Normality tests for study variables.
The education of peace has become a prominent pre-requisite for societies to survive in this competitive globalised system. As a result of the tremendous technological development, especially in communications and the intermingling of interests among members of societies, and the codification of many issues of common concern among nations, it is very necessary to set foundations for peaceful co-existence among human beings. Johnson and Johnson, stated that students should be equipped with core values such as respect for the efforts and ideas of others, an inclusive relationship with people, skills for compassion and peaceful conflict resolution. Furthermore, the present chapter provided a study of peace education program (PEP) for pre-school children aged (4–6) years in Oman. Where the program contains (28) training sessions are offered within (15) weeks at the rate of one hour per session. The researcher used a scale of two images, the behaviour of the children was measured before and after the experiment, where the researcher adopted the quasi experimental method, the sample consisted of (40) children in the experimental group and (40) children in the control group. In addition, the results of the study were in favour of the experimental group, where an improvement in their behaviour was observed after being enrolled in the program.
- peace education
- emotion behaviour
- social behaviour
Peace is the highest level that who help spreads tranquillity, happiness, harmony and balance; not only with others [1, 2, 3]. But is peace of mind and inner tranquillity with oneself of mind which is full of love and enables the ability to live tranquillity. Psychological peace and self-alignment is the top of the spiritual pyramid to live happily, with comfort and peace of mind. All of these could be gained through continuous training on how to deal with others on a win-win basis . In addition, peace is a human need, without which people live in terror and fear, lose their constancy and make them deal with the surroundings as enemies, lose friendship and respect for people. Peace education in UNICEF refers to viewed peace is a set of values and behaviours that drive individuals to social interaction and active participation, which are based on the principles of democracy, tolerance, solidarity and all human rights that work to reject violence, and dialogue replaces conflicts, and ways to participate fully in the process of Community Development . In addition, peace education is a philosophy and process concerned with gaining knowledge about various aspects of peace, violence and peace-making skills. It is also the process of instilling elements of peace education in learners to enable them to develop their abilities to demonstrate tolerance and skills for solving non-violent conflicts and a sense of dedication in creating peace education .
Harris and Morrison , also noted that peace education not only guarantees a philosophical dimension such as love, mercy, respect and nonviolence, but is also a process that includes listening, meditation, thinking, cooperation and conflict resolution skills. As, we all today face many problems that threaten the whole world. One of the most serious of these problems is the problem of conflict and violence in its various forms, such as violence with self and social violence. It was therefore normal that the world represented in United Nations promotes a culture of peace in the world, especially among children .
Furthermore, the peace education program is designed to teach the skills and values associated with peaceful behaviour, encouraging adults and children to think constructively about social or emotional issues, and developing positive attitudes towards coexistence, and solve the problems that may arise in their societies by peaceful means. Children are affected by the conflicts and violence that revolve around them and what they watch from programs and news on television, which leaves deep psychological scars on children, with all the painful feelings that accompany them, this requires psychological support for this age group to restore balance . It has also become the duty of those responsible for raising children to help them face the challenges that surround them by instilling a culture of peace, its concepts, and its skills, and this will only be achieved through peace education that works to create a child-friendly environment and help them learn, as Future peace is not limited to the absence of outright hostility, but it also includes the employment of peace-making processes and skills, which will lay the foundations for lasting peace .
Moreover, this confirms that the first years of a child’s life are essential in composition of their intelligence, personality and social behaviour. Children are born with a range of social capacities, physical and psychological abilities enabling them to communicate, learn and develop; if they do not receive attention they seek from adults, such abilities may decrease. Studies also suggest that behaviour develops in children occurs before the age of seven, and because children are the future of our lives in next generations to come, they honour the values of culture and maintain the social and moral values. Therefore, it is very important to start by promoting these values with children through related useful educational programs .
Oman Vision 20/40 stated that Oman seeks to be among the top ten countries that enjoy world peace . The present study came to support Oman’s vision 20/40 for reaching the forefront of peace.
