By taking students out of their comfort zone, field-based courses—which are increasingly popular in secondary and postsecondary education—have the potential to be deep, transformative learning experiences. But what happens when the field in question is a site of active or recent conflict? In Conflict Zone, Comfort Zone, editors Agnieszka Paczyńska and Susan F. Hirsch highlight new approaches to field-based learning in conflict zones worldwide. As the contributors demonstrate, instructors must leave the comfort zone of traditional pedagogy to meet the challenges of field-based education.
Drawing on case studies in the United States and abroad, the contributors address the ethical considerations of learning in conflict zones, evaluate the effectiveness of various approaches to teaching these courses, and provide guidelines for effecting change. They also explore how the challenges of field-based classes are magnified in conflict and postconflict settings, and outline the dilemmas faced by those seeking to resolve those challenges. Finally, filling a crucial gap in existing literature, the contributors identify best practices that will assist aspiring instructors in developing successful field-based courses in conflict zones.
Contributors: Daniel R. Brunstetter, Alison Castel, Gina M. Cerasani, Alexander Cromwell, Maryam Z. Deloffre, Sandi DiMola, Leslie Dwyer, Eric Hartman, Pushpa Iyer, Allyson M. Lowe, Patricia A. Maulden, rj nickels, Anthony C. Ogden, Jennifer M. Ramos, Lisa E. Shaw, Daniel Wehrenfennig
“At a time when local peacebuilding is all the rage, this book asks us to question how we do that kind of work. In the best tradition of Mary Anderson’s idea of ‘do no harm,’ Conflict Zone, Comfort Zone leads readers to ask tough questions about how they do their work, whether that is in far off places or around the corner in their own communities.”
Chip Hauss, senior fellow for innovation, Alliance for Peacebuilding