60 Israeli, Palestinian educators attend nonviolent communication workshops
JERUSALEM | More than 60 Israeli and Palestinian educators attended capacity building workshops on the concepts of nonviolent communication and resiliency. USAID funded the December “Supporting Resiliency in School Communities” series.
Tarek Maassarani and Peggy Smith, respected educators and facilitators with deep experience promoting communication and the peaceful transformation of conflict within schools and communities, led the series, which is designed to equip teachers with tools to empower youth.
Alumni of Seeds of Peace Educator Programs and educators new to the organization attended each five-hour workshop, held in Tulkarem, Petach Tikva and Bani Naim.
Israeli participants included inspectors and other officials in the Ministry of Education in charge of regions and districts, overseeing many schools, hundreds of teachers, and thousands of young people. This was the first Seeds of Peace workshop held at the Israeli Ministry of Education headquarters.
Principals, members of the village council, and other important community leaders attended the Palestinian workshops.
Educators shared stories from their schools and experiences for the group to analyze from a student-centered, needs-based perspective. The workshops used interactive role-playing, games, and lively discussions to with real-life examples to improve the capacity of educators to respond to and develop strategies around peaceful conflict transformation.
Participants are now integrating what they learned it into teacher training and interactions with colleagues and students.
By working with educators new to Seeds of Peace, these workshops root the organization in communities and strengthen relationships on the ground. The vast majority of the participants are not involved in cross-border work with “the other side,” but through these workshops, they build capacity to create a culture of peace within each society.
Both Tarek and Peggy work as facilitation staff for the Seeds of Peace Delegation Leaders program at the Seeds of Peace International Camp in Maine, and helped reshape the dialogue process for educators during Summer 2012 that had a stronger focus on empathy, active listening, and nonviolent communication.