The Peace Labyrinth
The exhibition was displayed at the museum until August 2009. It has been moved to the Ein Dor museum.
On conflicts, how they arise, and ways they can be resolved
The Peace Labyrinth is an interactive exhibition first presented in the Netherlands by Peace Education Projects. The exhibition introduces visiting children and teenagers to issues, points of view and dilemmas that affect the course of interpersonal and inter-group relations. In recent years, various forms of the exhibition have been mounted in a number of European countries.
A joint initiative by the Jerusalem Foundation, the Olivestone Trust and the Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem brought the Peace Labyrinth to Israel in a format relevant to the dilemmas and issues surrounding Israel and Jerusalem.
In Jerusalem today, several organizations conduct informal education programs on the subjects of coexistence, democracy and tolerance. Some of these programs are designed for city schools and adapted to various age levels and educational values. The program activities are conducted in a number of forms, such as mixed-group discussions (Arab-Jewish, religious-secular), joint projects, and classroom activities—all of which acquaint participants with the "Other". The Peace Labyrinth weaves elements of these programs into one fabric and attempts to reach the population of fifth- and sixth-grade students in Jerusalem, providing the widest possible forum for addressing the issues at hand. Through involvement with its interactive elements, the exhibition enriches the experience of the visitors and challenges them to examine their views about the issues.
The exhibition is constructed in the form of a labyrinth. The search for the right path requires thinking and decision-making that lead to various consequences. Here, as in real life, the pursuit of peace is a complex and fascinating task, but one with an attainable goal.
The participating fifth- and sixth-graders come from both east and west Jerusalem. The visits will be conducted in the framework of a class visit. Over the course of two years, we expect about 300 classes to take part. The exhibition budget allows for partially subsidizing transportation to the museum and the entrance fee so that the cost to visitors will be minimal (NIS 10 per student).
Goals and Objectives
The exhibition has two specific goals:
1. To develop awareness of points of view, such as stereotypes, that influence us in conflict situations.
2. To provide creative tools for managing interpersonal conflicts.
The exhibition is divided into four sections:
1. The Similar and Different – Getting to know the other and to understand that even though we are all human beings and similar to one other, each of us is special and unique.
2. Observation and Interpretation – When different people look at the same event, they sometimes see and understand different things.
3. Conflict Management – The visitors learn about different types of violence, discuss ways of minimizing violence at school, and acquire some tools for settling disagreements peacefully.
4. Communication – The visitors learn about the similarities between the Hebrew and Arabic languages and the importance of communication between human beings. They also learn about the basic rights to which every child and adult is entitled and about the need to respect these rights.
Activity Plan for the Exhibition
Visits to the exhibition are conducted in three stages:
1. Preparation activities in the classroom led by the teacher. About one week prior to the museum visit, teachers will receive material from the exhibition staff. It is also recommended that teachers come to the museum for a preparatory tour.
2. Activities at the museum. The students are first gathered together for some brief activities (about 15 minutes in all) to create a productive working environment and generate interest in the topics at hand. They then move on to the maze-like exhibition area, which contains about 40 interactive displays. With workbooks in hand, the students work in groups of two or three to complete their assignments—all of which confront them with dilemmas and questions that arise in their everyday lives. Each group begins at a different display and completes all of the tasks within about an hour. The class then comes together for a summary activity.
3. Follow-up activities in the classroom. The goal of these activities, conducted by the classroom teacher, is to process the issues raised in the exhibit, according to the preferences of the students or the needs of the school or teacher. The teachers' manual contains a variety of suggested follow-up activities.
To Contact the Museum and Arrange for a Visit
The exhibition is designed for classroom visits only. All visits must be coordinated in advance. The cost is NIS 10 per student and includes both transportation and entrance to the museum.
For more details and reservations, contact Samer Asli or Daniel Friedberg at the Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem
Hebrew University, Givat Ram
Tel. 02 654 4879
Fax. 02 561 7837
e-mail email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org