CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS OF THE TEACHING CAREER AND THE PREPARATION AREA RELATED TO EDUCATION FOR PEACE AND CONFLICT SOLVING BETWEEN VENEZUELAN AND LATIN AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES
According to the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence (OVV, 2013), Venezuela is among the five most violent countries in the world, along with Honduras, El Salvador, Côte d'Ivoire and Jamaica. Violent deaths in Venezuela represent 12% of the overall mortality rate. The social and economic impact derived from this situation is relevant due to the fact that most deaths occur among young men who are at working age, and thus affects the composition of the population pyramid, the relations of demographic dependence, and reduces life expectancy in men. Venezuela needs to be pacified, and the best way to do it is beginning with schools and educational centers, where young children and teachers are prepared in the area of education for peace and conflict solving as the main strategy to fight against this regrettable situation.
In consequence, it is important to take into account teacher preparation, having in mind practical activities that teachers can apply within a context of conflict solving and a culture of peace.
This research aims to conduct a contrastive analysis of the rules that govern the teaching career and the theoretical-practical preparation related to topics such as violence, peace, conflicts and conflict solving. The design of this research is non-experimental, the type of research is comparative and desk-based, and the sample consisted of two groups of universities: Venezuelan and Latin American universities of countries that have overcome episodes of violence in their most recent history, such as Chile, Colombia, and Peru.
The results of the research indicate that Venezuelan universities include in its mission and vision ethics, establishment of peace, compromise and social justice, promotion of values such as democracy, plurality, tolerance, equality, and solidarity in the same way the other Latin American universities do. However, when going deeper into the study of the curriculum and subjects, Latin American universities include more punctual and specific contents such as culture and conflict, methods and techniques for solving conflicts, theory and practice about negotiation, alternative mechanisms of conflict solving, post conflict and reconciliation, school coexistence, school violence, intervention educational projects about school coexistence, among others; as opposed to Venezuelan universities.
Likewise, through the search of different curricula used in Venezuelan universities, we note that there are subjects related to solving conflicts in their curricular structures. However, there’s no certainty of the existence of a formal preparation in this issue, in spite of the fact that in the majority of the graduate profiles of these universities, the teacher is assumed as a peace promoter, a conflict solving mediator, a guarantor of the harmony in classrooms, among others.
We found curricular elements related to conflict solving and education for peace in Venezuelan universities; and in the same way, these elements are present in international universities but in a more concrete and precise way.
Finally, it is necessary to improve and strengthen teachers’ preparation at national universities in order to promote a culture of peace, curricula and subjects that empower them with theoretical and practical knowledge, and moral principles from society to guarantee coexistence and common well-being.