In addition, Muscat Daily (2018) showed, in a recent newspaper report, there are 387 cases of abuses against children in Oman (e.g. physical, verbal, negligence, and sexual harassment), which occurred between January and June 2018. The cases reported through the free hotline (1100) of the Ministry of Social Development uncovered many of the cases of abuse against children which were hidden before. Despite the existence of the Omani Children’s Code issued by a royal decree number 22/2014  to protect children and preserve their rights, still this is not enough. Children need to learn how to take preventive measures before the incident in order to protect themselves from any abuse that may occur. The problem of the study is formulated accordingly with some previous scholars’ calls, for instance, Al Sawafi  who strongly recommended the importance of designing a new curriculum to measure social skills of pre-school and develop their social skills, since the existing curriculum in Oman does not provide any significant elements to deal with the preschoolers’ behavioural and emotional issues. Hence, the researcher tries to formulate a new comprehensive framework to meet the needs of children to enhance their behaviour by training them accordingly in different situations and environments. In search of solutions, “evidence on the role of supportive school environments in buffering negative community processes and fostering resilience in youth affected by violence is increasing” [14, 15, 16]. While educational programs for developing school environment and peace building have been globally agreed on as helpful in providing safe learning environments , to pre-school children’s experience and knowledge, the social dynamics in societies affected by ferocity and the contextual hindrances that may interfere with their translation into practices are often overlooked and left, especially within the Middle East region. Before putting into account educational methods to address problems of peace and violence in schools, we thus first explore the core issue of this research from a socio-educational perspective where a significant body of votes share ideas and opinions, which might give authenticity to the research findings.
In eighties and nineties (in the beginning of the Renaissance in Oman), the Omani society put a remarkable organised interest concerning children’s rights. The focus, however, was more directly on children’s literacy and numeracy than on instilling the values of peace in children, which in turn had a negative impact on the behaviour of children. This is because of the negative role of media in portraying children in cartoons, which implants many negative images in children’s mind. Nowadays, it is different from the past because of many external influences affecting children. Moreover, today’s family is much busy working outside home. This thus gives children an opportunity to spend much time watching TV. Also, pre-school teachers are constantly complaining about the aggressive behaviour of children.
On the other hand, children need to learn how to take preventive measures before the incident in order to protect themselves from any abuse that may occur. This in turn confirms to the researcher the firm desire to teach children peace education.
Peace has as many definitions as its types and thus it might not be easy to have one unified definitions i.e. Harlock defines peace, as the sharpening of consciousness in individuals to avoid conflicts between them and it promotes a culture of preventing disputes between nations and large groups, and the promotion of social development to motivate individuals to work on development and production, and work to create opportunities and conditions that help people settle .
The study sought to modify children’s social and emotional behaviour through the peace education program. Social behaviour is a set of works, performances, experiences, and activities that pre-school children learn and repeat, and they train in a regular manner until they enter into their social interaction with others and the things around them . In procedural terms, the researcher defines it as the degree to which the examiners (children of the study sample) obtain a scale of social behavior from the peace education program prepared by the researcher in the following skills (Self-care skills (SCS), Communication skills (CS)). Emotional behaviour is defined as the way in which children acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes to know their feelings and how to manage them, set positive goals to achieve them, care for others, establish and maintain positive relationships with them, make responsible decisions and deal with personal situations effectively . The researcher defines it as The emotional behavior shown by the examined (pre-school children) through their dealing with the situations and events they pass through after training them on the following skills (Self-Awareness (SA), Emotional Management (EM), Motivaion (M)) in the peace education program prepared by the researcher.
2. Review objectives and hypotheses
The study aimed to build a Peace Education Program (PEP) that demonstrates social and emotional behaviour in children. Accordingly, the objectives of the study came as follows:
In order to determine whether there are statistically significant differences in the social behaviour of preschoolers between the experimental group and the control group after the Peace Education Program (PEP), the first hypothesis came: There are no statistically significant differences in the social behaviour of children at some point Pre-school between the experimental and control group after PEP;
In order to determine whether there are statistically significant differences in the emotional behaviour of preschoolers between the experimental group and the control group after PEP, the second hypothesis came which is: There are no statistically significant differences in the emotional behaviour of preschoolers between the experimental group and the group Control subjects after PEP;
As for determining whether there are statistically significant differences between males and females in pre-school stage in social and emotional behaviour after infection with PEP, the third hypothesis came: There are no statistically significant differences between males and females in pre-school stage in Social and emotional behaviour after PEP.
