The Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College, and the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) organized a conference on “Reconstructing Peace Studies: Assessing New Knowledge & Outcomes” from March 20-23 in Huntingdon, PA. Tony Jenkins, NPA’s VP for Academic Affairs, helped to coordinate the program in his role as a board member of PJSA.
The conference was developed upon the premise that institutions of higher education around the globe are being pressed to identify and assess program goals and student learning outcomes for every field of study. The purpose of this conference was to begin a conversation engaging these questions for the field of Peace Studies. The event was organized as a working conference to help determine how we identify, name and assess the knowledge, attitudes and skills that students studying in a Peace Studies program should encounter and develop as part of their studies, as well as assessment strategies at both course and program levels. Working groups were formed around several themes, including the social and political purposes of the field(s), knowledge, skills and attitudes, program assessment and methods for teaching peace studies. Working groups are preparing reports and several intend to continue working together to publish findings and host roundtables and workshops at the upcoming PJSA conference to be held in San Diego in October.