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Published on 10.02.2017

CMI wants to work with schools to make conflict resolution a civic skill

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Patrick Haponen and Ada Segerstam, who played a far-right activist and a Muslim radical respectively, shake hands after solving their dispute in CMI’s role play.

 

The conflict resolution organisation CMI works with schools to make the solving of disputes and disagreements a new civic skill. The materials package put together by CMI for schools contains various exercises that help students improve their understanding of how conflicts arise and how they can be resolved.

The materials package can be found from the renewed website of the Ahtisaari Days. The sixth such event was held in November of 2016.

“Schools want to better understand how to prevent and resolve conflicts. Many schools throughout Finland have for years been interested in CMI’s work and working methods,” says CMI’s Head of Communications and Fundraising Elina Lehtinen. “With the help of our redesigned website and materials, students and teachers get more information on a very complicated world, and on how conflicts can be resolved through dialogue. The same dialogue exercises work in the schoolyard as well as they do in international crises.”

Disputes and disagreements are what are fundamentally at issue both in school rows and in international conflicts. Amongst the other conceptual tools contained in the materials package is a role play in which students must use dialogue to solve a conflict that has broken out near the school. The aim of the dialogue is to demonstrate that any kind of conflict can be resolved peacefully if only there is the skill and the will to do so.

The materials package is designed in such a way that it fits naturally with the new teaching curriculum. In this way, teachers can if they wish easily complement their work in, say, Finnish, geography, religion, ethics, or history with exercises from the package.

The exercises are based on themes that crosscut the new teaching curriculum, such as communication, empathy, participation, making a difference, and cultural knowledge. The exercises are primarily intended for junior-high and high school-level students.

You can check out the contents of the materials package here.

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