Four major types of peace education are apparent today - peace education as criticism of war, as liberation, as lifestyle movement, and as learning process. However, due to a number problems (such as prejudiced attitudes and concerns on the part of those educators who have experienced war and thus view it differently from those who have not; outdated textbooks; an inability to "teach" relationship perspective - females generally have a different vision of reality than men, seeing themselves as part of the whole rather than distinguishing themselves from others, and it is almost impossible to "teach" that insight), today's peace education lacks the strength and coherence necessary for the attainment of its far-reaching goals. Coupled with this is the unique problem of the developing countries which recognize the Gandhian principle that minds cannot be fed until stomachs are full. Peace education in those countries cannot be separated from development education.
In Japan, some teachers began peace education by talking to their students about their own horrifying experiences during the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and in Hiroshima, students are "studying with their hands" by digging up bomb roof tiles whose surfaces were burnt to bubbles by the 2000 degree C heat from the blast. In Hungary in the early 1980s, peace education was a major topic in the weekly "pastoral programme" which reached 25% of classroom students, was being introduced into teacher training programmes, and over 2000 local cultural centres had discussions and seminars on this topic. The centrality of peace education in all state education was a goal in the former German DR and was promoted through a framework emphasizing disarmament, the absence of war, and solidarity with national liberation movements.
Peace education emerged with an emphasis on "no peace without development", hence the problem of peace is one which reaches into the politics, economics and cultural life of every society; transformation of these systems is necessary in order to bring about peace. The work of Gandhi and Danilo Dolci is critical to peace education, as is the analysis of the application of their works in northern and western Europe by Johan Galtung.