Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Gandhi and Education - Part IV - Nonviolence Education


The best expression of a combined ideology and practice is what I will refer to as Gandhian nonviolence education. The disadvantage to conflict resolution education is insufficient emphasis on cultivating personal and social transformation, whereas peace education is a holistic approach but lacks cohesion. Education for nonviolence draws upon the respective strengths of the other two approaches and integrates them to form a more effective pedagogy that is also more authentically Gandhian. It combines short-term efficiency and results with long-term consideration and prevention.

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Gandhi and Education - Part III - Principled Nonviolence


In contrast with strategic nonviolence is an explicit focus on nonviolent attitudes. Principled nonviolence belongs to the philosophical lineage of virtue ethics, supporting the idea that altering character-orientation precedes, undergirds, and reinforces any desirable behavioral change. This internal change underscoring action is drastically different from using tactical nonviolence to achieve a given result. Transformation occurs internally first, as a shift in values and beliefs, before emanating outward to effect social change.

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Gandhi and Education - Part II - Strategic Nonviolence


Also referred to as pragmatic or expedient nonviolence, strategic nonviolence is most closely associated with the work of political theorist Gene Sharp, specifically his 1973 Politics of Nonviolent Action. The application of strategic nonviolence includes a tactical focus aimed at accomplishing a predetermined objective, independent of a particular ethical orientation. Gandhi’s method of nonviolent action proved highly effective in the fight against the British Empire and has been adapted by Sharp and others in the struggle against corrupt power structures in subsequent decades.

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Gandhi and Education - Part I


It is impossible to overstate the importance of Mahatma Gandhi’s life and legacy. Few have experienced such widespread influence or transcended barriers of culture, class, and religion so completely.  Gandhi, through his prolific writings, demonstrated the depth of his knowledge and scope of his concern. Education was one such preoccupation for Gandhi. The power of education lies in its capacity for both individual and social transformation. I believe that Gandhi would wholeheartedly agree with Nagler (2004) that the greatest enemy of education is lack of purpose. Everything Gandhi said, wrote, and did was – in the fullest sense of the word – purposeful.

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Video games - A tool for teaching human rights?


Are video games able to increase awareness of human rights issues? New evidence points to games' ability to engage players in initiatives extending beyond the virtual realm. Previously, following the devastating Haitian earthquake in 2009, video game developer Zynga teamed up with the World Food Programme and raised in excess of 1.5 million dollars to donate to relief efforts. Players of Zynga’s popular Farmville and other online games were able to purchase virtual goods that would advance their online game play, using actual currency to benefit a philanthropic cause.

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New Documentary: Rural Zambian women use film to tell their story


Written by Jordan Roberts (March of the Penguins) and narrated by Academy Award-winner Morgan Freeman, “Where the Water Meets the Sky” tells the inspiring story of a group of women in a remote region of Northern Zambia who achieve the unimaginable: they learn how to make a film as a way to speak out about their lives, raising an issue that no one will discuss – the plight of young women orphaned by AIDS.

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2012 U.S. Peace Index report released


The United States Peace Index (USPI), produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), provides a comprehensive measure of U.S. peacefulness dating back to 1991. It also provides an analysis of the socio-economic measures that are associated with peace as well as estimates of the costs of violence and the economic benefits that would flow from increases in peace. This is the second edition of the U.S. Peace Index.

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“The key question isn’t ‘What fosters creativity?’ But it is why in God’s name isn’t everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be now why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? We have got to abandon that sense of amazement in the face of creativity, as if it were a miracle if anybody created anything.” Abraham Maslow

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Report published on global freedom of press


The year 2011 featured precarious but potentially far-reaching gains for media freedom in the Middle East and North Africa. Major steps forward were recorded in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, where longtime dictators were removed after successful popular uprisings. While trends in these countries were not uniformly positive, with important setbacks to democratic prospects in both Egypt and Libya toward year’s end, the magnitude of the improvements—especially in Tunisia and Libya—represented major break­throughs in a region that has a long history of media control by autocratic leaders. The gains more than offset declines in several other countries in the Middle East. And even the great­est declines, in Bahrain and Syria, reflected the regimes’ alarmed and violent reac­tions to tena­cious protest move­ments,­ whose bold demands for greater freedom included calls for a more open media environment.

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Psychologists for Social Responsibility: Reduce poverty & inequality through budget priorities


Saybrook faculty and students involved with the Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR) support the organization's dedication to social transformation. A new statement was released April 25, 2012: The PsySR Statement on Budget Priorities, Poverty, and Inequality.

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