During the month of October, I had the pleasure of helping facilitate a USIP online course called Strategic Peacebuilding. The main instructor for the course was George Lopez, who took about 40 students through an amazing educational journey exploring the 7 components of strategic peacebuilding. Part of this journey included four episodes of the Peace Frequency podcast series, where George and I interviewed prominent peacebuilders about their work. Take a listen to the series. Enjoy.
Peace Frequency w/ Guest, George Lopez. In this interview we touch on topics of how the peacebuilding field has evolved and adapted overtime and how the concept of “strategic peacebuilding” came to be.
Peace Frequency w/ Guest, Nadia Gerspacher. In this interview we talk about community policing and advising.
Peace Frequency w/ Guest Maria Stephan. In this interview we explore the world of nonviolent, civil resistance and the implications of her award-winning book, Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict.
Peace Frequency w/ Guest Fiona Mangan. In this interview we talk about establishing and protecting the rule of law in conflict affected environments and interviewing prisoners to learn about how justice systems are being implemented.
This past weekend I attended and presented at the Ann Ferren Teaching Conference, which is a yearly conference held every January at American University. The last time I attended this conference was in 2010 and had gotten a lot out of it. This year I was invited to be a co-presenter for one of the sessions, “Finding Your First Flip: Getting Started with the Flipped Classroom Model. My co-presenters for this session were Maya Marato and Meghan Foster. The Goal for this session is to engage faculty in the process of “flipping” their lectures by helping them identify and evaluate topics and activities that are easily adapted to the flipped classroom model.
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.