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Education in Armed Conflict

By Jill Anderson on December 23, 2015 11:04 AM
End-of-semester presentations in Assistant Professor Sarah Dryden-Peterson's course provided insight into the lives of individuals striving to continue their educations in settings of unrest.

At the end of fall semester, students in Assistant Professor Sarah Dryden-Peterson's Education in Armed Conflict course presented a semester’s worth of work through spoken word performances, teaching cases, interactive timelines, videos, Prezi presentations, and children’s books, all focusing closely on individuals and their experiences pursuing education in conflict.

“We intend this project to help students further develop their abilities to move between levels of analysis, examining global, national, and local dimensions of education and conflict and, in particular the experiences of children and young people,” Dryden-Peterson said. “Many of the students in this class go on to make policy and design programs for children living in conflict settings. This project helps them to put themselves in the shoes of children and young people as they make decisions.”

Each student interviewed an individual after analyzing the conflict dynamics and educational situation of his or her given regions, with an emphasis on how education might exacerbate or mitigate strife. The students then used the data from their interviews to determine the ways in which structures, policies, practices, and people influenced the educational experience of their participant.

The results became an interesting mix of topics and mediums. While many students focused on refugee issues, often driven by the current crisis in Syria, there was also significant representation of conflicts from around the world.

Fifty-two students with a broad range of backgrounds and interests enrolled in the course, including students from nine of HGSE’s 13 master’s programs, as well as cross-registrants from the Harvard Kennedy School, the Harvard Business School, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts.

Captions provided by doctoral candidate Vidur Chopra, Ed.M.'15.

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