Nonviolent Communication in Schools

Information in this Section was Compiled by Sura Hart, CNVC Trainer and Contact Person for U.S.A. School Projects

Nonviolent Communication training and practice in school communities helps teachers, administrators, students, and parents to make school a place where students love to learn, teachers love to teach, and where parents feel confident that their children’s needs—for safety, respect, and learning—can be met.

We know of hundreds of schools around the world that have been introduced to NVC. In many of these schools, teachers, administrators, parents, and students have put it to practice with many of the following reported results:

  • fewer conflicts
  • increased skill in mediating conflicts that arise
  • more listening to one another
  • mutual respect among all school members
  • students take responsibility for their learning
  • more engaged learning
  • less resistance & more cooperation
  • more fun for everyone
  • students and teachers feel safe at school

NVC in Schools Section Contents

To provide information about NVC projects in schools, and to encourage more people to find out what NVC can contribute to your school community, we provide the following information in this section of the website:

NVC in Education Section Contents
(1) NVC Materials for Educators
(2) A description of Life Enriching Education, an excerpt from Marshall Rosenberg’s new book, Life-Enriching Education
(3) Reports from Educators around the World
(4) Opportunities to Contribute to NVC in Schools
(5) NVC Trainings for Educators

If you have questions about information you find here, or if you would like additional information about NVC in Schools, email Sura.

(1) NVC Materials for Educators

The Following Books & Tapes can be ordered from the CNVC bookstore or +1.800.255.7696 for USA ordersor +1.505.244.4041 from anywhere. For other materials see links under resources.

Life-Enriching Education by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.Life-Enriching Education by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
Marshall Rosenberg presents a radical approach to education, one that serves the lives of everyone in the learning community. This book gives guidelines for creating mutually respectful relationships between students, teachers, administrators, and parents that will contribute to: a supportive learning environment; more cooperation and less conflict; motivated students who love to learn; energized teachers and administrators; satisfied parents.
Endorsed by Dr. Thomas Gordon, author of Parent Effectiveness Training and Teacher Effectiveness Training.
(Published by PuddleDancer Press; 192 pages; 13 US$)

The No Fault Classroom by Sura Hart and Victoria HodsonThe No-Fault Classroom: Tools to Resolve Conflict & Foster Relationship Intelligence
by Sura Hart & Victoria Kindle Hodson 24.95 US$ each (order#: nvc0801)
A quantum leap for classroom management! Offering far more than discipline techniques that move aggressive behavior out of the classroom to the playground or sidewalk, The No-Fault Classroom leads students ages 7–12 to develop skills in problem solving, empathic listening and conflict resolution that will last a lifetime. 21 interactive & step-by-step lessons, construction materials and adaptable scripts give educators the tools they need to return order and co-operation to the classroom and jumpstart engaged learning. Skillfully developed Curricular Tie-ins guide teachers to use the conflict resolution tools they’ve developed to meet state learning requirements in social studies, language arts, history, reading and science. (8 1/2" x 11", 256 pages)

The Compassionate Classroom: Relationship Based Teaching and Learning by Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson, M.A.The Compassionate Classroom: Relationship Based Teaching and Learning by Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson, M.A.
Two teachers with 45 years shared experience in education offer: a concise overview of Nonviolent Communication; simple, powerful exercises for students and teachers to explore its philosophical premises; and fun activities to practice NVC skills at school. Teachers who read this book will see how to: vitalize the four kinds of relationships in their classroom; motivate students without punishment or reward; eliminate fear and foster trust; unlock students’ natural desire to learn; and make their classrooms safe places. The authors offer teacher trainings based on the book.
Endorsed by Marshall Rosenberg and Nel Noddings, author of The Challenge to Care in Schools.
(Published by Center for Nonviolent Communication, 2003; 187 pages; 18 US$)

