There's a new kind of course available to high school students at some high schools all over the country: "Conflict Resolution" or "Peace Studies."
Yes, in addition to reading, writing, and 'rithmetic, young people can now learn the literature of peace. Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Gandhi are among the many writers who have penned the great masterpieces of "peace literature."
These kind of courses are just what America needs, according to peace activist and former Washington Post columnist Colman McCarthy. His lecture on teaching peace earlier this month at St. Michael's College illustrates how, for many Americans, education has focused mostly on wars and battles. We know, for example, who Robert E. Lee was, but how many people can name the one member of Congress who voted against going to the war in Afghanistan?
Listen to VPR Presents Colman McCarthy for a fascinating lecture on America's fascination with conflict and the need for peace education.