"If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children."

~Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, October 18, 2010

Peace Education Workshop: Day 4

The second week of the workshop focused on the development of Theory of Mind in students who are deaf. As discussed in an earlier post, Theory of Mind is the ability to have empathy for another person, understanding that other people may have different opinions than yourself, and being able to "walk in another person's shoes." This ability is delayed in students who are deaf, and is a skill that must be taught.

The fourth day was spent discussing why this occurs (through lack of incidental learning, communication barriers, etc.), exploring specific examples. The participants were able to see the need for teaching specific social skills in the classroom, especially ways to communicate and solve problems in a peaceful manner. This day laid the foundation for the remainder of the workshop-teaching social skills (including human rights issues) through games and hands on activities.

For further information on Theory of Mind, please see the earlier post.

Over the weekend, I was able to travel to
Ganta, which is in the northern part of Liberia, close to the Guinea border. This was an excellent time to see more of the country. Though Liberia
is only about the size of Ohio, it took us about 12 hours to travel from Monrovia to Ganta. Between 2008 and 2010, there has been much improvement with roads. The road between
Monrovia and Kakata was amazing compared to what it was in 2008. Even with this development, there are still areas of Liberia that are not accessible with cars.

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