Since the introduction of the Peace Education Program (PEP) to prisons and jails in 2007—and its extension to many other audiences five years later—many thousands of people have had the chance to explore the possibility of personal peace in their lives. With requests for the program coming in from all over the world, there’s little doubt that the 10-session curriculum is popular. The only question that remains is: does PEP really work?
In 2012 TPRF decided to find out definitively. Dr. Jamshid Damooei, President of Damooei Global Research, was commissioned to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. The results, after a two-year study, are now in.
“One anticipated outcome of the Peace Education Program is that it would become a formidable force for positive change in our immediate environment and ultimately the world,” says Dr. Damooei, who is also Chairman of the Department of Economics, Finance, and Accounting at California Lutheran University. To find out whether that was so, Dr. Damooei analyzed over 350 surveys from PEP participants around the world who, after completing the program, were asked how they felt before and after their participation in PEP.
“We asked the participants to assign a numerical value to 10 statements that correspond to the themes in the PEP curriculum,” says Dr. Damooei. Respondents were asked how much they agreed, on a scale of 1-5, with the following statements before they took the program and how much they agreed after taking the program:
- I am aware that feeling peace in my life is a possibility for me.
- I understand that the ability to appreciate and enjoy is one of my inner resources.
- I am aware that I have inner strength and I can draw on this strength to help me in my life.
- I understand that by knowing my inner strengths and resources I can be more self-aware and live my life more consciously.
- I am aware that clarity is one of my inner resources and being in touch with that clarity will help me in my life.
- I understand the difference between believing and knowing something from my own experience
- I recognize there is an innate dignity in being alive, regardless of my circumstances.
- I recognize that I have the freedom and power to make choices, and these daily choices affect my wellbeing.
- I understand that hope is one of my inner resources that I can draw on to help me through challenging times in my life.
- I recognize that I can feel contentment regardless of what is happening in my life.
According to Dr. Damooei, there was “a tremendous improvement with regard to believing that feeling peace is a possibility. Only 42% stated that they believed that feeling peace was possible before the program. After the program nearly 100% believed it was possible, and 74% felt strongly that peace could be a possibility in their lives.”
Of the respondents who completed PEP, 98% agreed or strongly agreed that the ability to appreciate and enjoy is one of their inner resources. And 95% agreed or strongly agreed that PEP made them aware that being in touch with clarity would help them in their lives.
In every category, in fact, the overwhelming majority of respondents who finished PEP agreed with the statements above after the program. Most thought they did not agree beforehand. “This shows a remarkable degree of success,” says Dr. Damooei, “in delivering a message of peace and having a positive impact on the participants.”
If you would like a copy of the entire evaluation study, you may request one at: [email protected].