Interpolating Peace in the Curriculum: How Peace Education is Feasible Through Art among Malaysian Pre-Schoolers

Ahmad Zulfadhli Khairuddin 1 * , Faizah Idrus 2, Afareez Abd Razak 2, Nik Ahmad Hisham Ismail 2

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp. 191-203

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Children should not be left behind in discussing about peace. In this qualitative study, it discovers the potential use of visual aids for teaching peace values among young children. It aims to explore the use of visual representations, such as pictures and video clips in a study of peace education to develop their understanding of the principles and values of peace. This study employed a qualitative multiple case study approach to investigate twenty children’s artworks (between the age of 5 to 6 years old). They have been selected using purposive sampling method. In-depth semi-structured interviews and field notes were also used to triangulate data extracted from the drawing and successfully portrayed peace elements in their artworks. Later the codes were extracted and organized to find the emerging themes. The focus was to analyze the KEMAS preschoolers’ drawings and their reactions to the drawings and selected video clippings provided in the research framework. Using Feldman’s model of art criticism, each drawing was analyzed using the thematic analysis and interpreted using a network of coding. Some of the themes extracted from their artworks are unity and safety symbols, love and happiness, togetherness and survival, peace, conflict, and tranquility. The findings suggested that pictures and video clippings could be a suitable method for conveying powerful messages, including abstract concepts, such as peace and war to young children. Young children have a dissimilar capability to make sense of their surrounding world and putting it into words unlike adults. The use of pictures and clippings would give a practical advantage in helping researchers gather valuable information about how peace education can be taught to children of young age. The need for further research is deemed essential to extend the link between how children learn about peace values and the use of multiple means to teach peace education effectively to students of various ages.

Keywords: Qualitative research, Early childhood education, Art analysis, Peace education, Malaysia, Pre-schoolers.