Conference Program


85th Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History

 Landscapes of War and Peace

April 5 - 8, 2018, Louisville, Kentucky


Title: The Staff Ride: Learning from the Landscapes of War
Abstract: Staff rides hold a pedagogical place of honor in the traditions of teaching and learning about war. Both civilian and military schools employ the technique. The purpose of this panel is to highlight current best practices among selected institutions that invest heavily in this specialized form of adult learning. The goal is to stimulate a dialogue among practitioners that will highlight effective procedures, spur collaboration between existing staff ride programs and external scholars/practitioners who can contribute to their curricula, and encourage educators and leaders who do not currently employ staff rides to investigate their potential benefits for their own institutions.

Points of discussion will include: the purpose of the staff ride; its role in the curriculum; a description of itineraries and time invested at the sites visited; activities in support of each phase of the staff ride (preliminary study, student and faculty actions in the field, and post trip reflections/integration); logistic considerations (modes of travel, financial costs and sponsorships, official permissions, safety, how much time it takes faculty/staff to plan and prepare the events); guest subject matter experts that accompany the trips; student feedback; and educational insights gained from staff ride experience.

The round table will commence with a brief introduction of the topic and the participants. Each speaker will then provide a ten-minute overview of his program touching on some of the issues identified above. The remaining 35 minutes will feature questions from the audience and dialogue sparked by the initial presentations. While staff rides can vary significantly in intent and application, a common theme is the benefits derived from walking the ground on which military operations occurred. This round table, which will examine a primary method of learning from "the landscapes of war," promises a practical and engaging addition to this year's SMH conference program.
 
Michael Morris, Texas A&M University
Timothy Cullen, Air University
Brian Koehr, Naval War College
Eric Price, Army University
Wayne Sinclair, Marine Corps University
Grace Kim, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies



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