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Making Sense of World Conflicts

Secondary

Description

This collection of 8 lesson plans draws on vast amounts of source material. Case studies and demographic information by country help students investigate the complex subject of conflict around the world. The lessons are best completed as a set (but can be done individually if time is pressing). The lessons employ a wide range of pedagogical approaches including: individual reflection, think-pair-share, small group discussion, true or false statements, documentary storyboarding and various teacher led discussions. The 8 lessons are as follows:

  1. Finding out about conflict- Students will explore and extent their knowledge about armed conflict through a pre-lesson quiz and discussion.
  2. The increasing use of small arms- Putting over a message- Students are asked to explore how the use of images and words can convey powerful messages through use of True/False information, visual images and small group discussion
  3. The arms bazaar- A mystery?- Students are asked to interpret information and to make informed judgments by information sorting and processing, group work and presentations.
  4. Futures- Students are asked to think constructively about the global future and to develop empathy with other communities through examination of print material, case studies (UK, Cambodia, Sierra Leone) and small group presentations
  5. Is it war?- Students will examine the language we use to talk about war and conflict using informational sheets that are cut up and are needed to be put back in order. Students get a chance to look at the Rules of War and International Humanitarian Law.
  6. Conflict- Are you buying it?- Students are encouraged to think about combat gear as fashion and introduces students to case studies of child soldiers in Liberia. Students have a chance to explore social and moral issues. Students will work in groups and write a short article for a magazine about the role of combat gear in society.
  7. Million Faces-Evaluating a campaign- Students will learn how to evaluate how form, layout and presentation contribute to print and web based information texts. Students will use a variety of source material.
  8. Corneille- The music of life- Students are asked to consider how the causes and effects of conflict can affect individuals, and to look at one individuals response. Corneille is a French R n’ B from Rwanda, now based in Montreal.

Lesson #8 could be used as a great culminating activity of the lesson unit on conflict.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This resource specifically teaches students group work skills, brainstorming techniques, methods for individual reflection, and what goes into making a documentary.

Strengths

This resource is really engaging and there are interesting teaching ideas included in each lesson. The handouts are clear and easy to use. the lesson as a whole works towards students creating a sense of empathy and understanding as to how conflict affects individuals. The package is up to date and there are web links provided to support teachers and students in gathering further information.

Weaknesses

The lesson package does not included any assessment and evaluation tools. This would greatly enhance the resource. Lesson #1 would benefit from some scaffolding for the students to do research with. Lesson #2 would benefit from more images of war for students to look at and analyze.

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Themes Addressed

  • Human Rights (4)

    • Poverty
    • Refugees and Immigration
    • Social Justice
    • War and Peace

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

The various source documents have contributed to students analyzing many different points of view as necessary to address the issue.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Satisfactory

The resource does this adequately enough, although there is no connection made to how Canada and other governments have played a role in the problem of war and conflict.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

Students are encouraged to develop a script for a documentary as the final activity which, if followed through with, could be a really great action experience for students to complete.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good

In every one of the 8 lessons, students are given a chance to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs and values.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

This is done very well.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Poor/Not considered

poor

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Satisfactory

The lesson plans focus on the recent past and present. 

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good

Throughout the document, students are encouraged to reflect and present their ideas based on their own experience and the research. The lessons are ordered in a way that allows students to build upon their previous knowledge.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

Students are engaged in numerous activities which allow them to discover and build knowledge, concepts and principles around war and conflict.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good

Students are given numerous chances to have direct, authentic experiences of how war affects individuals. It is a simulation experience that allows them to move through how conflict affects individuals.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Good

There are many opportunities for students to work cooperatively and build skills which are explicitly taught and practiced.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Poor/Not considered

Poor

There are no assessment and evaluation methods/mechanisms provided in the resource. This would be a benefit to the resource. There are opportunities to do assessment and evaluation in the lesson.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Good
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good

The case studies that are provided are excellent.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.