To answer the research questions and investigate the accuracy of the proposed hypotheses, the study has integrated two theories from which the researcher has formulated a new framework to analyse the data as follows: Maslow’s theory argues that human beings have basic needs to be fulfilled first and on which other needs are based. That is children’s basic needs ought to be fulfilled and then other needs with higher virtues such as co-existence and peaceful life and constructive dialogues are fulfilled. The study has adopted Maslow’s theory because of its emphasis on individuals’ constructive dialogue, respect, love, peace, cooperation, tolerance and honesty with one another. In other words, preschoolers can reach to and possess such virtues after they reach to self-realisation comprehensively built on other needs on the hierarchy including the most significant one at the base of the pyramid. Along with Maslow’s theory, this study is built on Daniel Goleman’s Model (1995). Goleman’s theory sheds light on emotional intelligence which generates/is associated with a range of different behaviours, the most important of which as claimed by Goleman  is emotional behaviour, based on which many human characteristics and virtues can be analysed/measured”. In 1998 Goleman formulated a new version of the theory “an emotional intelligence -based theory of performance” consisting of a set of guidelines for competencies and effectiveness and for development of individual worker. He claimed that EI is the ability to understand and control our feelings and emotions, which, thus, helps create real, persuasive leaders. He also formulated five domains of EI. These domains include: 1- self-regulation, self-awareness, motivation, empathy and social skills. These five domains consist of 25 competencies and include social competence and personal competence. Self-awareness is one’s ability to realise and understand their moods, feelings and emotions and their effects on others. Self-management is one’s ability to control reactions and emotions of oneself. Social skills are one’s ability to maintain constructive relationships and build a network. Motivation is one’s ability to deal with challenges and be optimistic  Since this study investigates the dimensions of the traits and faults of emotional behaviour, the proposed theory is the most applicable one to provide a new explanation for the causes of the problems of emotional behaviour that negatively influence the process/environment of peace education of pre-school students. The results of the possible problems of emotional behaviour generated by this theory may greatly help decision-makers and other personnel to take the necessary steps and procedures in making/finding proper solutions that help promote and spread peace education at pre-schools in Sultanate of Oman.
3. Previous studies related to study
Al-Saidi  evaluated the effectiveness of enrichment activities in planting the concepts of peace in kindergarten children. To achieve the objectives of the study, the semi-experimental method was used on a random sample (n = 46) of kindergarten children in the Holy City in the second semester of 2013. The sample included 23 children of the experimental group, and 23 children in the control. The researcher prepared a daily program concerning the education of peace (Peace Unit). The researcher concluded that integrating peace education in the curricula enriches the kindergarten programs, which thus boost students’ motivation and desire to effectively and quickly learn.
A significant study was conducted by Darweish and Abdulsamad  about peace education existence and influence in education in schools in Iraqi Kurdistan. The authors adopted qualitative research approach and critical discourse analysis to shed light on the content of educational textbooks in respect with violence, principles and values. The author concluded that Kurdistan’s school curriculum suffers from different issues including violence, inequality and discrimination, which are caused by the dominant political group. Such issues have serious academic and socio-psychological impact on school children. The authors emphasised that Kurdistan’s curriculum lacks the core foundations necessary to enhance students’ cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The study finally found that the terminologies, concepts and words used in school textbooks focus on Muslims’ alienation of the other ethnic groups rather than on the more positive aspects of Islam that should be learned and shared. Thus, it is hardly to find essential terms such as peace, equality and tolerance used in the curriculum due to the dominant group promulgating its knowledge as a sign of domination and influence.
Very recently, Murano, Lipnevich, Walton, Burrus, Way & Carrasco  conducted a study about measuring social and emotional skills in elementary students. They conducted two searches to develop and validate items in order to measure emotional and social skills in third, fourth and fifth grade students. Having applied Big Five personality model as an assessment framework, the authors concluded that emotional and social skills can be validly and reliably measured in elementary students. The authors also concluded that team work is the most important factors leading elementary students for academic success and achievement.
In astonishing paper written by Panayiotou & Wigelsworth , social and emotional behaviours were exclusively investigated. The authors investigated a longitudinal sample of 1626 students attending 45 elementary schools in the UK. Having used structural equation modelling accounting for data-clustering, prior academic attainment, gender and within-time covariance, the authors examined the temporal relations between school connectedness, mental health difficulties, social–emotional competence and academic attainment. The authors emphasised that social- emotional competence exerted a valuable influence on school students’ mental health difficulties and school connectedness. The authors concluded that students who have greater social–emotional competence experience fewer mental health issues and difficulties and thus they may have higher academic attainment.
Al Sawafi  conducted a study to measure the effectiveness of a training program in developing some social skills among a sample of pre-school children. Three social skills were identified (empathy, communication with others, cooperation). The program was applied to a sample of (20) pre-school children (ranging from 4 to 6) years from Sanao Private School in Sharqiyah North Governorate in the Sultanate of Oman. The researcher used the Social Intelligence Scale in the study of Al-Qatami and Al-Yousef , which consists of a photographic scale and a note form for the teacher. The results of the study confirmed the correctness of the first hypothesis about the presence of statistically significant differences in the social skills (empathy, communicate with others, cooperation) with pre-school children in the first and second measurements. This is because of the training program used in this study. The results also confirmed the second hypothesis which indicates that there are no statistically significant differences between the second and follow-up measurements in social skills (empathy, communicate with others, cooperation) among a sample of pre-school children.
