"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 25, 2010

Peace Education Workshop: Day 5

The second day of the second week of the Peace Education Workshop focused on classroom management. The participants discussed the underlying causes of behavior problems within the classroom, reflecting on the role of the teacher and what the teacher can do to provide an appropriate atmosphere in his or her classroom. For the participants, this was beneficial; being able to take the excessive attention on what the student is doing, and instead looking at oneself to see what I am doing or not doing to support all my students.

While not all pressure was taken off the students, the teachers in the workshop were able to consider if their own knowledge of the content they were teaching, classroom environment, and lessons were supportive of a rich learning environment that let students think, create, and ask questions without fear. The participants recognized that it may not always be the students' fault, especially considering the previous days topic of Theory of Mind.

Discussion of motivation, discipline vs. punishment, and ways to encourage positive interaction with students were also included throughout the day.

As mentioned earlier, the weekend before the start of the second week of the workshop, I was able to travel to Ganta, which is in northern Liberia, near the Guinea border. We stayed on the United Methodist Ganta Mission Station, where are schools, vocational training programs, a church, and one of the largest hosp
itals in the country which also is home of a well established nursing school.

We were able to tour the grounds, talk to people working at the station, as well as others who come to the station for church, school, or hospital care. We lived a little rougher than we had been in Monrovia, with little electricity and no running water, but the women who cooked for us made wonderful bread.

You can see more pictures of the trip (as well as other pictures from the 3 weeks) here.

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