Problem Statement: Societies are facing several kinds of problems in the world today as chaos among the countries, conflicts between different groups, wars and diseases. It can be claimed that solving these problems is impossible unless societies care about humanistic cooperation, tolerance and peace. Individuals required developing fundamental values as peace, love, respect, tolerance, etc. to be an active and responsible citizen of a democratic society. Peace education can be a part of school program to develop positive peace understanding in students. Students‘ perception regarding the world can be seen in their drawings. Therefore, it is important to reveal students‘ perception about peace through their drawings.
Purpose of the Study: This study aims to investigate fifth grade students‘ perception of peace through their drawings. In direction of this main purpose, the answers of the questions have been looked for "How do the students reflect their perception of peace in their drawings?" and "How do the students reflect their perception of peace in written opinions?"
Method: Phenomenological design was used in this study. The participants of the study were a total of 23 students who attended the fifth grade at a primary school in 2011-2012 spring term in Eskisehir. Data of the study were gathered by students‘ drawings, semi-structured interviews and students‘ writings. Inductive analysis was used in the study. Findings: Findings of the study showed that students emphasized peace in parents, interpersonal peace, and peace among countries in their drawings. Moreover, they drew peace in sports and nature, and they reflect peace with symbols to their drawings. Students conceptually defined peace as avoiding fight and war, agreement and friendship in their written opinions. Additionally, students compared peace to the dove, bird, butterfly, rope, family, friends, siblings, earth, world and Turkey in their written opinions.
Conclusion and Recommendations: The results of this study reveal that students used some statements in terms of positive peace in their written opinions as agreement and friendship, developing universal values. However, they described peace as a negative peace in their drawings. Suggestions were offered on the basis of the results of the study to develop students‘ perception about positive peace. For instance, interdisciplinary activities can be organized to develop a positive perception of peace for students. Informative seminars can be organized for teachers, pre-service teachers and parents about peace education. Moreover, applied research can be designed to develop a positive perception of peace for students.
Keywords: Peace, peace education, students‘ drawings, phenomenology, metaphor.