Class Participation (25%)
The course is designed to be highly participatory and to provide a number of opportunities for each student’s strengths to be utilized while at the same time challenging students to exercise new skills and ways of learning. At the start of each class, everyone will participate in a discussion about the week’s assigned readings and videos. The discussion will be facilitated using a circle process – a process used by many indigenous peoples across the world and incorporated into several peace, dialogue, and restorative justice programs. The process allows for all voices to be heard in an equitable fashion and encourages reflective listening. Each week a different student will be assigned as the circle scribe and will take notes during the conversation and then write a summarizing blog post for the class website. Being an active participant in class not only requires contributing to the class discussions, but also respecting your classmates, being open to new ideas and approaches, and challenging your own assumptions.
Community Blogging (25%)
Blogging provides each student with the opportunity to research and share peace education resources with the rest of the class and others who visit the class website. Each student will be responsible for submitting three blog posts for the class website throughout the semester. The post should highlight a specific resource (book, video, web content, lesson plan, event, field trip location, etc.) that they feel could be effectively used in the service of building peace in an educational setting. Students will sign up for which weeks they will be posting their blog. The blog should address the following questions:
- Content – what is the resource and where did you find it?
- Context – in what type of educational setting do you feel this resource is best placed (subject matter, age level, community, formal, nonformal, or informal) and why?
- Objective – how would you incorporate this resource into a peace education activity or exercise and what knowledge, skills, or attitudes would students develop having engaged with this resource?
- Goal – which two pillars of peace education do you think are most supported by this resource and why?
Individual Course Portfolio (25%)
Reflection is an important pedagogical element of the peace learning process. A key part of this course is for each student to take the time to think about how the different activities, discussions, and assignments have impacted their own thoughts and feelings about building peaceable classrooms and communities. Throughout the semester students will be building their own personal course portfolio that will include their reflections on course activities, self-assessment of their participation, and summary of their contribution to the circle discussions. The framework for this portfolio will be shared with students using Google docs and each student’s portfolio will only be see by the the individual student and the professor.
Final Project: A Contribution to the Field (25%)
To ensure time and effort is put into projects that are of interest to the learner and will help develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will be of use in their current and future endeavors, each student will have the option to do complete one of the following:
- Design an informational web page focusing on one of the specific peace education topics covered in the course: reflective listening, nonviolent direct action, conflict resolution, multiple intelligences, emotional intelligence, human rights, or environmental sustainability. The web page will outline relevant theories at the foundation of the topic, scholars/educators who have helped advance the topic, and programs/resources that educators who are interested in the topic can utilize in their classrooms. The web page is to include links to other sites, images, and embedded video where appropriate. The finalized web page will be posted on peacelearner.org and will provide an introductory overview of the topic for those who visit the site.
- Design and facilitate a lesson plan that incorporates peace pedagogy in its delivery. A specific template will be provided for the lesson plan design, which will ask for: educational context, goal, objectives, materials needed, step by step process, timing, identification of multiple intelligences activated, and reference to which pillars of peace education the plan is designed to support and how. The student will then facilitate this lesson plan in class, share their reflections on the process with the group, and facilitate a feedback session.
- Interview a peace/nonviolence educator. The student will identify an individual whose educational work they feel has been in the service of building peaceable classrooms and whose experience can help shed light on some of the themes and topics covered in the course. The interview can be either in audio form (.mp3) or video (posted on YouTube) and should be between 10-15 minutes in length. Questions for the interviewee should touch on how the various pillars of peace education are supported in their work and ask the presenter to share some of their own strategies, techniques, and motivations for incorporating peace pedagogy into how they teach and view education.
With the student’s permission, the final product will be posted on peacelearner.org so they can be shared with others in the field.