Experiential Learning - Conflict Resolution
Feb 17, 2017 | Ryan Peplinskie
As part of their curriculum, the Community and Justice Services students are required to complete multiple Conflict Resolution Simulations. With the help of the Acting for Stage and Screen students, the CJS students are thrust into a simulated real-life scenario where they are required to use what they've learned over the past few semesters to diffuse and de-escalate the situation.
The Acting for Stage and Screen students are given an offender profile weeks in advance to learn the character and get prepared. The CJS students are then let into the simulated cell block in pairs with only minutes to prepare for the roles they agree on without knowing what their scenario will be. Be it a Schizophrenic inmate in the middle of a hallucination, a suicidal offender with a concealed weapon or an irate inmate that launches simulated urine (apple juice) at the CJS students, the Acting students must improvise and make the jobs of the CJS students harder by creating conflict and stress.
The professors overseeing the simulations (Claude Charland and Rod Carley) explained that they started collaborating about 5 years ago to give the CJS students the closest thing to a real-life scenario as well as give the Acting students a tough character to practice and become.
When the CJS students head into placement and then into the work force, popular interview questions they are asked are "What experiences do you have dealing with conflicts" or "Tell me about a time you had to resolve a conflict" so by simulating the de-escalation of a conflict or stressful situation, the students are given a realistic experience to draw examples from and to help hone their skills.