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Discovering "Argue at school" Erasmus+ Project

Transcript

Psychopedagogical Methods to help children (2-18) learn from arguing

2021-1-IT02-KA220-SCH-000029847 Erasmus+ KA2 2021 projectCooperation Partnerships in School EducationDecember 2021 – November 2024

Arguing at school

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

An interactive map to navigate into the project

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Quarrel

For most people this word is connected with something negative and to avoid.In the family, among friends, at work and in school we're afraid that quarrel lead to a break of relations.It almost seems that if there's a conflict between children this is our failure, as teachers, educators and parents.

But avoiding conflict between peers doesn't permit to childrento develop social skills useful for the relationship with others.

By studing three methods used to manage quarrels between peers, this Erasmus+ project want to promote a different vision of the role of adults in this evolution path toward fundamental social skills.

the ROAD MAPOF THE PROJECT

TO DEEPEN

The conflict pyramid

The questions

A road map of the project

PROJECT PHASES...

... AND TOOLS

THE STARTING POINT

Three well-established methods to adress conflict:

  • Litigare Bene
  • Friendship Cards
  • Peer Mediation
+ all the methods we will discover in our journey.

A COMMON HOME

An overall framework of analysis, points of contact and differences, enhancing complementarity between the approaches. DISCOVER THE PROJECT RESULT 1 A methodological Framework about quarrelling children (2-18 years old).

GIVING TOOLS TO TEACHERS

An operational guide, a toolkit to test in the classroom the effectiveness of the methods. DISCOVER THE PROJECT RESULT 2 Toolkit for Teachers Training. Know How for let children arguing better

BETTER TOGETHER THAN ALONE

Isn't enough to work on individual classes: better to promote a whole-school approach! DISCOVER THE PROJECT RESULT 3 Guidelines for a Whole School Approach to Pupils Quarrelling

A NEW PARADIGM

We provide policy makers with tools to implement a new vision of conflict: not only a trouble, but a leverage to develop skills for life, between citizenship and participation. DISCOVER THE PROJECT RESULT 4 Policy recommendation

TO DEEPEN

The 10 partnersof the consortium

Friendship

cards

others methods?

During our research we met others approaches that permit to children to develop important soft and life skills, useful also to address conflict with peers. One of these is the MNR – Metodologia della Narrazione e della Riflessione (Narration and Reflection Methodology): is a structured practice of managing a classroom that aims to foster communication within it through individual reflection and group dialogue, conducted around prepared materials. Another one is the Cooperative Council: it's an interactive way of working with pupils or students involving everyone at the same time. It is a tool to activate resources from peer groups, created by Célestin Freinet. Do you know other methods useful to manage conflict between peers in school and to develop this kind of skills in children? Fill this form and let us know!

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Peer

mediation

Litigare

Bene

A brief description

Or herethe full table of comparisonbetween methods

Click here to look at an example of Peer to Peer Mediation at school The Forum for Freedom in Education Zagreb developed the method in 2008. A trained children (or a couple of child) are in charge of mediation between peers. The process is based on 5 steps. 1 DEFINING THE RULESWhat is mediation? The mediator is totally neutral.2 DESCRIBING THE SITUATIONEach participant tells their side of the story. The mediator paraphrases the facts.3 ASKING EACH OTHER AND DEFINING POSITIONS4 OFFERING A SOLUTION5 AN AGREEMENT ACCEPTABLE FOR BOTH SIDESIf mediation doesn't lead to a solution, it is repeated twice, and then the adult decides on the conflict.

Click here to see an example of the use of Friendship Cards This card game was developed by the Relationships are Forever Foundation in 2015. The tool is made up of a set of cards divided into 5 sections – Feelings, Bad Move, Good Move, Making Up and the Feeling Section once again. The cards can be used with case studies, stories or short clips according to the age and needs of the children and adolescents. Once the story or experience is shared, the educators, parents or/and professionals use the ‘Feeling’ cards to process the associated feelings of the characters in the story. The ‘Bad Moves’ and the ‘Good Moves’ cards then help children and adolescents understand how different characters behave or react to a conflict. Through exploration, discussion, reflection and analysis the children and adolescents begin to understand why certain moves (behaviour) are negative and why others are positive. They begin to understand that when you make the wrong choices (bad moves) the conflict will get bigger while when you make the right choice (good moves) the conflict is settled in an amicable way. The ‘Making up’ cards give different options on how the children and adolescents could settle conflicts in an amicable resolution. The last phase is the understanding of how feelings of the characters in the story might change when there is an amicable resolution to the conflict but remain the same or become more inappropriate when the conflict escalates or is not tackled appropriately. The cards can be used as a preventive or educational tool or as an intervention tool (when the conflict is already present between peers).

