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Betty A. Reardon Collected Papers

Identifier: MSS-226

Scope and Contents

The Betty A. Reardon Collection was donated to the Canaday Center in October 2007. The papers include published and unpublished manuscripts, correspondence, curricula, policy documents, reports, presentations, projects, and notes. The collection is organized by topic and type of document in chronological order. Topics include biographical materials, disarmament, ecology, faith, gender, human rights, and peace education. Each of these areas has a very specific and distinct focus, but serves as a component and/or building blocks for peace education.

Publications and unpublished manuscripts include articles, book chapters, books, and editorials. When possible, those titles that are included in the comprehensive bibliography found in Betty Reardon: A Pioneer in Education for Peace and Human Rights by B.A. Reardon and D.T. Snauwert, 2015, has been specifically noted and filed together by topic.

Correspondence includes mainly professional correspondence, which in many cases contains substantive scholarly and educational commentary. Curricula include specific peace and human rights curriculum, curricular units and lesson plans, and articulations of pedagogical approaches and methods. Policy documents included specific policy documents for various organizations, including the United Nations. Reports in clude a variety of reports concerning institutional and grant activity and initiatives. Presentations, which include papers delivered at scholarly and professional associations as well as those delivered to various institutions and organizations, make up most of the event folders. Projects include various peace, human rights, gender, ecology, and peace education initiatives. Notes include informal written recordings of ideas, insights, thoughts, manuscript preparation, curricula, projects, reports, and publications. In few cases, a miscellaneous file was created when the records did not fit in other types of files. The contents range in date from 1964 to 2008.

To see Reardon's annotated bibliography with box and folder locations, see External Documents below.


  • Creation: 1964-2008

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials may be accessed by request at the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections on the fifth floor of the William S. Carlson Library on the main campus of the University of Toledo. Materials do not circulate.

Conditions Governing Use

In most cases, the Canaday Center does not own the copyright and literary rights to items in its collections; it is the responsibility of the researcher to adhere to U.S. Copyright and Fair Use laws, including seeking permission from the copyright holder and payment of any royalty fees, in the reproduction and use of archival materials.

Providing copies or scans does not constitute a license to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.

Biographical / Historical

Betty A. Reardon, internationally acknowledged as a founder of peace education, was born on June 12, 1929. She was brought up in Rye, New York, near New York City. She attended Rye Grammar School and then Rye High School. She has spent her adult life as a resident of New York City, but is a citizen of the world. She holds a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University, a master’s degree in history from New York University, and a B.A. in history from Wheaton College, Norton, MA. World War II, and then later, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and the Feminist movement were formative in the development of her world view. In the face of the horrors of world war, she believed in the fifth grade that there must be an alternative to war, and in the face of racism and sexism she pondered early on the limits and possibilities of justice. In these formative experiences were the seeds of her fundamental approach to peace, as both the elimination of violence and the establishment of justice. As she articulates it: “The conceptual core of peace education is violence, it’s [sic] control, reduction, and elimination. The conceptual core of human rights education is human dignity, its recognition, fulfillment, and universalization. As I have argued elsewhere, human rights are most readily adaptable to the study of positive peace, the social, political and economic conditions most likely to provide the environment and process for social cohesion and non-violent conflict resolution.”

She chose to be a teacher, believing that education was the key. In 1963, she began her work in peace education as Director of the Schools Program with the Institute of World Order. What intrigued and drove her was an interest in war, not as an isolated eruption in human affairs, but as a social system justified by particular ways of thinking. She had a hunch that not only the structures of society, but the structures of consciousness as well, could, and should be, transformed through a comprehensive education for and about peace.

Betty Reardon’s life-long endeavor has been informed and shaped by this perspective and these formative experiences, which led her to prominent roles in the establishment and work of key institutions that define the field of peace studies and peace education. This work includes being:

• the founder and long-time director of the Peace Education Center and Program at Teachers College, Columbia University • the founder and director of the International Institute on Peace Education • General Coordinator, Feminist Scholar Activist Network on Demilitarization, Coordinator International Network of Peace Education Centers • Academic Coordinator, Peace Education Professional Development Certificate Program, Teachers College-Tokyo Campus, Japan • Academic Coordinator, Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education • Director, Peacemaking in Education Program, United Ministries in Education, Executive Secretary of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction • School Program Director, Institute for World Order, New York, NY, and Associate Director, Leadership and World Society (LAWS) In addition to her long time teaching in the Peace Education Program at Teachers College, Dr. Reardon has held a number of prestigious visiting professorships. She has been:

