News from Cardigan

Raising Global Awareness Through Conflict Resolution
Date: 02/09/2018

Conflict resolutionJust prior to Winter Vacation, Cardigan’s ninth-grade class gathered in the Commons to seek solutions to a land dispute in Rwanda. This challenging task was led by an expert guide with close ties to the African country. 

The half-day seminar was organized by faculty in our Global Community Initiative (GCI) program, and focused on improving conflict management and negotiation skills through an in-class simulation exercise. Our boys were tasked with resolving a six-party land dispute in post-genocide Rwanda. They were each assigned roles during the seminar, and actively worked together to find a peaceful resolution to a real-world conflict. 

Gallery: See photos from the seminar

GCI teachers Ryan Sinclair, Joe Doherty, and Tai Haluszka collaborated throughout the year to set up the seminar. During their bi-weekly GCI classes, the ninth graders learned the basic skills of negotiation which were put into practice in small role-play scenarios, giving them a general understanding of how to reach peaceful and fair resolutions. Students also learned about what happened before, during, and after the Rwanda genocide, which provided a good understanding for the complicated negotiation that took place. “This hands-on approach not only taught our students about real world issues, but involved them in a solution-oriented process that really had the boys thoroughly engaged,” said Mr. Sinclair.

Their guide through this four-hour exercise was Carl Hobert, a Boston University professor who lives in Rwanda and is an expert in the field of conflict resolution and negotiation. Mr. Hobert believes students should learn about contemporary issues such as the Rwandan genocide as a way to help develop an understanding of alternative, non-violent approaches to resolving conflicts. He is also the Assistant Head of School at Green Hills Academy, an independent school in Rwanda, which attracts high school students from around the world and teaches them international conflict resolution.
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