Click here to see the experience of Osnovna Skola Ivana Gorana Kovacica in Croatia The method was developed by Daniele Novara and the staff of CPP in 2012. The Litigare bene method consists of 2 steps back and 2 steps forward. Adults must not look for a culprit in a conflict because there isn't one. Blaming is very harmful to the child's personal development and does not contribute to conflict resolution. Adults must not impose their own solution to the conflict. Instead, each child should tell his or her version of the conflict and how they feel about it. The adult gives the children back the ownership of the quarrels. It allows them to exercise themselves autonomously in the relationship, comparing themselves and finding an agreement. It is important to encourage children to come to an agreement on their own. It is not mandatory to find a solution. If children do it, it is OK for teachers; if they can write it, it is good to have a place where collect written agreements. If children do not find a “solution” but prefer to go to play with the same friend or others, it is OK to the teacher (sometimes express emotions and clarify points of view is enough for children).

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Similarities

AND

betweenthe threemethods

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Differencies

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Similarities

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General aims

Here the full reportof the research

Specific aims

All methods promote self awareness and decentralization, by

  • reflection on feelings
  • coping of stress
  • toleration
  • active listening
  • empathy and cooperation.

Enough time in a safe space

All the methods take care to create a safe situation, in which children can share point of view and emotion in a positive way. All the methods take care of promoting a neutral description of the situation, to permit each point of view to emerge.

Start

What is asked to participants

Every method ask to children involved

  • active listening
  • respect
  • to cope anger
  • to express emotion in a safe way (without endanger others, using only words, or drawings, or with the support of other technics).

The role of adult

All the methods ask adults to assume a neutral position and to transmit appreciation and dignity to each one involved in the conflict. The adult is first of all a good observer. In all the methods the adult is a facilitator, that elicits answers from the students, building a safe space for confrontation.

What do you needto start?

Before being introduced in class every method first starts with a phase of training for children about communication and emotion. No particular space is needed: the methods can be used in class-room, corridor, school garden. And no sophisticated tools are needed: just a manual for Peer mediation, the Friendship cards, two seat and an object-word (e.g. a little stick) for Litigare Bene.

When doesthe method work?

No improvisation

All the methods have a strong theoretical background:

  • mediation and Rosemberg's non-violent communication (for Peer Mediation);
  • the Vygotsky's theory and the zone of proximal development, Alexander’s dialogic model of teaching and Bronfenbrenner’s theory about surrounding environment of learning (for Friendship Cards)
  • the maieutic approach and Montessori (for Litigare Bene).

Results

When does the method work?

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Number of children

Every method usually involves two children arguing, not more.

Where

The methods are used more often at school, but can be used also in family or other situations:

  • formal (scouts, youth clubs, summer schools)
  • and informal (free time and sport activities).

Special needs

The methods can be used with children with special needs, but you need to take care of their involvement and to regulate the intervention on their skills.

Teachers

All the team of teachers need to be involved to promote the daily use of methods.

Non-teaching staff

All the non-teaching staff has to be at least informed of the methods used in class-room, to collaborate with it.

Pedagogist

Where present the school’s pedagogist promotes the use of the method with teachers, non-teaching staff and parents. Involves all the staff in trainings and updates, carrying out checks and reflections on the application of the method.

Training

Usually the training on methods is non mandatory training, that is extracurricular.

Head of school

Directors or heads of schools can support the dissemination of these methods in classrooms taking care of work climate, well-being of teachers and promoting a concrete culture of continuous training. Furthermore, informs the local community and the media about the development of the method in school as a general strategy for non-violent conflict resolution.

Parents

Parents are fundamental to align the domestic education with the approach of the method. By listening the experiences of quarrels at schools of their sons, parents can revise their traditional approach to quarrel. In the end, parents are basics to strengthen the ability of children to approach the conflicts in a positive way.

Beliefs

Teachers' (and parents’) beliefs based on traditional pedagogy can be strong obstacles to introducing the methods into the classroom. Some examples of traditional beliefs on quarrel are these:

  • the teacher should play an active role in children's conflict,
  • conflicts are abnormal: they're not part of everyday life,
  • argue leads always to violence,
  • adults don't need to change their attitudes and belief...

