Mention that it’s a collaborative team of undergrads, grad students, and faculty.
Spend a moment mentioning the Liberia project. Anticipate domestic examples including a trip to the coalfields of West Virginia.
If after this presentation you have questions about how your programs might work with what we are doing, especially if you are from a community college, please speak with us. We are exploring best practices and want feedback. We will be piloting some of these exercises in other institutions; If you are interested please contact us.
There is not too much conflict literature of this kind available for undergrad classrooms. More volumes will follow in the future.
“The actual role that I was playing taught me to identify with someone who lives a completely different life then my own.” “Coming from someone who has lived in either a city or a suburb all her life – I found it difficult to relate to someone that has lived in a single place her whole life, especially someone that has live amongst nature and mountains. I don’t think I would want to have been any other character because even though I did not fully connect to my character; she and I did have something in common – we both are passionate about the things we believe in and when we believe in something, nothing will get in our way.”
1. Linking Theory to Practice: Conflict Analysis and Resolution Pedagogy in Undergraduate Classrooms<br />Gina Cerasani - Ethan Finley - Kristin Moriarty<br />School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution<br />George Mason University<br />
2. Undergraduate Experiential Learning Project (UELP)Linking Theory to Practice<br />UELP Project Team<br />Susan F. Hirsch, PI <br />AgnieszkaPaczynska, Co-PI<br />Patricia Maulden<br />Lisa Shaw <br />Mara Schoeny<br />Leslie Dwyer<br />Andrea Bartoli<br />Andrea Wisler, Project Evaluator<br />2010-2011 Project Assistants<br />Gina Cerasani<br />Ethan Finley <br />Kristin Moriarty <br />Linda Kuentje<br />HabtamuDugo<br />Christopher Toms<br />Funded by the U.S. Department of Education through FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education)<br />
3. About the UELP<br />Linking Theory to Practice builds the capacity of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (CAR) pedagogy to enable the inter-disciplinary CAR field to play a key role in improving undergraduates’ ability to apply theory to practice and to achieve learning goals, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and perspective-taking. <br />
4. The Challenge of Linking Theory to Practice<br />Many academically capable graduates lack the ability to apply theoretical knowledge to real world problems.<br />The 2006 Conference Board report, “Are They Really Ready to Work?” recommends that post-secondary attention to teaching problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication and leadership skills would better prepare graduates for workplace success (Casner-Lotto & Barrington 2006). <br />The competency of bringing theory to practice is one of the most challenging for educators to achieve.<br />
5. Experiential Learning<br />Hypothesized to have strong benefits in teaching students to apply theory to practice<br />Often marginalized in post-secondary education<br />Can be defined in many ways<br />The UELP operates with a broad concept of experiential learning including simulations and role-plays, analytical activities, collaborative group work, etc.<br />
6. UELP Project Initiatives<br />Experiential Learning Activities (ELAs)<br />Service Learning Intensives (SLIs)<br />Best Practices and Outreach<br />The aims of the Undergraduate Experiential Learning Project are organized under three broad initiatives.<br />
7. Initiative 1: ELAs<br />Design experiential learning activities (ELAs) for undergraduate courses in CAR, including some suitable for general education. <br />
8. Initiative 2: SLIs<br />Create a model for intensive service learning activities (SLIs) in domestic and international contexts. SLIs are short courses (3-6 weeks) that engage students in the application of theory to practice through service learning activities focused on CAR issues. <br />
9. Initiative 3: Best Practices and Outreach<br />Promote best practices in designing CAR curricula so as to enhance students’ ability to link theory to practice, including models for strengthening partnerships between two- and four-year institutions and better aligning curricula across those institutions. <br />
10. Case Studies in Conflict and Change Book Series<br />Upcoming book series published by Kumarian Press and co-edited by Drs. AgnieszkaPaczynska and Susan Hirsch<br />Geared for undergraduate classrooms<br />The first two volumes focus on conflict mapping in Liberia and stakeholders in U.S. southern mining communities.<br />ELAs designed through the UELP will offer classroom exercises suitable for use with the case study books and available online.<br />
11. ELA Learning Objectives<br />Broadest objective: developing the capacity to link theory to practice<br />Sub-objectives: cultivating critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving skills and perspective-taking ability<br />The UELP aims to build these objectives into ELAs and investigate if these (or other) educational benefits are achieved through their use.<br />Instructors’ guides will be published with guidelines for implementing the ELAs while allowing flexibility with respect to learning objectives that may vary according to curricula.<br />
12. ELAs Drafted by the UELP<br />Conflict Mapping of the VoinjamaClashes (for introductory courses)<br />Applying Analytical Models to the Conflicts in Matewan(film) (for intermediate courses)<br />Simulating Conflict Dynamics in an Appalachian Mining Community (for intermediate courses)<br />Envisioning Change in an Appalachian Mining Community (for Advanced Courses)<br />
