Mon, Aug 29, 2005
Tools for Teaching about The Third Side
The book The Third Side by William Ury articulates a way of looking at the conflicts around us not just from one side or the other but from the larger perspective of the surrounding community. The book explores ten “third side” roles that can help in the resolution of conflict: Provider, Teacher, Bridge Builder, Mediator, Arbiter, Equalizer, Witness, Referee and Peacekeeper. A website has been developed to support the goals of the book, and it includes a growing number of downloadable teaching-related resources including both a High School and University Curriculum, a High School “Third Side Activity”, a conflict simulation entitled the Sanford High Race Riot, and a powerpoint presentation providing a high level overview of the Third Side concepts. They are also collecting user contributions of exercises and modifications to the core materials.
Also of interest are a variety of online tools and exercises that can help you assess the level of conflict you are engaged in and to identify what third side roles could help most in that situation. All in all, a nice collection of free materials supporting the (still not-free) book.
Mon, Aug 22, 2005
Good listing of Academic Journals offering RSS feeds
More and more people use RSS news readers to keep track of current events and the world of blogging. A particularly useful role for RSS for academics is as a means to keep track of the current contents of journals they are interested in. A growing number of journals now offer RSS feeds just for this purpose, and the University of Saskatchewan Library has developed a directory of academic journals with RSS feeds (sorted by title). If you want to add a journal to your newsreader, use the link found attached to the orange xml icon, like this one for Public Opinion Quarterly
A World of Possibilities Audio Programs on Conflict Resolution and Leadership
The A World of Possibilities weekly syndicated radio program is a project of the Mainstream Media Project, a nonprofit public education and strategic communications organization that uses the mainstream broadcast media to raise public awareness about new approaches to longstanding issues. From the future of peace and alternatives to corporate globalization to civil liberties, renewable energy and sustainable consumption, the program offers solution-centered approaches to the most challenging problems we face as a people and planet. A full archive of audio programs are available, including a group of shows categorized under the topic “Conflict Resolution and Leadership”. Guests have included various well-known conflict resolution practitioners such as Mari Fitzduff (Conflict Resolution in Northern Ireland), William Ury (Harvard Program on Negotiation), Laura Chasin (Public Conversations Project), Benjamin Barber (author of Strong Democracy) and Linda Lantieri (expert on Peacemaking in Schools). A World of Possibilities radio programs are available via this podcast feed if you use a podcast-friendly feed reader or podcatching client.
Cool Ki Tricks at Body Mind and Modem
Body Mind and Modem is an interactive website designed to introduce people to the principles of Aikido, a form of martial arts that incorporates many conflict resolution concepts. Using QuickTime and shockwave, the site presents Ki Exercises and a number of Cool Ki Tricks like the “unbendable arm” and the “unliftable body”. Impress your friends today with the power of your mastery of inner peace!
Sat, Aug 20, 2005
Personal Profile of Conflict Styles, Strategies, and Tactics
Search for Common Ground hosted a series called A Conversation about Conflict. One of the resources they developed for this was an online Personal Profile of Conflict Styles, Strategies and Tactics. It uses a set of questions borrowed from Pamela Shockley-Zalabek’s book Fundamentals of Organizational Communications to present the user with some information on their conflict style and the kinds of strategies and tactics they use.
Online Conflict Styles Surveys (with Instant Results)
The Peace and Justice Support Network of the Mennonite Church has made available two conflict styles surveys online, one for adults, and one for youth. The Adult Personal Conflict Style Inventory, by Ron Kraybill and reproduced from the Mennonite Mediation and Facilitation Training Manual, asks you to answer 20 questions describing how characteristic or uncharacteristic certain responses to conflict would be for you. After completing the survey, you are taken to a page that displays your results with explanations of your personal style. The exercise gives you two sets of scores for each of the five approaches to conflict (collaborating, forcing, compromising, avoiding and accommodating). So-called “Calm” scores apply to your response when disagreement first arises. Whereas, “Storm” scores apply to your responses if things are not easily resolved and emotions get stronger. A printable version is also available. This inventory was significantly upgraded by Kraybill in 2004 and published as Style Matters: The Kraybill Conflict Style Inventory. The upgraded version contains extensive tips for each style, cross-cultural features, and discussion questions for groups. For more info go to Riverhouse Epress.
A similar but simpler “Conflict and YOUth” questionnaire was developed for young people grades 3-12 that has fewer questions in an easier to use format. The results for younger kids are displayed using animal images for the various styles to make it more interesting. Also available is a leader’s guide, style choice reminder cards, a word search activity sheet, and a downloadable version of the quiz.
