This study guide assists teachers in increasing students' understanding of the prevalence and spread of nuclear weapons and familiarizes students with historic and contemporary measures to control nuclear proliferation and stimulates their thinking of potential strategies for doing so in the future.

A primary security concern in today’s world is the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation. States beyond the five “original” nuclear weapons-possessing countries (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) are seeking to acquire, or have already acquired, nuclear materials, industrial systems to produce plutonium or uranium, and delivery systems, such as missiles and airplanes. Moreover, non-state actors are seeking to acquire nuclear materials and weaponry. What can be done to limit the proliferation of such dangerous weapons?

Objectives of the Teaching Guide

  • To increase student understanding of the prevalence and spread of nuclear weapons;
  • To familiarize students with historic and contemporary measures to control nuclear proliferation and stimulate their thinking of potential strategies for doing so in the future;
  • To develop students’ analytical reading, writing, and research skills;
  • To reinforce students’ abilities to collaborate and produce a work product with peers using traditional and electronic means of research, discussion, and document preparation;
  • To enable classroom teachers, students, and contest coordinators to:
    • Understand the overall theme of the National Peace Essay Contest (NPEC) topic;
    • Define and understand the concepts contained in the essay question;
    • Formulate a thesis for their essay;
    • Review bibliographic resources and select qualified sources for their research;
    • Write, edit, and submit essays to the United States Institute of Peace;
    • To provide teachers with lesson plans, worksheets, bibliographic sources, and factual material to assist them in preparing students to write essays for submission to the National Peace Essay Contest.

The Teaching Guide includes all lesson plans, student handouts and instructions.

Related Publications

Education and Training at USIP

Education and Training at USIP

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Education is at the core of the U.S. Institute of Peace’s work—a vital way the Institute fulfills its mission from Congress to research, develop, and apply practical solutions for reducing violent conflict in support of national security. Since 1997, USIP’s Academy has educated more than 65,000 professionals—at Institute headquarters, online, and overseas—in skills and best-practices for reducing and preventing violent conflict.

Education & Training

Montana Students Take on the World

Montana Students Take on the World

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

By: Allison Sturma

The students from Gardiner, Montana’s high school didn’t have much experience in the world beyond “little towns among farmland,” as one of them put it. So, when the mayor of the state capital, Helena, spoke to them as a 1994 refugee from Liberia’s civil war, the link between distant conflict zones and pastoral Montana took on a captivating human form.

Education & Training; Peace Processes

Conflict Management Training for Peacekeepers (French)

Conflict Management Training for Peacekeepers (French)

Friday, February 23, 2018

By: Alison Milofsky; Joseph Sany; Illana M. Lancaster; Jeff Krentel

Ce rapport examine le rôle de la Formation à la gestion des conflits dans la préparation des soldats de la paix aux missions des Nations Unies/de l’Union africaine, à travers une évaluation du programme de Formation à la gestion des conflits pour les soldats de la paix proposée par l’USIP. L’évaluation s’appuie sur des données collectées au travers de 137 entretiens semi-structurés avec des soldats de la paix formés par l’USIP et rentrés au pays, des membres de la communauté dans les zones où des soldats de la paix ont été déployés en mission, et des formateurs de pré-déploiement. Le rapport étudie les résultats de l’évaluation et propose des recommandations non seulement pour la formation de l’USIP à l’intention des soldats de la paix mais aussi pour élargir la portée des politiques et des pratiques en matière de maintien de la paix.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Education & Training

Colombia War-Crime Prisoners Face Past, Plan Future

Colombia War-Crime Prisoners Face Past, Plan Future

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

By: Aubrey Cox; Maria Antonia Montes

The prisoners would be arriving soon and Adriana Combita, like a young teacher preparing to greet a new class, was nervous. This was not the first time that Combita, 26, had led a peacebuilding training with soldiers convicted of war-related crimes. But these were senior officers, commanders with master’s degrees, military officials who had lived abroad.

Education & Training; Human Rights

View All Publications