Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size

‘What an incredible opportunity’: OISE doctoral student takes virtual journey to Hiroshima to explore issues of peace education

By Perry King



Even though she could not be in Hiroshima, Japan in person, Myuri Komaragiri had an immersive, deeply engaging experience as part of a lauded international peace education symposium.

PELSTE, established in 2020 by the Educational Vision Research Institute (EVRI) at Hiroshima University, aims to bring researchers together to contemplate the objectives of peace education and lesson study in Hiroshima, considered a symbolic locale in Japan. The program was created to celebrate EVRI’s new membership to the International Network of Educational Institute (INEI) and bring together members to Japan.

OISE is a member of this international collaboration.

PELSTE 2021 organized their symposium online when coronavirus restricted meeting in-person. Komaragiri, a doctoral student in OISE’s department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, was one of three academics  from across the globe who got to present their ideas at the peace education symposium.

“I remember thinking, ‘What an incredible opportunity – we talk about comparative education, but it’s great to directly learn from another educational system in a way that's so tangible,” says Komaragiri, who is currently a program coordinator for International Development Studies at University of Toronto Scarborough.

Komaragiri’s background is in education and international development – specifically, at the nexus of education and conflict. “So, I’ve always been looking at issues of forced migration and how conflict impacts education,” she says.

Unfortunately, she felt her path had thus far neglected topics of peace education – she knew that conflict and peace education are deeply interrelated. “When I saw that this year Peace Education was going to be its own separate section, I thought this could be a really good opportunity to learn more about peace education, from the perspectives of scholars who are such thought leaders in the field,” said Komaragiri.

“I'm so happy I had the opportunity to learn more about this approach, because I think by not incorporating it within the analysis, we miss an opportunity to weave that into education access during times of conflict.”

With a passion for equity and an open mind, Komaragiri learned so much from the seminars, presentations and interactions with other educational researchers. “I learned so much, but rather than just understanding a definition of peace education or various practices of it, I understand that it's an orientation by which we look at education,” she said. “So now, it’s just an entire new lens – which is incredibly valuable.”

Learn more about PELSTE 2021

Myuri Komaragiri comments on the PELSTE program