The papers of Betty A. Reardon, a world-renowned champion of peace education and a 2013 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, are preserved and available to researchers in the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections in The University of Toledo’s Carlson Library.
“Peace education is a complex field because the world is complex,” Reardon said. “One of the goals of peace education is to equip people to think critically about those complexities and their implications in war and other forms of violence. Most significantly, it facilitates reflection upon and preparation to strive toward alternatives to violence.”The Reardon collection consists of publications, unpublished manuscripts, curricula, reports, scholarly presentations and correspondence related to her work and activism for peace, disarmament and gender equality.
“Betty Reardon is an example of how one person can start a movement to change the world,” said Barbara Floyd, director of the Canaday Center. “Preserving her papers in the Ward M. Canaday Center is a privilege. Her papers have been used by many researchers, and with this honor of being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, are likely to be used by many more.”
“UT is the depository for work I did with colleagues in other parts of the world that contributed to the substance and methodology of contemporary peace education,” Reardon said. “Everything that I can find among my papers relating to the development of the field is at the Canaday Center. There is no other collection like it. The Canaday Center has real international significance.”
Reardon was nominated for the Nobel Prize for the work she has done since the 1960s, especially her 1982 founding of the International Institute on Peace Education, which she organized with colleagues in universities around the world, held each year in a different country. Now under the direction of her former students, the institute continues to be a major factor in the ongoing development of the field. Reardon has taught all over the world, including at universities in Oregon, Hawaii and Japan.
“She helped lay the intellectual foundations for a whole new cross-disciplinary field at a time when the political atmosphere was intensely hostile,” wrote Tomas Magnusson, co-president of the International Peace Bureau, in nominating Reardon for the Nobel Prize.
“She has influenced thousands of educators who have read her work and attended her courses. In particular, she has contributed powerfully to the development of a feminist analysis of peace questions and has been able to place it in a fully global perspective — a fact that is testified by the number of visiting professorships and advisory positions she has been invited to take up in locations all over the world,” he wrote.
“At 80-plus, she continues to produce new ideas and new publications, and she continues to tour the world inspiring educators at different levels and in different countries. She has in her work given particular emphasis to disarmament education and human security from a gender perspective.”
The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate will be announced in October and receive the honor during a ceremony in December.
Reardon’s collection was brought to the University in 2007 by her longtime colleague in peace education studies, Dr. Dale Snauwaert, UT professor of foundations of education and director of the Center for Nonviolence and Democratic Education.
“Betty Reardon is the founder of the contemporary field of peace education,” Snauwaert said. “Her scholarship, teaching and activism have defined the field. She has worked tirelessly for over 50 years articulating and defending the basic idea and ideal of peace education, its theoretical foundations, curriculum and pedagogy. She is an inspiration and mentor to many scholars and teachers working in the field.”
The collection was organized by graduate students from the Judith Herb College of Education and by Sara Mouch, manuscripts processor in the Canaday Center. The Reardon collection is supported by a grant from the Biosophical Institute in Cleveland.