4. Data analysis and findings
Normality tests were performed to ensure sample normality, subsequently, ANCOVA test was performed as an inferential analysis, in order to examine the study hypothesis.
Table 1 shows the values of skewness and kurtosis as the normality tests and the mean and the standard deviation for each variable for the study variables. The results show that all variables are considered normally distributed as the skewness and kurtosis values are between ±2 which is considered acceptable according to George & Mallery (Figure 1) .
|Social Behaviour||Self-Care Skills||1.4938||.26821|
Table 2 shows the results that the KMO value is 0.782 which mean that the used data is considered enough for factor analysis. The results show the significant value of the Bartlett’s test which is (.000) less than 0.05 indicating that the used data of this factor is adequate for the factor analysis. On the other hand, the factor loading values show the variance explained by the variable on this particular factor (SCS). The results show that all factor loading is greater than 0.4 which indicate that, as suggested by Hair et al. , there is no need to eliminate any items from further analysis due to low loading (Figure 2).
|2.||SCS2||Barlett’s test of Sphericity||428.444|
Table 3 shows the results that indicate the suitability of the Communication Skill (CS) factor detection. The results show that the KMO value is 0.731 which is greater than 0.5 indicating that the used data is considered enough for factor analysis.
|2.||CS2||Barlett’s test of Sphericity||360.737|
In addition, the results show that Bartlett’s test significance level of (.000) which is less than 0.05 indicating that the used data of this factor is adequate for the factor analysis too.
Also, the factor loading values of the communication skill (CS) factor’s items that are greater than 0.4 which means that there is no need to eliminate any item from the further analysis due to low loading as suggested by Hair et al. (Figure 3) .
Table 4 shows the results that the KMO value is 0.562 which is greater than 0.5 indicating that the used data is considered enough for factor analysis. In addition, the results show that Bartlett’s test significance level of (.016) is less than 0.05 indicating that the used data of this factor is adequate for the factor analysis too. Also, the factor loading values of the self-awareness (SA) factor’s items are greater than 0.4 except only one item (SA5, loading value = .200) that has loading value less than 0.4 which means that this item should be eliminated from the further analysis due to low loading as suggested by Hair et al. (Figure 4) .
|2.||SA2||Barlett’s test of Sphericity||21.817|
Table 5 shows the results that indicate the suitability of the Emotion-Management (EM) factor detection. The results show that the KMO value is 0.594 which is greater than 0.5 indicating that the used data is considered enough for factor analysis. In addition, the results show that Bartlett’s test significance level of (.001) which is less than 0.05 indicating that the used data of this factor is adequate for the factor analysis too. Also, the factor loading values of the emotion-management (EM) factor’s items that are greater than 0.4 which means that no need to eliminated any items from the further analysis due to low loading as suggested by Hair et al. (Figure 5) .
|2.||EM2||Barlett’s test of Sphericity||22.790|
Table 6 shows the results that indicate the suitability of the Motivation (M) detection factor. The results show that the KMO value is 0.500 which is equal to the limit of 0.5 indicating that the used data is considered enough for factor analysis. In addition, the results show that Bartlett’s test significance level of (.000) which is less than 0.05 indicating that the used data of this factor is adequate for the factor analysis too. Also, the factor loading values of the motivation (M) factor’s items that are greater than 0.4 which means that no need to eliminated any items from the further analysis due to low loading as suggested by Hair et al. .
|2.||M2||Barlett’s test of Sphericity||28.248|
5. Testing research hypotheses
In the following section, the research hypotheses are tested:
5.1 Testing the differences in the social skills of preschool children between the experimental and the control group of the (PEP)
The first (RH1) hypothesis states that “There are no significant differences in the social behaviour of preschoolers between the experimental and the control group after the Peace Education Programme (PEP).” and in order to test this hypothesis, ANCOVA test is used as well.
The analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) is a statistical test used to control for the effects of a confounding variable (covariate) on the relationship or association between a predictor and outcome variable. With ANCOVA, the covariate is measured at a continuous level. The predictor variable can represent independent groups or levels of a categorical variable. The outcome is continuous with ANCOVA .