Results

Similarities

They works!

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For children

The methods permit to children

  • to change attitudes and beliefs about quarrel
  • to develop the skills of collaboration and dialogue
  • to improve skills of negotiation
  • to increase ability of share feelings and to improve problem-solving
  • to understand that conflicts affect different person differently and involved a lot of emotion
  • to explain better personal point of view and to accept easily the others.

For teachers

Raising the direct responsibility of children the 3 methods permit teachers to reduce the stress connected with conflicts.

About violence

All the methods permit to prevent violence, working on

  • individual reflection
  • emotional literacy
  • active-listening
  • empathy
  • communication skills
  • and dialogue.

The application of a method of quarrelling at school produces effects in the long term? To answer these questions, the Consortium entrusted the Sassolino with the implementation of a qualitative pilot research, with the aim of producing an audiovisual testimony.The Sassolino, a Montessori kindergarten in northern Italy, has applied the method Litigare Bene of the CPP directed by Daniele Novara since 2012. After 10 years of systematic application of this approach it seemed interesting to bring together those children, who at the time were attending kindergarten, to check with them how they live today the quarrels at school and among peers.The docu-film obtained, lasting about 20',can be used for awareness and dissemination purposes.The value of the video lies above all in highlighting the great potential of children in conflict management, if adequately accompanied: the educational methods of conflict management in school work, and if applied continuously generate significant and lasting relational skills.

Long term results

Return

Here the full reportof the research

Differencies

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Here the full reportof the research

Specific aims

Cards and Litigare Bene stress more the impact of feelings and behaviour on the management of arguing. Underlines more that the adults have to leave the role of judge, to assume a more neutral role of observer, guarantor and facilitator. Cards and Litigare Bene seems to work also very well with other techniques like drawing, poster making, storytelling, drama, etc.. In the end, Mediation works more on shared problem solving, Cards on emotional literacy and Litigare Bene on independence.

Targets

Litigare Bene is perfect for early years (2-6), and up to 10 (in Italy up to 13). Peer mediation works well from 10 to 18. Friendship cards can be used for all targets (3-18).

Time of use

The manage of the conflict happen in the same moment of the clash for Litigare Bene and Friendship cards, when emotions are still present. Peer mediation intervenes after the conflict: it is better for the conflicting parties to cool down emotional participation and then approach to clarification and negotiation.

Solution

For Peer mediation and Friendship cards it is more important to arrive at a solution shared between the children involved. For Litigare Bene a solution is welcome, but the main aim is educational.

A guided process

Peer mediation and Friendship cards manage the conflict through a well-defined guided process: mediation through 5 clear steps (defining rules, paraphrase, asking questions, solutions, agreement) and cards through question cards. Instead Litigare Bene is a much opened form and a not guided process: children are the full protagonist of the conflict.

The roleof the adults

The presence of adults seems more relevant with Friendship cards and, in part, also for Peer mediation. In both cases teacher are a facilitator of learning, directly and indirectly. In Litigare Bene the trained children can manage their conflict autonomously, but this doesn't mean that the adult can shirk to his/her role of guidance and guarantor of the development of a pacific process. Litigare Bene approach has a basic point of focus on “il bambino montessoriano”, it means: the child who can do it alone; but adults have to organise an auxiliary environment for them.

Transferability

Specificcharatcteristicsof each method

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Transferability

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Differencies

Training

Peer mediation needs a longer and complex training, for teachers and students (the peer mediators): at the end a whole school approach is necessary. It looks like for Peer Mediation is very important to rely on a network of schools, teachers and accompaniment of trainers. Also for Litigare Bene is basic that all the staff is involved, but the training seem easier (although is really exigent, because it ask to the adults to assume a neutral position, and in some case this is not natural). Instead, friendship cards could used also by a single teacher, by a personal decision, without asking colleagues to do a shared project.

For teachers

Friendship cards underline concepts like forgiveness and refer to the "Golden rule" (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) like a key of the process among participants. Maybe it is easier for a school or a group of teachers to accept a method like Friendship Cards which refers to forgiveness. In fact, could be more difficult for a group of traditional teachers to accept to use a method like Litigare bene who ask them two strong steps back: not to blame, not to look for a culprit, and finally do not to say: “the rule is do not quarrel”. In this sense, shadow observation in a school that already use the Litigare Bene approach will be crucial to promote the change of teachers' traditional beliefs. On the other hand, for those teachers that find very difficult to revise they beliefs, may be more sustainable letting them see the children playing quietly cards.

