This is the final week of the course and its one where we will spend much time reviewing what’s been covered over these past six weeks and reflecting on what’s resonated with us most strongly. Listen to the podcast below to hear my take-aways from last week’s final forum and to introduce this week’s concluding exercise.
This week we focus on what knowledge, skills, and attitudes we have gained throughout the course and how you plan to implement these learnings into your personal or professional practice.
Your 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 online space and time we shared this semester.
To help you in developing and honoring your commitment, I invite you to do three things:
(1) Review all of your responses to the reflection questions that have been a part of each of the online learning modules. This will help you recall everything we have covered throughout the semester and hopefully trigger aspects of the course that resonated with you.
(2) Develop and write up your peace learner commitment by first responding to a series of questions (outlined below) that call upon your experiences from the class, and second, guide you through the S.M.A.R.T. goals framework. This will help you formulate a specific goal and a plan to achieve it. It will also provide our learning community with a mission to keep in touch with you once this class is over and check in on the progress of your commitment.
(3) Participate in our final all class conference call on Friday, August 16th, where you will have an opportunity to vocalize your peace learner commitment to the rest of the class – why this goal, how you plan to achieve it, and what kind of support, if any, you may need. The conference call will be recorded and then be made available everyone through the PeaceLearner.org website.
Interested in hearing peace learner commitments from a previous class? Check out this post from Fall 2012.
Continue reading for to see the full set of guidelines for developing your peace learner commitment.
Part One: Course Reflection
(Please complete these sentences in the comment section below)
Three of the reflection question responses that I posted online and found to be particularly revealing and/or insightful for my own thinking were…
Two of the daily peace actions that I experienced during this course that I found particularly useful and/or impactful were…
One of the conversations I had with a learning partner that I found particularly useful and helpful in my own life or work was…
Part Two: Your Peace Learner Commitment
(Please type your responses to the questions below and be prepared to read them to the group during our final conference call)
Having gone through this peace learning experience this semester, what is your peace learner commitment?
How is your commitment specific? In other words, how is it understandable to the average person?
How is your commitment measurable? In other words, how will you be able to tell whether or not you are making progress or achieving what you set out to accomplish?
How is your commitment achievable? In other words, what are the other various elements – resources, people, time, space, etc. – needed for you to accomplish your goal?
How is your commitment realistic? In other words, why are you confident that your goal can actually be met? What are you willing and able to do as an individual to make your vision a reality?
How is your commitment timebound? In other words, how is your commitment going to be met within a specific time frame? What are the specific dates and deadlines, if any, required to keep you on a path of success?
An example of laying out a S.M.A.R.T. plan:
I am committed to reducing violent conflicts in my school by starting and implementing a peer mediation program.
Specific – Due to an increase in violent and abusive student conflicts, I will set up a peer mediation program at my school to help students develop skills to resolve their own conflicts without resorting to violence.
Measurable – I will recruit five students to be peer mediators and two teachers to volunteer to supervise the peer mediation program and have the program up and running by September 2013. At the end of the fall 2013 semester I will evaluate the number of reported incidences of violent conflict in the school to see if there has been a decrease.
Achievable – Ideally, I will invite Dave Russell, Janice Wright, Jerome Lively, Carl True, and Courtney Bell to be the student peer mediators and Ms. Lawson and Mr. Nelson to be the volunteer teachers. I will reach out Educators for Social Responsibility to access resources and guides for setting up a program of this nature. I will reach out to other area schools that have successful peer mediation programs to glean best practices.
Realistic – I will dedicate 3 hours each week towards implementing this plan. This will provide me with enough time each week to hold peer mediation workshops with the students, develop resources, and secure space in the school. I will be sure to dedicate one hour on the same day each week.
Time bound – I will have researched other peer mediation programs by January 1, 2013. I will have approached the five students and two teachers to gauge general interest by March 15, 2013, etc. I will have the program up and running by September, 2013. I will evaluate impact in December, 2013.
Venture Guide: S.M.A.R.T. Goals