by teachers, administrators, and
others in charge of running the education system.

The Peaceful School would be a helpful starting point in that process.


van Gurp, Hetty., “The Peaceful School: Models That Work,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024,