Workshops & Trainings

The second day of the conference is dedicated to practice. You’ll be able to share your perspective on a selection of current issues with the other participants, and gain insights into their viewpoints, tools and practices.

In the workshops, each group will start from a concrete issue in order to get to know each other’s approaches and tools to deal with certain situations, to reflect as a group on critical conditions to make a strategy work, and to draw more general conclusions on structural measures and educational policy. For each topic, we have invited experts to feed the group discussions.

In the training sessions, experienced trainers will introduce you to approaches, tools and methods that facilitate constructive conflict management in educational settings.

For each session, you can choose to take part in one workshop or in training. Please note that a limited number of participants can take part in each group.


Workshops / Session 2 - 14hOO-16h30

Building trust: the whole-school approach

Experts Hilary Cremin, University of Cambridge, UK & Cecile Barbeito, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Spain (session 1); Esther Oliver, University of Barcelona & Marina Caireta, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Spain (session 2)
Facilitator Andres Roberts, UK

Leading theorists, researchers and practitioners in the field have often highlighted the need for comprehensive and transversal approaches in peace education. Ideally, peace education pays attention to methods, content and organizational structure. To be effective in schools, it should address all aspects of school life and involve all stakeholders.

Interesting and encouraging things are happening in individual schools. School leaders and teachers are confidently and energetically questioning the educational system and policy. Visionary and courageous school directors are leading their schools through a process of structural, systemic reform. Rejecting the hierarchical model of school structure, they are enabling healthy dialogue, establishing constructive conflict management strategies and implementing a culture of peace in their schools. And newly founded schools are integrating peace education principles from the start. However, in many schools conflict learning remains marginal and is not institutionalized.

In this workshop, the participants, together with a facilitator and experts, will discuss what factors, conditions, environments, etc support and hinder the implementation and sustainability of constructive conflict learning in educational settings. At the same time, starting from concrete examples, the group will share experiences on how to implement conflict learning systemically and transversally.

Handling ‘hot’ topics in the classroom

Expert Thomas Misco, Miami University, USA
Facilitator Tomas Baum, Flemish Peace Institute, Belgium

Dealing with controversial topics in the classroom is a powerful yet complex process. The challenge is to manage conflicts arising from the controversy in a constructive way. Think, for example, of discussing topics such as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, homophobia, wearing religious symbols, or sexism.

A controversial topic not only brings an exterior conflict into the classroom, but may also spark conflict within it. When a teacher introduces the subject, it can be dealt with in a well-prepared and structured way, but more often pupils raise issues at random, whether ‘accidentally’ or in a provocative way when reacting to something spontaneously or when asking questions.

In this workshop, the participants, together with a facilitator and the expert, will discuss ways to deal with controversial topics in the classroom. A practical case, followed by the drawing of general conclusions, will allow participants to learn and share experiences on tools to handle controversy and to reflect on the critical conditions for using those tools.

Rules and sanctions: alternative approaches to school discipline

Experts Belinda Hopkins, Transforming Conflict, UK & Tom van Waterschoot, PrOS, Belgium
Facilitators Julie Ryngaert & Chris Vleugels, Flemish Office of the Children's Rights Commissioner, Belgium

Complaints about the policy of applying sanctions in schools are a recurrent issue in the work of the office of the Flemish Children’s Rights Commissioner. This question also occupies schools and educational authorities. Many schools would like to give their problem students a “second chance”, but don’t know where to start or how to go about it.

It is not easy to build a sanction and discipline policy at school that takes the rights of pupils into consideration. This workshop will focus on the difficulties that schools encounter in this respect, as well as on ideas and ways to deal with these difficulties in order to keep pupils and students on board.

A practical case, followed by the drawing of general conclusions, will allow participants to learn and share experiences on alternative approaches to school discipline, with a focus on healthy relationships and social cohesion.

Social media and conflict management: challenges and opportunities

Experts Paul Ainsworth, Ariel Trust, UK (Session 1), Yarden Leal-Yablonka, Peres Center for Peace, Israel (Session 2),  Julien Lecomte, Université de Paix, Belgium
Facilitator Carrina Gaffney, UK

Online social networking is an important part of most young people’s life. It is a specific way of relating to others that raises many questions, such as: What are the effects of social media on relationships, behavior and even identity? How do they change the way young people relate to each other? What are the problems they face online and how does it relate to what happens offline and vice versa? Can children and young people be educated to use social media in a sensible and constructive way?

In this workshop we will start from concrete cases to better understand both the challenges and opportunities that social media engender in relation to conflict. We will then reflect on how, in educational settings, we can use social media to promote constructive social relationships and support the development of a culture of peace.

What does neuroscience tell us about human conflict?

Experts Olga Klimecki, François Bogacz & Jeremy Lack, Swiss Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Conflicts are part of human nature. They arise both in and between nations, cultures, groups, companies, families and individuals. They involve interactions between social and cognitive patterns of behavior that are modulated by emotions.

