The Workable Peace curriculum — a set of seven comprehensive curriculum guides for secondary schools and youth programs — 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.
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