Courses

Courses

Our courses are designed to help you develop the knowledge and skills necessary for navigating different kinds of conflicts in fundamentally different kinds of situations effectively and constructively. 

Core Course Descriptions

(3 credits)

This interactive course will emphasize student learning through simulations, role-plays, small and large group activities and discussions, and student assessments and questionnaires designed to promote negotiation, understanding and adaptivity across negotiation situations. Students will monitor their own skill development through self-reflection and feedback. The knowledge and skills gained from the course are applicable to all facets of life, professional and personal. Participants will thus gain leadership and CR skills related to the challenges of power and conflict encountered through their careers.

Weekend one of the course will introduce students to key concepts and frameworks, interpersonal communication, emotion regulation, and cultural styles and differences in negotiation and conflict resolution.  Students will develop a deeper understanding of the negotiation process, access and apply appropriate strategies and tactics, understand and practice the communication behaviors necessary for effective negotiation, and identify and reflect upon individual strengths and weaknesses in terms of contextual, personality and behavioral factors that influence negotiation processes and outcomes.

The second weekend of the course examines the complex, interrelated social-organizational phenomena of power and conflict. Building on theoretical work of Kurt Lewin and Mort Deutsch, these common human experiences will be defined, analyzed, and understood as complex systems in their own right, and then synthesized for a deeper understanding of how they interact in human relationships. The CIQ Model, an innovative and pragmatic framework for navigating difficult power and conflict dynamics within all types of organizations (corporate, governmental, religious, educational, etc) will be presented in depth. Conflict Adaptivity, the heart of the CIQ Model, will be studied conceptually, empirically and experientially.

When negotiation skills break down, the parties may seek the help from a third party intervener, a mediator. The mediator helps the disputants handle their conflict constructively and to find acceptable solutions. Through lecture, discussion, in-class demonstration, assessments and feedback, and role plays and simulations, students will learn the conditions when mediation is most effective, appropriate and feasible; identify basic differences in the task versus relationship nature of the cases presented; and employ strategies that are fitting and conducive to mediating these cases.  Students will be introduced to the theories and techniques underlying all phases of standard mediation situations including: convening and preparing for mediation, opening the mediation session, defining the issues and creating the agenda, facilitating communication and negotiation, creative problem-solving, and reaching agreement or closure. Particular emphasis will be placed on developing essential mediator skills, such as active listening, formulating questions, reframing, creating rapport, using language effectively, deescalating negative emotions, and non-verbal communication.  Cases will range from simple, interpersonal disputes to more complicated organization disputes.  There will be an emphasis on students gaining a better understanding of the role of the mediator and discovering their own strengths as mediators. The course will include several short assessments of mediator preferences and skills in the form of individualized feedback profiles. Throughout the course, students will monitor their own skill development by receiving feedback from other students and the instructors, which they will later reflect upon in their learning journals.

 

(3 credits)

This internship provides opportunities for students to gain practical experience in the fields of peace and conflict management. Students will intern for at least 150 hours in organizations that work in areas such as conflict management, development, social justice, organizational development, mediation and other related fields.

(3 credits)

This course is focused on the theoretical and empirical foundations of cooperation and conflict resolution in different contexts. It emphasizes the links between theory and practice, and provides a broad overview of basic topics in conflict resolution, including cooperation and competition, power, culture, justice, negotiation and mediation, violence, intergroup conflict, intractable conflict and sustainable peace.

(3 credits)

This applied course enhances students’ negotiation and mediation skills in order to handle challenging conflicts, including intergroup disputes and those involving differences related to culture, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and levels of power. Building on the theories, models and concepts of the Fundamentals course (ORLJ 6040) and the Basic Practicum (ORLJ5340), the course seeks to develop students’ self-awareness, skills and confidence as effective practitioners of conflict resolution.

Elective Course Descriptions

(1 credit)

This course investigates the field of conflict resolution education in the context of supporting student academic achievement, increasing social and emotional learning, and creating positive and caring classrooms. The course will integrate theory and practice, looking at research and evaluation on conflict resolution education, diverse program models, and the approaches of organizations active in this field.

(3 credits)

This course will develop the relevance of dynamical systems theory for understanding, investigating, and resolving protracted and seemingly intractable conflict at different levels of social reality (interpersonal, inter-group, international).  We will attempt to conceptualize conflicts as dynamic phenomena whose evolution reflects a complex interplay of factors operating at different levels and timescales. Our ultimate goal for the course is to develop a comprehensive and testable framework for identifying the dynamics underlying the development and transformation of conflict.

(1 credit)

This course examines the role that unaddressed and unhealed emotional trauma plays in creating and maintaining conflict. It also highlights unaddressed trauma as an obstacle to reconciliation—our ability to put the past to rest and to rebuild relationships that have broken under the strain of conflict.

(1 credit)

This course explores why deeply embedded, institutionalized forms of bias and discrimination resist change and how destructive and constructive patterns for multicultural relations shape organizations.

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