• the Savage Chair, Distinguished Visiting professor of International Relations and Peace, University of Oregon • the A. Lindsay O'Connor Chair in American Institutions, Colgate University • Visiting Professor of Peace, Spark M. Matsunaga Institute for Peace, University of Hawaii at Manoa • Visiting Professor, Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba, Japan • Visiting Professor, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan • Visiting Professor, Department of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan, 2007 Dr. Reardon has a distinguished record of service in professional and scholarly associations that define the field of peace studies and peace education. She has served as:

• Member of Executive Committee and Chairperson of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development • Special advisor and consultant on peace education and Representative to the United Nations of the International Council for Adult Education • Founder and member of Council and Executive Committee of the International Peace Research Association’s and its Peace Education Commission • Coordinator, Study Group on Women, Militarism and Disarmament and Representative to the United Nations • Member in the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction, International Studies Association, National Council for the Social Studies; World Confederation of Organizations of the Teaching Profession, Educators for Social Responsibility (founder ESR/Metro Chapter), Peace Studies Association and others • Consultant international organizations and initiatives, such as the People's Decade for Human Rights Education • CODECAL (peace and justice education program agency, Bogota, Colombia) • World Policy Institute (formerly Institute for World Order), the United Nations and UNESCO • United Ministries in Education, Militarism, Peacemaking and Education Program, Philippine Global Community Education Project (a special project of the World council for Curriculum and Instruction) and • National Education Association: for Bicentennial Program "Education for a Global Community."

In addition, to work as educator, activist, and consultant, Dr. Reardon is an accomplished scholar of peace and peace education. She has published numerous articles, books, book chapters, and reports, and has presented scholarly papers at numerous scholarly meetings. Her essential works include:

• Comprehensive Peace Education (Teachers College Press, 1988) • Educating for Global Responsibility (Teachers College Press, 1988) • Women and Peace: Feminist Visions of Global Security (State University of New York Press, 1993) • Educating for Human Dignity (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994) • Sex and the War System (Syracuse University Press, 1996) • Tolerance: The Threshold of Peace (UNESCO,1998) • Passport to Dignity: The Human Rights of Women (PDHRE, 2001) • Education for a Culture of Peace in a Gender Perspective (UNESCO, 2001)

In recognition of work and scholarship, Dr. Reardon has received a number of prestigious nominations and awards including:

• 2009 Sean MacBride Peace Prize • Pomerance Award for contributions to disarmament efforts within the UN system • Nominated for UNESCO Peace Education Prize by ICAE, IPRA, WCCI • American Association of University Women (AAUW) New York State Peace Award • Golden Balloon Award for Peace Education from World Children's Association (presented at the United Nations) • 1986 Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing for Sexism and the War System • 1994 Peace Studies Award from the Peace Studies Association • 1994 Academic Freedom Award of the New England Regional Council for the Social Studies • 2000 Jane Adams Peace Activist Award • 2001 UNESCO Prize for Peace Education, honorable mention • Distinguished Alumna Award from Teachers College Columbia University, 2004 • Volvo Heroes nomination 2006 • Nomination for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize (among 1000 women nominated as a group)

Betty Reardon has been a tireless student, exponent, and practitioner of peace and peace education. She has mentored and inspired generations of educators, scholars, and activists through her teaching and scholarship. Betty continues to teach about peace education worldwide. She has been instrumental in the establishment of peace education institutions and programs around the world. Her work has defined the fields of peace studies and peace education. She has published numerous articles, books, book chapters, and reports, and has presented scholarly papers at numerous scholarly meetings. Her scholarly work includes such areas of inquiry as peace studies, peace education, human rights, gender studies, and ecology.


9 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Betty A. Reardon Collected Papers, 1965-2008
Sara Mouch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Supported by a grant from the Biosophical Institute, Cleveland, Ohio
Edition statement
Third Edition

Revision Statements

  • October 2012: Reprocessed
  • November 2018: Reprocessed

Repository Details

Part of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections Repository

2801 West Bancroft Street
William S. Carlson Library, Fifth Floor
Toledo Ohio 43606 United States