Be careful!

To promote the dissemination of methods it's basic to work on visibility, with a great limit: the necessity to guarantee the children's privacy. What kind of material (videos and images of children) can be used in teachers training or in situ conferences, and what can be upload online? This is an open problem.

Friendship

Home

cards

Peer

Specific characteristics

Differencies

Differencies

Litigare

mediation

Bene

TO DEEPEN

Conflict, violence and war are not the same things

Mediation needs a separated quiet space/room, while Litigare Bene needs a ritual conflict corner, and Friendship card not usually need a special place. The aim for Peer mediation is more connected to reconciliation and to find a shared solution in a win-win perspective. With this method children or teens learn, first of all, to ask for help to peers to solve in a pacific way their conflicts.

Friendship cards work on a concrete material that helps the person to look at the conflict from an external point of view. Are more focused on facilitating the comprehension of the impact of emotion and behaviour on conflict. The method seem more useful to prevent conflict, empowering social skills of the person involved. In the preventive use of cards it is important that children can enjoy the dimension of playing the game. Cards permit with its game to involve in prevention the whole classroom. They can be used often in lessons, with connection with various school disciplines and themes. But if you want to use them in a preventive way, and to develop a whole approach to the theme, it's needed a more intensive work by the team of teachers.

In Litigare Bene "Do not blame" is a rule concern first of all to adults: normally children doesn't blame peers, happen as a result of their "absorbent mind" (as Montessori explain) when they align to adults behaviour and imitate them.

Toolkit for Teachers Training

Here the full report about this project result

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The toolkitin a glimpse:rationaleand objectives

Literature review:a mapping of activities onnon-violentcommunication

Tips for thetranferabilityof the methods

Starting usingthe 4 methods

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The toolkit in a glimpse

STORIES

The Learning Teaching Training Activityin Ogulin and Vrbovsk in Croatia

This comprehensive toolkit represents a list of valuable resources, strategies, and practical guidance carefully designed to provide an essential operational manual for teachers, empowering them to foster conflicts within their classrooms. The toolkit is the result of a collaborative effort, building upon the foundation of previous initiatives and learning and the Learning Teaching Training Activity, which took place in Ogulin, Croatia.Moreover, the toolkit reflects the experiences of the teachers and educators trained during this week.The creation of the toolkit was further supported by the research conducted by the project partners in order to collect information on the importance of non-violent conflict resolution and communication. Data was gathered through the dissemination of questionnaireswhich were later quantitatively analysed. The questionnaire, composed of 21 questions,was filled out by 146 participants from 5 partner countries.

Literature review

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The fulldata processingreport

The main themes of these activities are: mediation, art therapy, self-awareness, emotional literacy, sensibilization, social responsibility. And of course, peaceful conflict resolution, through activities that include role plays, workshops, theatre, film making, direct confrontation of peers in conflict etc. This table gives an overview of the results of the mapping.

As part of the project, a mapping of activities of non-violent communication and conflict transformation implemented in Croatia, Malta, Italy, Romania and France (NGOs, the education system, different organisations etc.) was conducted.

64 activities mapped

Friendship

Starting using methods

cards

Here the full report about this project result

Peer

mediation

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Litigare

Bene

about conflict, violence, and war

A collection of exercises (handouts) that concerns the difference between conflict and war,

?

Tips for transferability

When and how to use the methods

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TO DEEPEN

Curriculumfor the developmentof emotions andcommunication skill in children

Guidelines fora Whole School Approach

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Here the full reportof the research

Policy Recommendation

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Here the full reportof the research

Multiplier eventsin each of the countries involvedDissemination eventfor school's actorsTraining and learning activitiesfor teachers and educators

What are we talking about when we talk about conflict?What happens when a quarrel occurs between students?How teachers look at students’ conflicts? How do they intervene?To what extent is their intervention the result of a school strategy?Is there a pedagogical method or approach shared by teachers?Who decides and what level of sharing has the choice (class, school)?What are the results and impact?Is there an educational strategy for quarreling students?Are parents involved in the school strategy about students’ quarrels?Is there a kind of teacher training about conflict transformation?