Inspired by scientific discoveries from the social sciences and neuroscience, a new generation of practitioners in the field of conflict resolution has developed a theoretical framework to guide their work. The emphasis of this workshop will be on the presentation and discussion of this framework. More specifically, topics that will be covered include how this framework is being applied in practice to help diagnose, prepare for, manage and resolve conflicts. Throughout all stages, the process itself is approached as part of the problem.

In addition, this workshop will provide an introduction to the dynamics of conflict, the range of appropriate dispute-resolution processes available, and possible hybrid processes. Participants can participate in activities that illustrate how conflict resolution is modulated by emotions, self-awareness, group dynamics and attention orientation.

The aim of this workshop is to encourage lively exchanges on new insights, tools and techniques that can be used in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

Trainings / Session 2 - 14hOO-16h30

How to deal with conflict in your school

Expert Christelle Lacour, Université de Paix, Belgium

In this training, based on the Johan Declerck prevention pyramid, participants will be introduced to a number of concrete examples and a selection of activities and tools of general prevention, specific prevention and restorative measures aimed at dealing with non-compliance, social exclusion and violence in secondary schools. The activities and tools are all based on an empirical methodology that promotes full understanding of problematic situations, rather than merely learning concepts that are disconnected from reality.

The Université de Paix was founded in 1960 by Dominique Pire, the winner of the 1958 Nobel Peace Prize. A youth organization recognized by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, it promotes the positive management of conflict, based on dialogue and openness to others. Their mission is to help and support people who wish to question and diversify their vision of conflict; train and acquire tools in positive conflict management; develop personally responsible citizenship, and acquire a new way of thinking about conflict management.

Laying good foundations: social skills in early childhood

Trainers Friederike Birkle, European Peer Training Organisation (EPTO) & Luís Manuel Pinto, Universal Education Foundation (UEF) / Learning for Well-Being, Belgium

Fundamental differences in how children interact with their environments can be noticed in infancy. In early childhood these ways of functioning are sometimes viewed as problems to be resolved rather than as a natural expression of inner diversity to be supported. With awareness and simple guidelines, practitioners and guardians can nurture the multiple expressions that occur, and set a course for children to understand their own particular ways of functioning and interacting with their environments.

In this interactive workshop, the facilitators will demonstrate a living-system perspective on engaging in mutual learning, and will provide brief experiences that illustrate distinctions in inner diversity – those natural patterns of learning, communicating, problem-solving and creativity that are unique to individuals.

The focus will be on exploring core capacities and practices that can underpin and strengthen shifts in relationships between adults and children of any age, and particularly during early childhood, and on developing strategies for creating environments that support the unique ways of functioning of every child.

Let’s talk: Democratic dialogue in the classroom

Trainers Cherif El Farri & Eef Cornelissen (English session) and Arzu Yentür & Mohamed Chatouani (Dutch session), Democratic Dialogue, Erasmus University College Brussels, Belgium

Living together in a democracy without dialogue is unimaginable. However, sometimes dialogue is made nearly impossible. We are all influenced by the news, subject to power relations, affected by our own mood, etc. At times we find it hard to be patient. We want to talk, but other people are so unreasonable, aren’t they? We want to listen, but not to nonsense. Or we prefer to remain silent and be left alone. Does this sound familiar?

Luckily, you can learn how to dialogue. In this training you will be introduced to Democratic Dialogue, a project that aims to confront controversial topics and create a space for debate. Dialogue coaches will help you to strengthen your democratic skills.

The multiple benefits of nonviolent communication

Trainer Marianne Göthlin, Certified NVC Trainer, Sweden

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a powerful process for inspiring compassionate connection and action. It provides a framework and set of skills to address a wide range of concerns, from the most intimate relationships to global political conflicts. NVC can help to prevent conflicts as well as to peacefully resolve them.

The purpose of NVC is to help all involved to sharpen their awareness of language so that they can express what really matters to them, and also hear what really matters to others. It involves empathic communication whereby we can attune ourselves to both our own and other people’s real needs.

In this training, participants will be introduced to the principles and process of NVC, with several examples. We will test the NVC process in situations where conflict arises, and participants can explore their own examples. This will give a taste of how the NVC process can provide the clarity and empathic connection needed to find inner good-will and solutions that work for everyone.


Working together: shared decision-making in the school

Trainers Myrna Lewis, Deep Democracy, South Africa & Marianne Katsina Munis, Danish Center for Conflict Resolution, Denmark

Born out of South Africa’s transformation from apartheid to democracy, in 1995, the Lewis Method of Deep Democracy is a facilitative method that enables voices to be heard, resolves tension and conflict, and assists with decision-making, dialogue, cooperation and leadership. It has been applied successfully in more than 20 countries, in the social, educational and corporate sectors.

In this 2.5-hour presentation and training, participants will gain insight into the basic Deep Democracy methodology and leave equipped with pragmatic and useful tools for decision-making and resolving tension and conflict in educational settings.

The session includes:

  • An overview of the Lewis Method of Deep Democracy
  • An overview of one of the fundamental models that underpin the methodology
  • The ‘Terrorist’/Resistance Line
  • The Four Steps of Deep Democracy decision-making
  • The ‘Let’s Talk’ method to resolve tension/tough decisions between two people
  • An experience of large group discussion and conflict resolution