Educating peace amid accusations of indoctrination: a Dutch peace education curriculum in the polarised political climate of the 1970s

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Within the polarised political culture of the 1970s, in which political differences were emphasised instead of being played down, Dutch right-wing politicians frequently accused left-wing politicians and educators of indoctrination in educational settings. In this period of economic stagnation and an ongoing Cold War, peace education - which was vulnerable to accusations of indoctrination - became an optional part of the secondary school curriculum. This article addresses the aims and strategies of the Working Group for Peace Education in implementing the peace education curriculum and relates it to politics, place and pedagogy. The study centres on the content, intentions, and methods of the Working Group's curriculum, especially with regard to topics relating to the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons. The results suggest that the members of the Working Group for Peace Education aspired to educate young people to become citizens who would be actively engaged in global problems. Sensitivity to possible accusations of indoctrination led the Working Group to present these ideals with caution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-383
Number of pages24
JournalPaedagogica Historica
Issue number3
Early online date26-Feb-2019
Publication statusPublished - 3-May-2020


  • Peace education
  • indoctrination
  • Cold War
  • curriculum
  • 1970s
  • WAR

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