Good afternoon friends. I wanted to take a moment and share with you an upcoming symposium to be hosted next week at UCF. It is worth your time, especially in these troubled times.

The Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd Program for Strategic Research & Studies, Lou Frey Institute, and the Partnership for Civic Learning, will be hosting a special symposium, “Teaching Tolerance & Peace in Education: American Experiences & International Lessons” on March 27, 2017 at Garden Key Room in the Student Union. The event will feature three visiting experts as well as a diverse group of community and educational leaders from Central Florida. The symposium will feature four sessions, including a working lunch, which will run from 9:15am-3:00pm.

 

The symposium will examine how education has played a central role in managing change over time – in economics, social norms, and increased global interdependence. In recent years, there have been grave challenges to peace and tolerance posed by extremism, political instability, economic inequality, and social unrest. Discussion will focus on the role education plays in promoting tolerance, ways to promote social unity on a national and international level, and the types of programs which promote these ideals. The symposium will also look at what can done to promote tolerance on the local level.

 

Sessions will be chaired by three visiting experts, Dr. James Gibson of the University of Washington in St. Louis Department of Political Science, Dr. Patricia Avery of the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development, and Dr. Peter Levine of Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences. Gibson specializes in political psychology, political tolerance, and democratization. His work includes extensive experience in the Balkans and South Africa. One of the most accomplished scholars working on political socialization and education, Avery has worked on issues related to tolerance, civic identity/education, and teacher education for 35 years. Levine is the Associate Dean and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life and Director of CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement).

 

“We are extremely honored to have three distinguished scholars participate in the symposium. We believe the event will encourage a very important and timely discussion of some of the issues we face at a local, national, and international level. We anticipate Drs. Gibson, Avery, and Levine, as well as an impressive list of local participants, will contribute to the development of concrete ideas and plans about promoting tolerance and peaceful decision-making,” noted David Dumke, Director of the Prince Mohammad bin Fahd Program (PMBF).

 

Featured experts will provide background on key topics and steer conversation – as the goal of each session is to stimulate an open discussion of ideas among those who work, study and have a stake in education. After the symposium concludes, UCF will produce a detail paper summarizing findings, provide an overview of different approaches to the issues discusses, and identify projects and programs which promote the concepts of tolerance and peace in education and how they could be applied internationally, including in the Middle East region.

 

The symposium, which is funded in part through a grant provided by the Association for International Education Administrators, is open to faculty, staff, and students. For additional information or to RSVP, please contact Kinda Haddad at the PMBF Program at kinda.haddad@ucf.edu or by calling (407) 823-2510.

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