Preparing for future security challenges with practitioner research
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Royal Military College of Canada
Norwich University
Canadian Defence Academy
Online publication date: 2019-01-28
Publication date: 2019-06-28
Security and Defence Quarterly 2019;24(2):105–122
Mid-sized countries face a changing security environment, and cannot be certain that the knowledge and practices of the past will serve the future. The officers, professors, and researchers in defence universities are the custodians of military sciences that must adapt to these changing situations. Practitioner research should be modelled and encouraged in defence universities as a vehicle for advancing military sciences to meet new challenges. Previous practitioner research in higher and adult education has highlighted the need for experiential learning in other professions. The authors report on practitioner research by professors at pre-commission military academies to improve cadets’ understanding of peace and conflict. Military and police education is often experience-based, but there are few reports of practitioner research on its effectiveness, nor of combining peace and confl ict education with out-of-classroom experiences. Legitimation Code Theory provides tools for understanding diff erent teaching approaches. Comparing four cases of practitioner research on experiential learning the authors present models for practitioner research on teaching peace and conflict through out-of-classroom experiences, and conclude with means of evaluating learning experiences by pre-commission cadets, drawing on legitimation code theory. This is increasingly important for military academies striving to meet academic standards, but also to preserve professional values and young officer motivation to confront new challenges.
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