Foundations I and II give a comprehensive overview of social justice and peacebuilding practice and its multi-disciplinary, multi-level aspects. This course, Foundations I, addresses personal, interpersonal, small group, and organizational-level conflict transformation and social change through research, analysis, theory, practice, and process design. Foundations II similarly focuses on communal and societal levels of conflict and social change. Throughout the two courses, you will be required to learn and integrate critical self-assessment, ethical application of theory, technical utilization of research and analysis tools, and systematic processes of planning and implementation for practice interventions across a myriad of sectors in society.

This Foundations I course is constructed to assist you to integrate all three of these vital elements – theory, analysis and practice – into your justice work and peacebuilding practice. You will be introduced to the literature and theory of the field; explore conflict transformation from an individual, interpersonal and organizational level; consider the dynamics of conflict and experience the practice of peacebuilding through reading and discussions, intensive teamwork, interactive case study, role-plays, and simulated practice lab exercises.

Skills competencies are emphasized in the areas of self-awareness, team-building, conflict analysis and assessment, communication, construction of theories of change, strategies for intervention in interpersonal, intra-and intergroup conflicts, and process design. Mediation, negotiation, facilitation, nonviolence strategies and other transformative processes are introduced as peacebuilding practices. This course employs the action-reflection learning cycle as the undergirding educational framework throughout the semester.

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