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Letter to Colleagues: Peace and Conflicts Proposal

Dear Colleague,

I hope this letter finds you well.

This summer, I participated in an exciting and enriching experience with the LUTE Stem group exploring concepts like computation thinking, multimodal learning, problem-based learning, Costa and Kallick's Habits of Mind, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I am thrilled to inform you that my journey has led me to an idea that I would love to bring to the classroom in the Fall.
I would like to propose the development of a problem-based learning experience centered around the theme of "peace and conflicts." To prepare, I built a collection of multimedia resources and descriptions of interactive strategies on Nowcomment that focus on supporting students to come up with a solution to this question: "How can we create a peaceful environment?"
Exploring this question will get our learners to reflect on peace on a personal level. First, students will be introduced to a real world problem - establishing shared norms and expectations during the initial days of school to foster trusting relationships within our community. This is essential because I believe that students should contribute to the norms for their classroom. It is crucial to create a learning environment that is peaceful, respectful, and collectively agreed upon, where all voices are heard, and everyone feels their needs are met. It is important to contribute to the solution through a problem-based learning experience.

During this learning experience, students can share their perspectives on what peace means to them and visualize what peace means to them through activities like drawing maps and building models of peaceful learning spaces. To help them get deeper into solutions, they can learn more about conflict resolution, empathy, and understanding in the classroom through read alouds, videos, and images. We could invite the guidance counselor as a special guest so that students can learn more from an expert. Ultimately, we will have the learners develop solutions for how to establish a peaceful classroom environment. By engaging them with a problem that is directly relevant to their lives, we can instill a sense of ownership and responsibility in their pursuit of a peaceful learning environment.

This approach aligns perfectly with the habit, "Thinking Interdependently." Costa and Kallick say, "

Problem solving has become so complex that no one person can go it alone. No one has access to all the data needed to make critical decisions; no one person can consider as many alternatives as several people." This problem based learning experience will help our students understand the power of collaboration and that many voices lead to plenty of possible solutions.

By designing structures and protocols as a team, they will be setting the expectations for themselves and have greater agency towards upholding these mutual agreements.

To support students to consider peace on a global level, they will be introduced to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The specific SDG that we will learn about is Goal 16 - Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. This goal is about "promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development." I firmly believe that the core of this goal lies in fostering peace, which our students will be doing as they work together to create the type of classroom they need and desire.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this proposal. I hope you see how valuable this experience could be for our students. Please check out the collection that I started on Nowcomment and let me know what you think! I look forward to working with you on this!

Your Partner in Education,


DMU Timestamp: July 13, 2023 21:18

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