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School life has changed a lot since the beginning of economic recession in Greece. Families have been dealing with unemployment problems, severe economic hardships and a feeling of uncertainty for the years to come. In addition, the unstable political canvas and issues such as immigration or emerging terrorist actions within the European family, have negatively charged the overload of personal and social identity. The aftershocks of all the above context have been inevitably transferred into the school communities. School life reflects the unease of the social environment and expresses the general turmoil through frequent incidents of violent behavior, expression of neglect towards certain individuals, use of violent language and adoption of behavior patterns harmful to feelings of solidarity and empathy.

Making use of “the head, the heart and the hands” principle and aiming at engaging pupils in learning by doing and collaborative activities, the training unit targets at “smoothing” this harsh inside classroom reality.

The set of activities can be also used with teachers or student teachers.

Expected outcomes

Participants will learn that acknowledging other people’s feelings, attitudes and behavior helps towards the resolution of conflicts in a democratic way
• Participants will use their own personal experience as a first step towards adopting different perspectives and explaining situations in favor of a peaceful and collaborative resolution of conflicts in a school environment
• Participants will develop a deeper understanding of how the self and group attitude interrelate and contribute to the resolution of conflicts and the productive co-existence of diverse identities in a community

The activities were designed with a view to leading the participants from a self- centered attitude to a collaborative and group reaction to situations which are connected with conflicts, images of others and communication patterns. By the end of the training unit participants will have hopefully realized how the TASKs (for more information on TASKs click here) components mentioned below are connected to the issue of conflicts resolution following a path heading from “Me” to “Us”.

A_DIV_3 Willingness to acknowledge other people’s feelings
A_COOP_3 Readiness to take responsibility and to be accountable for one’s actions and choices
A_EPIST_3 Inclination to see things from different perspectives
A_SELF_3 Willingness to identify and accept one’s own and other people’s strengths and weaknesses

S_DIV_3 Aptitude to elicit and respond to others’ beliefs, values and feelings and behavior
S_COOP_3 Aptitude to evaluate situations and issues to look for solutions with all parties involved

K_COOP_3 Understanding of how co-operation can support the prevention of conflict, discrimination and violence
K_SELF_3 Knowledge about the relationship of self and group
Total time of training unit: 7 hours 40 minutes

Activity profile

Duration of activity

Methods used

Introductory session: defining the area of interest, brainstorming, discussion of the issues involved, signing a contract of good will and cooperation
30 minutes
Personal expression and exchange
Activity 1 (Ice-breaking activity) Try my shoes!
50-60 minutes
Experiential learning
Emotional involvement
Activity 2 (Energiser) Knowing me, knowing you!
40 minutes
Reflection and collaborative knowledge construction
Activity 3 (Energiser) Chain reaction
20 minutes
Creative expression of ideas
Activity 4 (Main activity) My anger portrait
50 minutes
Artistic expression and reflection
Activity 5 (Main activity) A communication collage
80 minutes
Visible thinking
Activity 6 (Main activity) Ariadne’s ball of string
70 minutes
Experiential learning
Activity 7 (Evaluation activity) It’s my party!
25 minutes
Analysis and reflection
Activity 8 (Evaluation activity) The friendship pie
10 minutes
Project work
Activity 9 (Concluding activity/Game) The anti-bully race
40 minutes
Closing session: debriefing, evaluation of the training unit
30 minutes
Personal expression and exchange