The Mayor of Jackal Heights, by Rita Herzog & Kathy Smith The Mayor of Jackal Heights
by Rita Herzog & Kathy Smith 9.95 US$ (order#: nvc105)
A boy mayor begins to learn how to tame his town full of jackals with the help of his wise friend, Giraffe. A beautifully illustrated story for children of all ages. (8.5 x 11, 28 pages)

Please, Thank You, by Vilma CostettiPlease, Thank You
by Vilma Costetti 14.95 US$ (order#: NVC0601)
A new children's book by CNVC trainer Vilma Costetti, is now available in English from CNVC. This hardcover book focuses on the elements of expressing and receiving feelings and needs and is suitable for children six to twelve. It is beautifully illustrated by Stefania Garuti, translated from the Italian by Federica Rossi and Godfrey Spencer, and includes an introduction by Dominic Barter, coordinator of CNVC's Portuguese Language Project. (7" x 9.75", 23 pages)

Ginny Be a Good Frog, by Velma Costetti Ginny Be a Good Frog
by Vilma Costetti 9.95 US$ (order#: nvc0508)
This colorful, illustrated children's book, suitable for children ages 3 to 9, is the product of experimental work in NVC being done in several educational institutions in Italy, and can contribute to greater understanding between parents and children. (6.75 x 9.5, 23 pages)

Teaching Children Compassionately: How Students and Teachers can Succeed with Mutual Understanding by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.Teaching Children Compassionately: How Students and Teachers Can Succeed with Mutual Understanding
by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
A transcript of a keynote address and workshop given to the 1999 National Conference of Montessori Educators.
(Published by PuddleDancer Press; 48 page booklet; $8)

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Additional NVC Resources for Educators:

Resolving Conflicts with Children and Adults with Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.The No-Fault Zone™ Game
by Sura Hart & Victoria Kindle-Hodson
See and order this hands-on,visual tool for learning and practicing NVC, used in schools, homes and businesses. The Game levels the playing field so peopleof all ages can: clarify conversations, and resolve conflicts with everyone's needs in view. At

Resolving Conflicts with Children and Adults with Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.“Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice,” Volume 15, Number 3, Autumn 2002
This issue of Encounter is devoted to Nonviolent Communication and Riane Eisler’s Partnership Education and includes six informative and inspiring essays on the practice of Nonviolent Communication in schools, written by CNVC trainers and NVC practitioners who teach in schools (elementary through university).
To order a copy of this issue, contact Encounter: +1.800.639.4122, email Encounter

Resolving Conflicts with Children and Adults with Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.Compassionate Communication and Empathy's Awakening, John Cunningham.
This booklet has a dual purpose: to introduce the practice of Compassionate (Nonviolent) Communication to those interested in Waldorf education, and to provide a useful resource for learning this practice. One purpose of this site is to suggest ways that these two streams flow into the other & in doing so, enrich the contributions of the other.
To order, visit

Feelings, Wishes, Needs, Requests: The Big Book of Games and Activities that Promote Compassion and Community, H. Holley Humphrey. Soaring Spirit Press, 2002.
For more information and to order, contact email Holley

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(2) Life-Enriching Education

Life-Serving Education: When Students Love to Learn and Teachers Love to Teach by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.[Excerpted from Life-Enriching Education by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D., published by PuddleDancer Press, August 2003.]

Life-Enriching Education focuses on how teachers can provide learning opportunities that will empower students to be an active force in solving human problems. They can learn how to enrich their own lives and help others enrich theirs.

The students coming out of the kind of educational program that I envision would learn to value their autonomy and interdependence, and would have learned the organizational skills necessary to create Life-Enriching systems in which to live their lives.

