Safeguarding heritage was the focus of the talk by CEMML’s Dr. James Zeidler, entitled: “Incorporating Cultural Property Protection (CPP) Training in Military Professional Education: A View from Pedagogical Science”. Dr. Zeidler presented this material in the Islamic Manuscript Collections in Conflict Zones: Safeguarding Written Heritage workshop that was organized by Joris D. Kila of the Royal United Services Institute for Security and Defence (RUSI) in London, United Kingdom, October 5-7, 2015.
ABSTRACT: In spite of the recent ratification by the U.S. government of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, the Department of Defense (DoD) has been slow to adopt the formal training requirements and cultural heritage awareness programs for military forces that are embodied in international treaty law. Since 2006, much of this awareness campaign in the DoD has been carried out informally by ad hoc advocacy groups, such as the Combatant Command Cultural Heritage Action Group (CCHAG) and the U.S. Committee on the Blue Shield (USCBS), and only recently have they begun to address formal military training on this topic. The successful incorporation of any new topic into Pre-deployment Training Programs (PTP) and Professional Military Education (PME) for U.S. forces is never a “one-size-fits-all” undertaking and this is certainly the case with efforts to incorporate Cultural Property Protection (CPP) training into military policy and doctrine. Training programs must accommodate a range of different operational contexts and hierarchical levels, and hence must recognize these different domains of learning. This paper examines CPP training and education from the perspective of pedagogical science, specifically Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning, as a means of effectively inserting CPP into existing pre-deployment training and military professional education programs on the legal aspects (Law of War) and the cultural aspects (Operational Culture) of this instruction. It is argued that cultural heritage instruction may in fact enhance training on Operational Culture by highlighting the multi-faceted role of tangible heritage resources in the creation of collective social memory and networks of “place” that are not captured in existing training.