Growing Up in Santa Cruz: Teach Peace by Lisa Catterall

Growing Up in Santa Cruz, October 2022, Teacher’s Desk, “Teach Peace,” by Lisa Catterall.


Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do… nothing to kill or die for –John Lennon

At the beginning of this year, our administration announced that the school would focus on the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. We would have an assembly dedicated to the International Day of Peace on September 21, and we were given an explanation of all of the goals, why they are important, and how they were conceived of by the UN. I was impressed by how well each goal aligned with core learning objectives in engineering, in art, in science, in Spanish language, and in social science and literature classes.

I tried to think of a way that my science and engineering classes could participate in a one-hour assembly devoted to world peace and ending racism. This years’ peace focus is on racism. It seemed nebulous, as if I knew very well those two things were related, but I wasn’t able to clearly articulate exactly how. And I wasn’t sure what my kids could create in the Fab Lab (a fab lab is a Makers’ Studio, it’s short for “fabrication lab”) that would be meaningful. I also didn’t know how I’d get kids in their more tribal years of separating from adults to embrace the idea. Read more