My favourite edubook is Non-Violent Communication: a Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg
Well to be honest I have at least a dozen favourite edubooks, but this book is the one from which I have learned the most important lesson as a teacher: that all communication is an expression of an unmet need and that life gets better when we respond compassionately to that need rather than judging the communication at face value.
This book is about the way we communicate with each other as humans, not specifically about education at all. It offers simple tools to help us communicate in ways that enhance empathy and make it more likely that our needs will be met. Perhaps a few quotes from its author might give a flavour:
- “Empathy lies in our ability to be present without opinion.”
- “Learning is too precious to be motivated by coercive tactics.”
- “At the root of every tantrum and power struggle are unmet needs.”
- “What others do may be the stimulus of our feelings, but never the cause.”
- “We are never angry because of what others say or do. It is our thinking that makes us angry.”
- “Never hear what somebody thinks about you: you’ll live longer. You’ll enjoy life more. Hear the truth. The truth is that when somebody’s telling you what’s wrong with you, the truth is they have a need that isn’t getting met. Hear that they’re in pain. Don’t hear the analysis.”
- “Which game do you want to play: Who’s Right or Let’s Make Life More Wonderful?”
This is my favourite edubook because I believe the foundation of our work as teachers must be to communicate with the children and young people in our care in ways that nurture their growth, and that violence in all its forms stunts healthy growth. This book provides a profound insight into the violence that underlies many of our patterns of communication, and offers a healthier alternative – one that liberates us from spending our days judging and feeling that we are being judged. Doesn’t that sound good?
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