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This paper presents qualitative data gleaned from four New York City elementary classrooms and focuses on how teachers attempt, each in their own distinct way, to create educational cultures of peace. Here, classroom vignettes are reconstructed from two months of observational and interview data with attention to how teacher beliefs on peaceful co-existence manifest in the playing field of a child's subject formation. Drawing from Judith Butler's concept of subjectification, this study asks: what conditions of possibility do teachers conceive of when thinking about peace in their classrooms? Findings show that teachers create conditions that emerge from their particular theories about children and understandings of peace. The four classrooms presented in this paper suggest to students in four different ways that peace is emergent from and located within specific relationships: namely that between the self and others; the self and law; the self and society; and finally, within oneself.


This article was originally published in Journal for Peace and Justice Studies, 25(1).

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