13. Conflict Mapping of the Voinjama Clashes<br />Students analyze conflict in small groups and develop conflict map <br />Students sort through different forms of data to better understand the parties, issues, root causes, and grievances of conflict <br />Students report out and compare conflict maps<br />
14. Analyzing Data<br />Ethnicity<br />Frustrated Youth<br />Socio-Political Access<br />Religion<br />How does the information you have access to shape the analysis?<br />Each group is given a packet that contains slightly different information.<br />
15. Questions<br />Is analysis experiential?<br />How much context is enough?<br />
16. Third Party Intervention on Clashes in Voinjama<br />U.S. Peace Corps<br />Search for Common Ground<br />Interfaith League of Lofa County<br />National Commission on Human Rights and Reconciliation of the Liberian Government<br />How does your position in the conflict shape your intervention?<br />Students take on roles of third party organizations and address clashes.<br />
17. Applying Analytical Models to the Conflicts in Matewan (film)<br />Students view the acclaimed film Matewan<br />Violent episode of conflict in a coal mining community in the 1920s<br />Students are divided into small groups to analyze the case using a tool they select<br />ABC Model of Conflict (Johan Galtung)<br />Conflict Wheel Model (Bernard Mayer)<br />Layered Conflict Model (Wallace Warfield)<br />Conflict Tree (Simon Fisher)<br />Dual Concern Model (Dean Pruitt and Sung Hee Kim)<br />Each workgroup's findings are finally shared with the class at large<br />
18. The Concept of Engagement<br />Student Meanings<br />Useful Academic Perspectives<br />Emotion<br />Interpersonal connection<br />Application of knowledge<br />Integration of knowledge<br />Embodiment<br />Connection to the “real”<br />Control<br />“How do we engage (cognitively, behaviorally, and/or emotionally) type X students most effectively in type Y learning processes/contexts so that they will attain knowledge, skill, or disposition Z?” (Axelson & Flick, p. 41)<br />Flow: Focused motivation and immersion in a process or activity. (Csikszentmihalyi, 1997, 2008)<br />
19. Initial Findings on Engagement<br />“I found the interactive nature of the activity to be engaging…I am a kinesthetic learner, therefore I need to be able to apply the knowledge in order to fully comprehend and remember it. Thus, this activity helped me to remember and understand the models on a deeper level than simply lecture or reading them would have.”<br />“I felt that the activity was very engaging because it allowed everyone in the class to work in small groups, in some cases with people they didn't even know, in which we all were able to share our ideas and show it to the class.”<br />“Both the group work and the presentations helped me to really solidify the concepts in my head. I found this activity enjoyable especially because we were given a real conflict to work with.”<br />
20. Guiding Questions for Further Investigation<br />What forms of engagement are most important for different learning styles, and how can we elicit them?<br />How can we best measure divergent dimensions of engagement?<br />Can we better illuminate the links between experiential activities, engagement, and learning outcomes?<br />
21. Simulating Conflict Dynamics in an Appalachian Mining CommunityandEnvisioning Change in an Appalachian Mining Community<br />
22. Conflict Simulations<br />Simulating Conflict Dynamics in an Appalachian Mining Community<br />Envisioning Change in an Appalachian Mining Community<br />Role play activity<br />Multiple groups of six students<br />Two or three three-hour sessions<br />Students address conflict stemming from contaminated drinking water at local school<br />Role play activity<br />Designed for smaller group, multiple sessions<br />Students address economic dependence on coal mining<br />
23. Studying Conflicts and Conflict Resolution through Role Play <br />Engages students in research of role<br />Immerses students in intractable and messy nature of conflict<br />Facilitates perspective-taking and development of empathy<br />May dispel misperceptions about specific groups and cultures (O’Sullivan, 1993; Pulos, 1993)<br />Reduce prejudice (Anderson et al., 1989; Puente, 1990)<br />Increase empathy (Poorman, 2002)<br />
24. Initial Findings on Increased Empathy and Perspective-Taking<br />Most students reported gaining new perspective through role play<br />Degree of empathy or perspective-taking role dependent<br />Many students struggled to understand miners and mining culture<br />Evidence of stereotypes questioned and dismantled<br />“I still don’t like coal or what the collection of it does to our environment, but if I had the opportunity to discontinue its use tomorrow, I could not in good conscience do so without providing some alternative means of support to those who rely on the coal mining economy. If these new feelings about coal mining aren’t a result of empathy, I struggle to imagine what else could be to blame.”<br />
25. Challenges and Questions for Further Research<br />How can we facilitate perspective-taking of someone with vastly different life experiences?<br />To what extent does student research help or hinder this process?<br />Potential use of interviews and videos to facilitate the process<br />Impact of types of roles on perspective-taking and empathy development<br />
26. Let’s keep in touch!<br />UELP seeks to pilot ELAs in classrooms at other two- and four-year institutions and is seeking partners<br />More materials (including ELA instructor guides) coming soon and will be available via the UELP website<br />Visit us on the web at:<br />http://icar.gmu.edu/experientiallearningproject/home<br />