A video to tell teens, teachers and school managers that living in a positive way the conflict permit to learn a lot.

By Michele Vezzoli

Having reached two thirds of the way, the Consortium of organizations that manages “Arguing at school” has arrived at a crucial juncture, linked to the development of the project result related to the systematic diffusion of an educational approach to conflicts at school (the so-called “whole school approach”).
How to promote in a capillary way a vision of the conflict that recognizes the full potential of learning social and relational skills?

how to promote experiences of conflict that show that these soft skills can be a specific object of learning, and not left to the good will of individual teachers, managers, educators, parents?

The theme is therefore an integral approach to conflict at school, the focus of the project result coordinated by the partner FREREF – Fondation des Régions Européennes pour la Recherche l’Education et la Formation.

The resources to be used for this aim must be various.
One of these, which the Consortium makes available to all users, was developed during the first phase of the project to answer a specific question: what are the long-term consequences for children of applying an educational approach to arguing at school? Is it actually possible to learn to argue? Can the approach experienced at school change the way we live conflicts for children and, indirectly, for their parents?

To answer to these questions, the Sassolino kindergarten, Casa dei Bambini Montessori di Gavardo (BS, northern Italy), produced a docu-film after bringing together at school, after several years, the children of the kindergarten who had learned to use the Red Bench (the name of the conflict corner, according to the Litigare bene method developed by the pedagogist Daniele Novara of the CPP, leading partner of the Erasmus+ Consortium).
In this previous article we presented the scientific genesis of the action, the design work, the contribution of educators according to the approach of the Theatre of the Oppressed.

We now finally present the result of our work, in a dual version, short or complete. The hope is in fact to provide an elastic tool, to be modulated depending on the situation.
The short version (11 minutes) is excellent for introducing the topic of conflict management in a context of simple disclosure to a general public, not particularly prepared on the focus, ideal for announcing next meetings dedicated to deepen.
The long version (20 minutes) is dedicated instead to those who, around this video, intend to build a specific learning setting, with clearly identified targets – school managers, teachers, teenagers, parents – better if mixed, to multiply the points of view.

We suggest to keep the video as the central moment of the meeting, after a first phase of “warming” of the relationship and a first exploration of the theme.

After the vision it will be possible to activate dynamics of in-depth reflections on the experience of the target with respect to quarrels, trying to bring out the underlying visions, more or less aware and crystallized.
Raised the questions, it is important to offer the public also possible paths of action, for example presenting the experiences of the partners of “Arguing at school” and recalling the tools made available by the project: the interactive map – being updated: stay tuned to our website! – a detailed description of the methods mapped out by the project, an operational tool for teachers, a guide to the introduction of an integral approach to quarrels (in progress), suggestions for policy makers (last project result).

Our working group is at your disposal to fully exploit this video resource and the others that you can find on the website: change is never instantaneous, it is a process that requires preparation, dedication and patience.

Special thanks to the video maker Cristian Benaglio, who realize the different versions (short and complete, in Italian and in English), to Massimo Lussignoli and Annalisa Schirato, and to the educators of Nuvola nel Sacco.