The first hypotheses assume that there are no significant differences in the social skills of preschool children between the experimental and the control group of the peace education program (PEP) which means that there is a pre-test and a post-test for each social skills. There is also an independent variable with two groups (control and experimental), so by using ANCOVA test, the independent variable will be the students’ group (control and experimental), the dependent variable will be the post-test and the covariate variable is the pre-test.
The ANCOVA test results are shown in Table 7.
|Variable||Test||Mean||SD||F||Sig.||Effect Size %|
Table 7 shows that there are significant differences in social skills of preschool children between the experimental and the control groups after receiving the peace education program (PEP) whereas the significance level is .000 which is less than 0.05. This means that social skills of the preschool children are significantly enhanced after receiving the PEP. This is also indicated by noticing the mean values before (M = 1.43) and after (M = 1.93) the PEP with an effect size percentage of .95.
As a result, we can reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis as the social skills of the pre-schoolers have enhanced significantly after receiving the peace education program (PEP).
5.2 Testing the differences in the emotional behaviours of preschool children between the experimental and the control group of the (PEP)
The second (RH2) hypothesis states that “there are no significant differences in the emotional behaviour of preschoolers between the experimental and the control group after the Peace Education Programme (PEP).”. In order to test this hypothesis, ANCOVA test is used as well. The second hypothesis assumes that there are no significant differences in the emotional behaviours of preschool children between the experimental and the control groups of the peace education program (PEP) which means that there is a pre-test and a post-test for emotional behaviours. There is also an independent variable with two groups (control and experimental). By using ANCOVA test, the independent variable is the students’ group (control and experimental), the dependent variable is the post-test and the covariate variable is the pre-test. The ANCOVA test results are shown in Table 8.
|Variable||Test||Mean||SD||F||Sig.||Effect Size %|
Table 8 shows that there are significant differences in emotional behaviours of preschool children between the experimental and the control group after receiving the peace education program (PEP) whereas the significance level is .000 which is less than .05 meaning that emotional skills of the preschool children significantly enhanced after receiving the PEP. This is indicated also by noticing the mean values before (M = 1.68) and after (M = 1.95) the PEP with an effect size percentage of .80.
As a result, we can reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis as the emotional behaviours of the preschool children have significantly enhanced after receiving the peace education program (PEP).
5.3 Testing the differences between male and female preschool children in social and emotional behaviour after having the (PEP)
The fifth hypothesis states that “There are no significant differences between male and female preschool children in social and emotional behaviour after having the peace education program (PEP)” and in order to test this hypothesis, Independent-sample t-test is used which the independent variable will be the students’ gender (male and female) and the dependent variables will be the emotional and social behaviour dimensions and the results are shown in Table 9.
|Interpersonal Relation Skills||Male||1.9352||.08361||.115||38||.909|
Table 9 shows that there are no significant differences in all social and emotional behaviours of preschool children between male and female students after receiving the peace education program (PEP) whereas the significance levels are more than 0.05 for all variables meaning that student gender does not affect the social and emotional behaviours of the preschool children after receiving the PEP.
As a result, we accept the null hypothesis as there are no statistically significant differences between male and female preschool children in term of social and emotional behaviour after receiving the peace education program (PEP).
This study concludes that there is an impact of the peace education program on the social and emotional behaviour of preschool children. The study shows that peace is an important prerequisite for the development of a balanced life for people, especially in childhood stage. The results of this study may provide many benefits of measuring and improving children’s behaviour through program and it may support the curriculum in Oman. This study has been successful to focus on some aspects of growth and behaviour enhancement in children. It is likely to be beneficial to learners, teachers, curriculum designers, and educational policy-makers in Oman.
The study was based on Maslow’s theory and Goleman’s theory, and presented an integrated program in peace education for preschool children, and also provided a measure of social and emotional behaviour, through which teachers, supervisors and stakeholders in childhood can use it to measure children’s behaviour and work to develop them to be effective elements in society, and grow up Balanced personalities avoid them falling into the wrong and harmful behaviours and behaviours of society.
This study is important because it sheds light on the importance of measuring the behaviour of children and working to improve them on the basis of scientific and well-studied. For this purpose, the study included seven basic dimensions of the skills of social and emotional behaviour, namely (self-care, interpersonal relationships, communication, self-awareness, emotion management, empathy and motivation). Which was measured through a scale of two images, and was developed through the peace education program that the study sample received in the experimental group, and the results of the study showed a noticeable development in the behaviour of the experimental group children compared to their low behaviour in which the scale showed before joining the program.
The study also came out with a set of recommendations, the most prominent of which was the importance of implementing the peace education program in the pre-school education stage in Oman in parallel with the applied curricula, and training teachers on using it with children.