I am excited to be teaching this class. I think it’s an important part of your education, as a military leader, as a citizen, and as a person. I served for 30 years in the Canadian Army, I have been teaching for 16 years, and I am still experimenting. This year, I’m experimenting with Ambrose et al (2010), Weimer (2013), 60-second summaries, and group-led interviews. In a small seminar group, we’ll have an opportunity for a lot interactive problem-solving, and the POE410 course is designed to be relevant and professionally engaging.
Students change, conflicts change, and the demands on you will change, even over the duration of this one-semester course. We will adapt. I am as committed to your success as you are.
The textbooks are a small start and a narrow window on the content. There is a world of online resources, people, organizations, and media to inform our learning about politics. You will help to decide how we use it. Wireless laptops and smart phones are a valuable resource for this class. You are encouraged to bring them to class, keep them open, use them to look up resources for in-class exercises and contact people outside the class. We will not let the classroom walls or our class schedule confine our learning.
At the Norwegian Military Academy, cadets practice delivering 60-second summaries of complex readings, or the elements of a reading that are relevant to a particular problem or audience. This may be followed by a 60-second critique or rebuttal from a classmate.
Pairs or larger groups may engage in 5-minute debates about the key ideas or questions, then go to Q&A or 60s.
The Field Study in Peace and Conflict was an experiment in cadet-led learning culminating in a 10-day study visit to Israel-Palestine. A group-led interview is a way of structuring an engagement with a subject expert. You decide what you want to understand, who can help you to understand it, how to contact them, how to approach, engage, and understand the content. Here they are going into the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv. Be prepared to identify people, places, and organizations we can learn from. Be prepared to do the leg-work to make the learning work. Prepare before, engage, process afterwards.