Thu, Aug 18, 2005
The Shape of the Future - Documentary on Middle East Conflict Solutions by Search for Common Ground
The Shape of the Future is a four part documentary series produced by Common Ground Productions that portrays what an eventual Palestinian-Israeli peace settlement would look like. The emphasis is not on reliving past hurts, but rather is prospective which makes this a unique documentary effort. The core idea is to examine, in an even-handed way, the aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians and to show that agreements are possible that do not threaten the national existence of either party. In addition to the film transcripts and a viewers guide, a 20-minute excerpt and a music video are available online.
The series, broadcast simultaneously on Arab, Israeli and Palestinian television stations, explores the background, the various positions, and the options for settlement in each of the disputed final status issues. The programs look at the following three main issues: Jerusalem, Settlements and Palestinian Refugees. It also explores security, normal life and borders. The series was produced in both Hebrew and Arabic-language versions for broadcast in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Editorial content is the same in each version.
Condo Conflict Resolution Guide from Foundation for Community Association Research
The Foundation for Community Association Research, a nonprofit, research-driven group has released a series of Best Practice Reports, including one on Governance, Resident Involvement and Conflict Resolution. The 25-page document, available as a pdf, includes sample policy excerpts and mediation and alternative dispute resolution clauses.
Wed, Aug 17, 2005
Evaluation Tools for Racial Equity
The Evaluation Tools for Racial Equity website is organized around the typical stages that a community group or coalition working on racial justice issues might go through in planning, conducting, and using evaluation:
Getting Ready: Readiness to Evaluate Work on Race, Ethnicity, Power and Privilege
Defining Your Work: Thinking about the Work to be Evaluated
Designing: Developing Evaluation Design and Plan
Collecting Information: Finding and Collecting Data
Analyzing: Examining and Interpreting Evaluation Information
Sharing Findings: Sharing Outcome Information and Evaluation Findings
Reflecting: Ways Evaluation Findings Can Improve the Work
Each stage covers several topic areas, with guiding questions for each topic. These questions raise important issues for the group to consider. From each set of questions, the website user can find tip sheets, tools and resources that explore the issues in greater detail.
Mon, Aug 15, 2005
Just for Fun : Useless Skills
The WannaLearn.com site provides a whole category for useless skills tutorials. You can find information on one hand card shuffling, pen spinning, balloon blowing, air guitar playing, aluminum foil deflector beanie making and more.
A History of Conflict in High Court Appointments
This article on NPR’s site begins “As President Bush prepares to nominate a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor [in July 2005], Washington is bracing for the possibility of a confirmation battle. Here’s a look at recent conflicts over high court nominees.” Includes discussions about confirmation conflicts relating to Clarence Thomas, Robert H. Bork, Abe Fortas, and others. (As per a listing at the Librarians Index to the Internet)
Fri, Aug 12, 2005
Racial Conflict Simulation: A High School Halloween Party
The Civil Rights Mediation Oral History Project chronicles the work of civil rights mediators who have been working with the Community Relations Service since the mid-60s. The Racial Conflict Simulation, a learning module provided at the project website, begins with a racial conflict in an urban high school that quickly escalates to violence. After a short introduction, “players” are asked to assume a role: the school principal, the black activist student, the white student body president, or the mediator. You then are asked to read what happens and report what you would do. You can do this “just for fun,” or it can be used by teachers as a educational tool. The Racial Conflict Simulation: A High School Halloween Party was developed by Cate Malek and Heidi Burgess at the University of Colorado.
Mon, Aug 08, 2005
Pax Warrior “Game” Teaches Decisionmaking Using UN Response to Rwandan Genocide
Pax Warrior is a learning simulation designed to teach young people age 14-21. Pax Warrior teaches civics by combining multi-media documentary with political simulation. Students interact with history, navigating a decision web to follow the experience of a UN Force Commander in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. What are the terrible choices to be made? What would you have done in his shoes? What will you do to make sure this never happens again?
Compelled to make difficult choices under pressure the student can access information in the research module or decide to make the decision alone. Which choice to make? What are the factors? Which tactic will be the most effective at saving lives?
Screenshots and more information on the game design is available in the PAX Experience section of the website.
The BBC produced a video story about the use of the program in classrooms that is viewable in Realplayer.
Fri, Aug 05, 2005
New Conflict Learning Audio podcast site goes live
I spent some time this week putting a new site together to handle the audio files I am producing as podcasts. Have a look at the new Conflict Learning Audio site sometime. As a result of this move, I’ve changed the podcast feed found on the sidebar of this blog, so you’ll want to update if you’ve subscribed to that one.
Wed, Aug 03, 2005
Plowshares Peace Studies Collaborative’s Syllabi Collection
The Plowshares Peace Studies Collaborative includes Earlham, Goshen and Manchester Colleges. They received a shared grant from the Lilly Endowment to strengthen their work on peace studies. One nice resource on the Plowshares website is a collection of peace and conflict syllabi from the participating schools. They have another collection of syllabi gathered at a Plowshares Faculty Academy that may also be of interest.