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Learning in Post-Conflict Settings
Introduction to the course
This course introduces concepts in the expanding field of education in post-conflict or emergency settings. We will examine key concerns of education in a crisis situation and explore opportunities for establishing learning environments that prevent and ameliorate social conflict leading to violence. We will address issues such as: how can education be provided in areas that are in chronic states of crisis? What can education systems do to eliminate violence? What do communities learn from conflict? What broad approaches to learning and community development might better facilitate healing, resilience and the rebuilding of trust? What is quality education in a crisis? How can community interventions and policy initiatives account for the gendered impacts of conflict? The course is exploratory. It aims to build and develop hypotheses about how education can be provided and more broadly, what role the provision of education can play in protection, reconciliation and rebuilding of war-torn societies.
There is a large and growing literature on education in post-conflict situations, much of this very recent and available through Internet. We will draw heavily on this source for the course, and to facilitate that I will hand out a CD containing much of the reading material. Additionally, we will use a website that was started specifically for this course in 2001:
The book, Helping Children Outgrow War, edited by CIE members Vachel Miller and Fritz Affolter, grew from the course two years ago, and will be distributed at our first class. All other material will be available through the course website. You will be asked to download, print and bring to class particular papers.
Crisp, J., C. Talbot & D.B. Cipollone (Eds.) (2001). Learning for a future: Refugee education in developing countries. Geneva: UNHCR. (UNHCR) (ON DISK – sorted by weekly readings)
Miller, V.W. & F.W. Affolter (2002). Helping Children Outgrow War. SD Technical Paper No. 116. Human Resources and Democracy Division; Office of Sustainable Development, Bureau for Africa; U.S. Agency for International Development. (AVAILABLE AT FOOD FOR THOUGHT)
Sinclair, M. (2002). Planning in and after emergencies. IIEP; Unesco. (ON DISK – under recommended readings)
Reading packet distributed on CD-Rom in class.
Special Journal Issue
Current Issues in Comparative Education (November 2000). Political Violence and Education. (ON DISK – sorted by weekly readings)
Grading and Student Responsibilities
The specific assignments are listed below. For every class you will be expected to do all the assigned readings and be prepared to discuss them. Integration and critical analysis of readings are also part of all written assignments.
This course requires the active participation of all class members. Therefore, you will be expected to 1) be fully prepared to participate in class by coming to all class sessions, reading the assignments for each session, and being ready to discuss them critically; 2) lead a class discussion of one week's readings; 3) short reflection/personal position paper; 4) work with a group of students to prepare a case study of an education project in a post-conflict setting; 5) write a 12-15 page paper reviewing an educational issue in a post-conflict/emergency setting, project or policy, or preparing an analysis of a topic relevant to the course. I encourage you to use my office hours as a time for us to discuss your paper, the readings or questions you have about the course. PLEASE NOTE, ALL WRITTEN WORK MUST USE APA FORMATTING.
Your grade for this course will be calculated as follows:
Quality and quantity of classroom participation 15%
Leading a classroom discussion on the readings 20%
Each student will pick a date from the course outline to facilitate discussion for that day's class. This should involve preparing a set of questions designed to provoke thorough discussion and analysis of the day's readings and not simply a summary of the readings. I encourage all students to meet with me to plan the session once they have done the required readings.
2-4 page Reflection/Personal Position Paper 15%Please prepare a short position paper outlining your personal and professional
experiences with a conflict situation . Set out your personal expectations and objectives for this course, describing why you are taking it, what you hope to learn, achieve and produce. Please include a bibliography of resources that you believe will be helpful in achieving these goals. DUE OCTOBER 4
Preparing and presenting a case study 25%
In pairs or groups of three, please prepare and present an analysis of a specific case or project. The cases will be presented to the class during the last two sessions in December.
Final paper 25%Please write a 12-15 page paper on any topic related to this course that is most appropriate to your professional and educational goals. Please discuss your chosen topic with me prior to writing. DUE DECEMBER 19.
Evaluation and Grading
Effective written communication is a key skill; therefore this course places a high premium on the quality and cogency of your written assignments. Written work in this class will be assessed for both the content of your ideas/arguments and the clarity of the writing (grammar, organization, etc.). All written work, needless to say, should be typewritten, proofread and spell-checked.My philosophy of grading is that grades are nothing more than marks that record your accomplishments. What this means is that I try to set clear evaluative standards for your work and help you meet those standards. On each of your papers, I will provide written feedback that tells you what is missing and what specifically you can do to improve your paper. If you are
dissatisfied with any of your written work, you may rewrite and resubmit that paper.
Written work will be assessed based on the following criteria:
Completeness – Are all parts of the assignments included? Did you follow the directions/assignment specifications?
Accuracy – Accuracy refers to your main points, use of concepts learned in the class, use of evidence from readings and other sources, quoting from others and the uses of statistics and other data sources. Is what you say correct and supported by evidence? Accuracy also includes proper citation of sources (APA).
Analysis – Are the main ideas of your paper identified? Have any implicit assumptions been identified and analyzed? Is the logic or the argument coherent and internally consistent? Is the evidence you use to make your argument assessed for its own strengths, weaknesses, limitations and representativeness?
Quality of Writing – A bit more intangible than other criteria. Among the guidelines I use are the following: Is the writing clear to the reader? Is the writing succinct or wordy? Is the writing organized to help the reader make their way through the paper? Are key statements supported by examples and details? Are positions taken, or arguments made, supported by evidence (facts) or argument (reasoning by analogy, metaphor)? Is the overall writing coherent?
In order to best accommodate the variable schedules of participants in this class, I will make individual appointments with students on Thursday afternoons and have open office hours for drop-ins on Tuesday afternoons. If you need to make an appointment, please send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If neither of the set times are feasible, please email me and we can try to find a time that is mutually convenient. Also, if you have any other problems or concerns, I find it best to communicate via e-mail, which I check frequently. I strongly encourage you to take advantage of email and office hours.