The unique experience known as the “Staff Ride” is an important part of Professional Military Education (PME). Unfortunately, despite a growth in the acceptance of “active learning” approaches to education – particularly for teaching management and leadership – the staff ride model has not been widely adopted in many of the educational and professional disciplines where it has the potential to be an effective tool. There have been a small number of examples of its use both in academic and professional education outside of the military, but the advantages of the staff ride are such that wider use would be a valuable addition to those studying public safety management in fields like criminal justice, homeland security, and emergency management. This article compares the staff ride to active learning and the Harvard Business School “case method,” and shows that it shares many of the same desirable traits as widely accepted models.


Brian Nussbaum

Brian Nussbaum is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs at the State University of New York at Albany. His focus is on cybersecurity, terrorism, homeland security, intelligence analysis and risk assessment. A former intelligence analyst, he also serves as an Affiliate Scholar with the Center for Internet and Society (CIS) at Stanford Law School, and as a Senior Fellow with the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security (CCHS) at George Washington University. He received his PhD and MA in Political Science from the University at Albany and BA in Political Science from Binghamton University.

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Leveraging the ‘Staff Ride’ for Active Learning in Public Safety Management

Suggested Citation

Nussbaum, B. (2016). Leveraging the ‘staff ride’ for active learning in public safety management. Journal of Homeland Security Education, 5, 1-7, https://jsire.org/leveraging-the-staff-ride-for-active-learning-in-public-safety-management