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From Professor Kohlberg to the African Peace Journal [Karim Ajania '88]

“Years later, when I became a principal of a Massachusetts state charter school I was grateful for the training that my fellow PBHA volunteers and I had undergone in learning how to apply the principles of moral development within school communities.”

I could tell you a lot of stories! However, what interests me most is being able to share other people’s stories with you. That is what a magazine editor like myself does; he facilitates a forum for other’s to tell their own story.

My own story is that my Harvard experience was transformed positively and permanently by Professor Larry Kohlberg’s PBHA initiated moral development program (aka Kohlberg Theory) that we piloted in several schools in the Cambridge and Boston area. What remains compelling to this day about implementing Kohlberg Theory in schools is that you can track the levels of moral development and progress in classrooms and school communities. It is tangible. At Cambridge Rindge and Latin school, we witnessed students in trouble with the law, reform their ways. PBHA provided an endless group of volunteers to pioneer this much-needed program. Some of these students had been gang members and now they were determining policy guidelines for fairness and ethical behavior within the classroom. They had become moral thought leaders. Years later, when I became a principal of a Massachusetts state charter school I was grateful for the training that my fellow PBHA volunteers and I had undergone in learning how to apply the principles of moral development within school communities. Well, that is a vital part of my own story as it relates to my PBHA experience.

Now, let me fast forward to the present day – I now have the privilege of listening to and publishing the stories of other people as Editor-in-Chief of the African Peace Journal. Not surprisingly, I work with a lot of educators around the world – teachers and professors – as well as a lot of educational NGOs who are doing pioneering work in rural and marginalized communities. NGOs such as Jumpstart Zambia and the One World Youth Project whose executive directors – Suzanne and Jess – are part of my editorial panel. We tell stories of children from all around the world. If you have a story to tell about moral and educational development in schools and marginalized communities, please do visit our site and send me your story. I would love to read it!

Karim Ajania ’88

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