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Peace and Justice Institute

Faculty Curriculum

Peace and Justice Pedagogy
"Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher." - Parker J. Palmer

The Peace and Justice Institute at Valencia College promotes peace and justice for all. Our aim is to nurture an inclusive, caring and respectful environment on campus and within our community--one where conflict leads to growth and transformation, rather than violence or aggression.

Acknowledging that the pedagogy of a peace and justice course integrates peace practices, faculty who intend to teach a peace and justice course (i.e. Introduction to Peace Studies, The Psychology of Peace, etc.) or to integrate modules within existing courses with peace and justice themes are encouraged to engage in these faculty development courses.

The Valencia College Peace and Justice Institute regards every individual as a rising peace and justice practitioner and provides the tools for all to be leaders of socially inclusive change and innovation in their circle of influence. The commitments of a peace and justice practitioner are a pathway to building The Culture of Peace and an invitation to becoming an agent of change.

The commitments of a peace and justice practitioner include the following:

  • Places relationship as central to the work, focusing on the culture of collaboration
  • Encourages a reflective practice to support self-awareness, meaning and purpose, including mindfulness practice and emotional intelligence
  • Addresses conflict as a source and opportunity for growth and transformation
  • Uses the tools of story, dialogue, and peaceful communication while practicing the Principles for How We Treat Each Other
  • Supports a community of inclusive excellence in which all voices are heard and valued
  • Engages in the exploration of the “other” with an acknowledgment of our inherent interdependence
  • Recognizes that there can be no peace without justice for all

These high impact practices for peace and justice pedagogy at Valencia create classrooms that model the culture of peace and stand as models for communities of peace.

Thursday, November 8th EC
Friday, November 9th WC

Thursday, January 10th EC,
Friday, January 11th WC

10 PD Hours — This course will demonstrate techniques for establishing a respectful and inclusive environment that promotes healthy classroom dialogue. Dialogue can assist students in moving information from a memorized or theoretical understanding, to a more integrated, tangible and lasting knowledge. Participants will engage in best practices designed to promote discussion as a pedagogical tool. In registering for this course, you are committing to attend two meetings across two terms (one 4 -hour and one 3-hour), complete the required reading, and integrate a conversation activity into your class.


Thursday, November 29th
Friday, November 30th

2.5 PD Hours — In this seminar, participants will investigate learning opportunities that acknowledge, draw upon, and are enriched by student diversity and create atmospheres of inclusion and understanding. Participants will reflect on power differentials in the classroom, ways to increase inclusion and minimize exclusion, and some theoretical underpinnings of Inclusion and Diversity.


Friday, January 18th EC 3-113

Friday, March 1st EC 3-113

25 PD Hours — The purpose of this course is to invite faculty participants to begin/continue to examine their professional and personal experiences using the lenses of race and ethnicity. You will be afforded the opportunity to tell your story while hearing the stories of others. In order to create a hospitable and accountable community, our journey will be guided by the 13 Principles of How We Treat Each Other of the Peace and Justice Initiative. Participants will meet face-to-face and interact online with their colleagues using personal stories, assigned readings, discussion forums, videos and a field experience. In addition, each participant will design a new or transformed lesson/unit plan to be shared with peers. As a result of completing this course, participants will be better equipped with tools to work effectively in a pluralistic society, by improving the multicultural experience for themselves and their students.


Thursday, January 31st EC
Friday, February 1st LN

3 PD Hours — Contemplative pedagogy involves a wide range of teaching methods designed to cultivate a capacity for deeper awareness, concentration, and insight that create demonstrable neurobiological changes. Participants will be introduced to the nature, history, and status of contemplative practices used in mainstream education as a complementary pedagogic tool that fosters depth in learning. Participants will have the opportunity to experiment with and create a contemplative-based classroom practice and reflect upon how contemplation may innovatively meet the needs of today's students.


Thursday, October 4th WC, 2:00-5:00pm
Friday, October 5th EC, 2:00-5:00pm

3 PD Hours — How We Treat Each Other gives participants effective tools for engaging in difficult conversations, empathetic listening, perspective talking, self-reflection and relationship building. By using the Principles and their practices, we increase our capacity to be peace builders. Participants will learn how to implement these techniques in Valencia's varied learning environments.


Thursday, April 4th EC
Friday, April 5th OC

2 PD Hours — In this workshop, participants will investigate teaching strategies to improve students' abilities to engage in conversation with alternative viewpoints. Participants will reflect on ways to reveal the importance of recognizing and engaging multiple perspectives as well as ways to motivate students to learn from reputable sources.


Thursday, March 7th EC
Friday, March 8th WC

6 PD Hours — In this course, faculty will learn about the components, roles, and needs active in conflict, identify their own conflict style, and be introduced to conflict resolution practices for the purpose of more productive and positive outcomes. Participants will engage in various exercises, including a self-assessment and mock negotiation for the purpose of integrating these skills into a working knowledge. This course will include two hours of reading prior to the session.


Dates TBD

16 PD Hours — PJI's Faculty and Staff Retreat invites participants to reflect on living as the witness, utilizing a reflective practice and exploring ways of knowing beyond the rational. The retreat offers two days of quiet reflection, positive interaction with colleagues and artistic expression, each of which helps us to align with our purpose and renew ourselves for work and lives.


SEED stands for Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity and is a national project, founded 30 years ago by Dr. Peggy McIntosh of Wellesley College. It utilizes a cohort-based monthly seminar model with the intention of creating gender fair, multi-culturally equitable, and globally informed educational spaces and workplaces. SEED differs from other diversity programs in that SEED leaders do not lecture. Instead they lead their own colleagues in experiential, interactive exercises and conversation often stimulated by films and readings. The monthly seminars deepen participants' understanding of themselves, expand their knowledge of the world, and point the way to making schools more inclusive.

This is a cohort experience for faculty and staff. Applications are available each summer. If you have any questions about SEED at Valencia, please contact Michele Lima at Mlima2@valenciacollege.edu.



Inclusive Excellence through the Islamic Lens
Thursday, September 27th EC 5:30-7:30pm
Friday, February 1st EC 9:30-11:30am

Inclusive Excellence through the LGBT Lens
Friday, October 26th WC TBD 10:00am-12:00pm
Thursday, March 28th OC TBD 5:30-7:30pm

2 PD Hours — The diversity of our student perspectives grows each year, and the ways in which we create successful learning environments subsequently evolves. Through this course, you will engage with ideas and scenarios to help you create an environment inclusive of all learners while in consideration of individual differences.

DONATE Conversation on Justice Schedule


PJI Journal Cover



    Goals of the Institute are to:
    1. Create and teach a Peace and Justice Studies curriculum
    2. Sponsor and collaborate on peace and justice events
    3. Foster a connection with Valencia's A.S. programs in peace studies and conflict transformation
    4. Offer community outreach in peace and justice
    5. Engage in realizing Valencia's core competencies