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Solving conflicts peacefully: a basis for democratic education

What & why?

Living together in a democratic society can only work long-term if the members of this community are able to solve conflicts in a constructive and peaceful manner. Since this applies to both our society as a whole and the embryonic society at each school, Laborschule Bielefeld has made it its mission to include peaceful and sustainable problem-solving as a central part of everyday school life. In doing so, we not only want to make our own school a more peaceful and democratic place, but at the same time we want to contribute to our society becoming a space for living together peacefully.

In the context of this endeavour, the principle of nonviolent communication created by Marshall Rosenberg plays an important part. To us, this form of communication is not just a tool but more so an attitude. The younger children know this form of communication as “giraffe language”, whereas the older children, adolescents and adults know it as “mindful or respectful communication”. Throughout the years, we have developed many hands-on materials and lesson units, which we would like to share and explain on the following pages.