Navigating the Unchartered Waters of Cross-Cultural Conflict Resolution Education

It is the author’s view that conflict resolution educators should in part draw from participants’ real-life experiences in order develop more culturally appropriate conflict resolution processes (an elicitive approach). Additionally, trainers should hold their knowledge lightly, and elicit conflict-resolution strategies from the group. This dialogical approach allows local and introduced knowledge of conflict resolution to permeate each other in dialogue, thus developing dynamic ways to deal with conflict. In this model, the students become the teachers and vice versa, as problems are explored and concepts are developed as a group. The author also advocates the use of local co-facilitators to establish trust in the local capacities for peace. Participants and trainers alike gain the opportunity to further develop conflict resolution practices that are rooted in their own experience but enhanced by the knowledge of others.

Conflict Resolution Education in Indonesia: Mapping Adaptations and Meanings

This study, available as a pdf, examined the ways professors in teacher education departments in two universities in East Java translated and adapted Conflict Resolution Education (CRE) methods. To map the ways they adapted and understood cooperative learning (CL) and non-coercive classroom management (NCCM), a critical ethnography (a blend of ethnography and action research) was done based on Carspecken’s (1996) design. It was conducted from October 2004 to February 2008 in two universities in East Java. The results were based upon field work that included passive and participatory observations, semi-structured interviews, document analysis, surveys, and critical dialogues with primary informants. Analysis was framed using Roger’s (1995) diffusion stages. Findings indicated that although there were some very serious challenges to the adoption of these two innovations, there were points where bridges could be built in both practice and understanding. Barriers included informants’ struggles to shift from teacher-centered to student-centered instruction while still maintaining culturally prescribed expressions of authority. Related themes were challenges instructors encountered in engaging students through facilitation practices and reciprocal communication.