Speaking the Language of Peace in the Classroom and in Society

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Where:   Virginia International University (VIU)
               4401 Village Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
              Room VD-205

What:    As part of the VIU School of Education Voices from the Field Speaker Series, Joy Peyton will give a talk on Practicing Nonviolent Communication: Speaking the Language of Peace in the Classroom and Society.
Many of us are interested in and strive for peaceful engagement in our families, communities, schools, and nation, and there are strong calls for peace within our education community (e.g., Oxford, 2013; The Language of Peace: Communicating to Create Harmony) and in international engagement initiatives (e.g., Gopin, 2016;  Healing the Heart of Conflict). However, understandings about ways to live in peace often remain abstract, and the language that we observe in politics, the media, and even in education (and that we use ourselves) is often filled with judgments, labels, and blame, and we increasingly see misunderstandings and division across, and even within, the groups that we care about and engage with.
This talk will review key principals and components of Nonviolent Communication, which teachers can use with learners and colleagues and in their classes, and all of us can use in our daily lives. These include ways to Observe (rather than judging, labeling, and blaming), express our own Feelings (rather than focusing on the other person’s faults), understand our Needs (which underlie our feelings and can be in harmony with others), and make Requests (rather than demands, of ourselves and others). Participants will learn about these four critical components of Nonviolent Communication outlined by Marshall Rosenberg in Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (as well as other components, such as avoiding making comparisons and expressing genuine appreciation rather than simple expressions like, “That was amazing!”). They will consider how these components can facilitate effective communication with learners; with other teachers; and in their classes, programs, and communities. The desired outcome is that participants will have a clear understanding of what Nonviolent Communication involves and the ability to practice it in contexts in which they live and work.

Joy Peyton has been involved with NVC for almost 15 years, when she found its power through a colleague she worked with in Washington, DC (Chris Montone), who talked about it and introduced her to local workshops (with Inessa Love, Lynd Morris, and others). She participated in many workshops and took her husband and daughters to them, and their lives were changed. She loves to explore the power of NVC with educators, who seek and strive for life-giving language in their classes, with their students, and in interactions with their colleagues.