The above podcast was recorded on Wednesday, November 14th 2012 during the Peace Pedagogy (EDU-596) course I facilitate each year at American University. As a final assignment for the class I asked each student to develop what I called a “Peace Learner Commitment.” A Peace Learner Commitment is:
“…a pledge to yourself, and shared with our community, to achieve a goal that seeks to build and foster peaceable learning environments. This environment can be built in the classroom, your community, among your peers, with your family, in the work place, or for yourself. The choice is yours.
“The key is for an element of this course that resonated with you – skill, content, activity, attitude, technique, perspective, etc. – to bear fruit outside of the (tiny) classroom we shared this semester.”
In the podcast each student shares what their commitment is. And listening to this podcast, I can honestly say that it has been a privilege spending an entire semester with this outstanding, kind, and inspirational group of learners. The 14 students all came to the course for different reasons, with different needs, and from different professional and academic backgrounds. Given the diversity of the learning goals and needs, as the professor for the course I really had to give deep thought to what kinds of assignments were going to actually be useful to the class.
This weekend I organized a Peace Education Exploratorium – a full day with my students and some guest educators talking about, experimenting with, and modeling, and learning about different approaches to teaching and understanding peace education. This was the final class of the semester for my Peace Pedagogy class and it was a great way to conclude the course. Spending an entire day with these friends and colleagues and basking in the joy of peace education made my heart glad. I must also acknowledge my good friend and fellow peace educator, Arthur Romano, who came up with the title, Peace Education Exploratorium, and organized one of these full day events in the Spring with his peace education class at George Mason and invited me to be a guest presenter/facilitator. I also want to send much appreciation to the two other guest facilitators who joined the class for the day – Amanda Munroe and Johonna McCants (pictured above). Click to read more about each of the guest facilitators and the various sessions that they facilitated.
I just completed a six week online course on gamification offered by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. The course was hosted and delivered using the online learning platform, Coursera. I took this course for two main reasons. The first is that I am very interested in gamificiation, particularly as it relates to education and learning. The second is that I am also very interested in online learning and the various platforms that are popping up to provide such a learning experience (for free much of the time).
From June 24th to June 30th, ICNC in partnership with the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, hosted the 7th annual Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict. As usual, myself, my ICNC colleagues, along with Fletcher faculty and staff worked tirelessly for months to bring 42 participants from all over the world to participate in this intensive week-long institute. Check out this blog posting I wrote for the Fletcher Features blog to get an overview of some of the highlights from the week. Personally, one of my highlights was meeting many of the amazing participants who attended this year. However, I did not get to know them as well as I would have liked due to the various aspects of the week for which I responsible.
From April 23rd to June 5th, ICNC partnered with Rutgers University to deliver a 6 week online course on civil resistance and the dynamics of nonviolent conflict. I was the primary designer of the course, having structured it off a similar layout I used for the online course ICNC did with USIP the previous year. I was also a co-facilitator of the course with my colleague Maciej Bartkowski. There were 22 participants in the course from all over the world. The partnership was encouraged and supported by one of ICNC’s academic advisors, Dr. Kurt Shock, who is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Global Affairs.
Its fairly common these days to walk into a university classroom and see students equipped with some amazing gizmos, gadgets and tech giving them the ability to take pictures, record HD video, browse the internet, record audio, and publish content to social media sites. It is fairly uncommon, though, to see those powerful devices being put to use in the learning process.
I set out to integrate these devises into one of our Education for International Development classes this semester. The goal of the class session was to explore (i) the impact violent conflict can have on development, particularly the MDGs, (ii) the role education can play in creating or causing violent conflict, (iii) the role education (formal, nonformal, and informal) can play in building peace, and (iv) the role of technologies, both old and new, and social media in building peace through informal education.
Check out the Storify board to see the final product and to see what was discussed and shared during the class. Continue reading to see how the whole process unfolded.
Above is the intro video Nick Martin and I recorded and shared to kick off the first iteration of TC106 – New Technologies for Educational Practice. I had the pleasure of co-facilitating this course with Nick and, as is always the case when working with TechChange, it was a fun and exciting experience filled with all sorts of new learnings, many of which you can find by checking out the Storify board I curated throughout the course. There you will find more than you could ask for in terms of content, and get a general sense of the various themes that were covered each week. Continue reading to see the course description and its learning objectives.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of co-facilitating a day-long workshop exploring peace education and pedagogy at George Mason University. Peace educator, nonviolence trainer, and GMU professor, Arthur Romano, assembled the team of educators (pictured above), and the six of us facilitated the program described below:
“This day-long exploratorium gives students an opportunity to engage with a variety of peace pedagogies used by practioners in the field. We will be joined by first-rate peace educators who have worked in the US and abroad. They will guide us through a series of lecturettes and activities that promote deep introspection, personal story sharing, community building and provide opportunities to examine the importance of self-reflexive praxis in peace education. In all, the day will examine both critical and creative pedagogical approaches to the field and seek to provide a safe and experimental forum in which to explore alternative approaches to education.” Continue reading to learn more…
This past weekend my colleague, Maciej and I co-faciliated a skills institute at American University titled, “People Power: How and Why Civil Resistance Works.” We had 15 participants from a variety of backgrounds and covered a range of topics: history of civil resistance, conceptions of power, the role of media in civil resistance, frameworks for deciding how one considers what is violent vs. nonviolent, tactical innovation, backfire, and dilemma actions.
This past weekend I was in Albany, NY attending my sixth Democracy Matters summit. This year the summit brought together over 90 students from across the country to learn more about the role of money in politics, grassroots organizing, and to strategize about ways to engage other students and community member in the campaign to get big money out of politic and put people back in. Continue reading to learn more…