Workable Peace Curriculum Series

By — on / Teaching Negotiation

conflict solving strategies

Note: Each of the seven individual Workable Peace Series curriculum units can be purchased separately. Please click on the links below for information about purchasing individual units. 

About Workable Peace

The Workable Peace curriculum – a conflict resolution program for high school students and young adults – is a product of the Workable Peace Project, directed by Stacie Smith and David Fairman at the Consensus Building Institute. The curriculum is designed to help students understand why intergroup conflicts begin, why some conflicts lead to violence, and how violent conflicts can be prevented and ended. Using class discussion and role plays based on actual current and historical intergroup conflicts, Workable Peace presents a framework for understanding intergroup conflict at many levels, from local to international. After learning about intergroup conflict in the classroom, students will be able to apply the Workable Peace framework to conflicts in their own communities, under the supervision of teachers and community based conflict management professionals.

The Workable Peace curriculum has three parts: a framework that presents sources of intergroup conflict and conflict management strategies, detailed role plays set in historical and current hot spots of intergroup conflict around the world (e.g., Guatemala, Rwanda, the Middle East, and Boston during school integration), and civic learning projects on local intergroup issues in students’ schools and communities. Each of the role plays is set at a time when many of those involved in the conflict have recognized the terrible consequences of prolonged violence for their own lives and for the groups to which they belong. The scenarios challenge students to play the roles of individuals who are deeply committed to their group identities. In the role plays, students must articulate the interests and needs of their characters, understand and accept those of the other characters, and create non-violent solutions for managing conflict.

Curriculum Series Contents

The Workable Peace Curriculum Series includes the following units, any of which may be purchased separately. Click below for more information on each:

Ethnic Conflict and Genocide in Post-Colonial Africa

Religion and Nationalism in Northern Ireland

Managing Conflict in the Middle East

Indigenous Rights and the Environment in Latin America

Ancient Greece and the Peloponnesian War

Civil Rights and School Integration in the United States

The Rise of Organized Labor in the United States

Comments from Teachers

“This curriculum was created with teachers in mind, providing assessment tools and a user-friendly framework for thinking through conflict.”

“Workable Peace is a program that really does work! My students were involved until the very end and they learned a lot.”

“It is imperative that people learn how to deal with conflicts, and how to resolve them appropriately without violence. … This simulation is one of the best things that we do in school.”

Comments from Students

“I’ve learned that conflict is not what causes the problems of the world; it’s the way people deal with these conflicts that causes the problems.”

“Performing in this role-play game me a chance to speak in class, and allowed me to have an opinion on what we were working on, which I find I can’t do in a lot in my classes.”

“Not only does this teach me about history, culture, and politics, but also about peaceful negotiations and what it takes to create a society in which all members feel accepted and independent.”

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