For years, Colorado State University Professor William Timpson has studied conflict and alternatives to violence and how these relate to education, democracy and sustainable peacemaking on an international level.
Timpson recently received the Fulbright Senior Specialist’s Award and will be sharing his research and experiences in teaching about nonviolent conflict resolution while continuing his research in Northern Ireland at the University of Ulster’s UNESCO Centre on Education for Pluralism, Human Rights and Democracy and at INCORE (International Conflict Resolution).
"I am hoping that this work will allow me to learn from a culture that has recently emerged from hundreds of years of violence fueled by the interplay of religious hatred, British imperialism and racism toward the native Irish, social class divisions, calls for revolution and revenge, corruption and the violent suppression of dissent as ‘unpatriotic’ on both sides," said Timpson.
Timpson primarily studies teaching and learning in schools, colleges and universities, but he noted that all segments of society bear some responsibilities for addressing these problems and exploring new solutions.
While in Northern Ireland, Timpson will consult with various organizations while continuing work on his latest book, "From Battleground to Common Ground: Veterans and Peace Activists Share Stories of Transformation Toward a Deeper Democracy."
"The book will use the reflections of people who have had active military service or a longstanding commitment as peace activists to frame new conversations about patriotism and to think critically and creatively about the knowledge, understanding and skills required for democratic citizenship and sustainable peacemaking," Timpson said. "This becomes especially relevant in the U.S. as we continue to debate the events leading us into the present war in Iraq and what it will take to end our involvement and heal the wounds while honoring the sacrifices made."
In the past four years, Timpson has authored "Teaching and Learning Peace," "Teaching Diversity," "147 Tips for Teaching Diversity" and "147 Tips for Teaching Sustainability." Each book focuses to some extent on conflict, mediation, communication and reconciliation.
"My work has always benefited from international experiences where I can see first-hand how various programs have worked and how people from other cultures think about issues we also share," Timpson said.
Timpson obtained his bachelor’s in American History from Harvard University and a doctoral in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has taught classes in the School of Education at Colorado State University for 30 years and served as director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Colorado State from 1997-2003. Prior to joining Colorado State, Timpson taught in junior and senior high schools in inner city Cleveland, Ohio.