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31 Negot. J. 1 (2015)

handle is hein.journals/nejo31 and id is 1 raw text is: 





             Editor's Note



Years ago, when  my friend and colleague Rob Robinson  was  a doctoral
student at Stanford University, he was chosen to be the teaching assistant
for a legendary social psychologist whose survey course was one of the
most popular on the campus. He was eager to help, of course, but the class
was so successful he expected that he wouldn't contribute much to design-
ing the curriculum. But at their first planning meeting early in the summer,
Robinson  was shocked  when  the professor said, Rob, I'm sorry, but we
have a ton of work to do. I've lost all my course notes - my syllabus, the
class plans, everything. We have to start from scratch.
    The  two of them  buckled down, pored  through the latest research,
debated priorities, crafted assignments, juggled the organization (repeat-
edly), and then, a week before the first class, they finally had a syllabus that
they liked. Once again, students loved the course.
    Months  later, Robinson told someone else in his department about
how  his professor had lost all his course materials. She laughed. He didn't
lose them. He threw them away  on purpose, she said. He always does it,
every year, to make sure that his teaching stays fresh.
    A few days ago, I told this story to a friend, himself a great teacher, who
shook his head in admiration. I admire that dedication, my friend said, but
I don't think I'd have the courage to let go of something that is already
working well.
    The impulse to cling to the tried and true may be particularly powerful
for negotiation teachers. Our students understand the importance of the
topic, and many  of them relish the opportunity to learn experientially,
through exercises, simulations, and video. Given that success, it's hard to be
a contrarian and decide that It's not broke, but let's fix it anyway!
    In Robert Bordone  and Rachel Viscomi's review essay, The Wicked
Problem of Rethinking Negotiation Teaching, they tip their respective hats
to a valiant collection of academics and practitioners who have done
exactly that. Led by Christopher Honeyman, James Coben, and Giuseppe
DePaolo, their mission has been nothing less than to revamp the teaching
of our field across many settings and cultures. The team launched its
project with a working  conference  in Rome  in 2008, and  there were
subsequent action-learning sessions in Istanbul and Beijing.
    Bordone  and Viscomi's review is prompted by the publication of the
concluding volume  (number  4) in the Rethinking Negotiation Teaching
(RNT) book  series that came out of that project. In the aggregate, scores of
authors have produced nearly two thousand pages of stimulating essays on
what and how  we should teach. (That count does not include related work
that they contributed to this journal in 2009.)


Negotiation Journal January 2015 1

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