What you would observe in such schools:

  • Teachers and students working together as partners, setting objectives mutually and consensually.
  • Teachers and students speak a process language. The one I teach is called Nonviolent Communication, which focuses attention on; 1) the feelings and needs motivating each person and 2) what actions might best meet their needs—at no one else’s expense.
  • Students motivated by their eagerness to learn and not by fear of punishment or promise of reward.
  • Tests given at the beginning of the course of study to determine need, not at the end to determine reward or punishment. Grades replaced with evaluations of student learning that describe what they had learned—what skills and knowledge they had mastered.
  • An interdependent learning community designed to encourage students to care about one another and help one another learn, rather than competing for a limited umber of rewards—a community where the common goal is to support all students in reaching their objectives.
  • All rules and regulations being created consensually by the people who are affected by the rules—students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Force only being used to protect needs such as health and safety, but never the intent to punish.

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(3) Reports from Educators around the World

Marianne Gothlin, Sweden
Nada Ignhatovic-Savic, Serbia
Sura Hart, US
Dominic Barter, Brazil

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(4) Opportunities to Contribute to NVC in Schools

If you would like to dialogue with other educators interested in practicing NVC in classrooms and school communities, you can join an email group: EdGroup @

This is a TWO-way interactive email forum/community of those interested in NVC in Education. Subscribers can dialog with others, retrieve related documents online, ask questions, schedule online chat sessions with other members in the 'Chat' room, and more.

To join this email group or get more information about it, click on this link: EdGroup You can unsubscribe anytime.

(5) NVC Trainings for Educators

Click here and search for the topic "NVC for Educators to see a listing of current and upcoming Trainings for Educators offered by certified CNVC trainers.

The only annual intensive teacher training in the U.S. is the Teach for Life NVC Educators Institute
Dear Friends,
At a time when so many of us are longing for hope for a peaceful and sustainable world, we invite you to take a moment to imagine—with us—our young people empowered with vision, hope and effective tools for creating peace. Imagine schools where young people learn, along with Reading, ’Riting, and ’Rithmetic, the fourth vital “r”, Relationships, practicing how to communicate honestly and compassionately and resolve conflicts nonviolently. Imagine our schools and classrooms as safe and caring communities, fostering understanding, respect and cooperation, Imagine young people, our future leaders, with the skills necessary to create organizations, businesses, governments, and a world where everyone’s needs matter and can be met.

This is the dream that launched the first NVC Educators Institute in Olympia, Washington, in the summer of 2001. A team of NVC trainers met with 25 teachers from various parts of the U.S. and immersed ourselves in processes and activities that deepen the consciousness of Nonviolent Communication and that strengthen the vital skills of relationship and peacemaking. Fun and laughter accompanied our days of learning together and several participants commented that it was the most active and fun NVC workshop they had participated in. At the end of five days, teachers returned home with new hope, new and sharpened tools, and a network of support that they can call upon throughout the school year.

The same quality of deep and engaged learning through play and community has been evident in subsequent Institutes. These comments from teachers who have attended the Institute are typical:

“I am writing from a place of deep gratitude after returning from the Educators Institute. My needs for learning, connection, hope and inspiration were met in a profound way; I so appreciate the many opportunities to learn through a variety of styles.”

“I learned a new way to communicate and connect with kids. I got to connect with a group of people like never before. The five days were full to the brim of learning and “a-ha” moments. It was truly heart and mind opening.”

You can contribute to the dream of life-enriching education in the following ways:

1) Come to the only intensive NVC training for educators in the U.S.: Teach for Life Educators Institute
2) Tell teachers, school administrators and staff, and parents about the Educators Institute.
3) Donate to our scholarship fund (any amount gratefully received) so that teachers who are not able to afford the cost of tuition can participate in the Institute. For information on our scholarship fund, email the Teach for Life registrar, Sura Hart.

With warmest wishes,
Sura Hart
Founding member of the NVC Educators Institute
CNVC contact for U.S. School Projects

If you would like more information please contact Sura Hart at +1.805.698.3332 or email Sura

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The Center for Nonviolent Communication
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Tel: +1.505.244.4041 | Fax: +1.505.247.0414 | US Only: 800 255 7696

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