The topicality of the problem of forming the ability for non-violent interaction among students is conditioned by the significance of non-violence as a professionally important characteristic of future teachers and psychologists. The purpose of the study was to develop and test a technology for the development of said skill. We have tested a hypothesis that the positive effect can be achieved if the technology is focused on: self-knowledge and self-acceptance of personality; the formation of non-violent attitude towards other people; training in non-violent behavior and conflict resolution. A total of 172 students of both genders took part at different stages of the study. The average age was 19.5 years. The students were trained in the directions of “Psychological and pedagogical education”, “Psychology” and the specialty “Psychology of service activities” of the Moscow University for the Humanities and Cherepovets State University. The forming experiment involved two experimental (N = 16 and N = 14) and two reference (N = 18 and N = 13) groups of students. A technology was developed that included two blocks: theoretical and practical. The theoretical part was aimed at forming students' perception of non-violence as a panhuman value. The practical part was carried out in the form of a sociopsychological training of non-violence. In the experimental groups, positive shifts in the indices of non-violence and negative shifts in the indices of coercion, manipulation, and non-intervention were observed. A conclusion was made about the applicability of this technology to professional training of students, teachers and psychologists.
The urgency of the problem of forming the skill of non-violent interaction among students—future teachers and psychologists — is conditioned by the practical demands and the requirements for the personality of an expert in this area. For example, it is difficult to imagine a teacher who builds relations with children, parents, and administration on the basis of coercion, pressure or threats. Such a teacher is nonprofessional. For a psychologist, such situation is absolutely unacceptable. He should work with people on the basis of full acceptance, non-judgmental attitude and congruence (Rogers, 1994). Unfortunately, the students that enroll universities in corresponding training profiles are not always non-violence oriented. A study conducted on a pool of medical students and students who will become teachers and psychologists showed that the position of non-violence dominates only in a relatively small number of students: from 8% to 32% in different universities (Koryagina, Maralov, & Sitarov, 2018). These results served as an additional incentive for the development of a special technology for forming the ability for non-violent interaction among students to become future teachers and psychologists.
The practice of universities shows that sole acquaintance of students with the ideas of humanistic pedagogy and psychology in special courses is not enough for their professional training. It is necessary to carry out special work aimed at personal changes, internal acceptance of non-violence principles and the ability to implement them in daily life. In modern psychological and pedagogical science there is a sufficient number of programs aimed at educating school students in the spirit of peace and non-violence, and insufficient number of similar programs for students who wants to become future teachers and psychologists. This is especially true for Russian psychological and pedagogical science and practice. The demand for such programs is quite appreciable. They can serve as an essential help in shaping the personality of the future expert, who accepts and implements humanistic values in his work.
Non-violent interaction usually means the interaction of a person with the world, other people and with himself without the use of unreasonable coercion. Modern research methodology in this area emerged at the intersection of two ideas. The first is the concept of non-violence of Gandhi (1960). The second one is the development of humanistic psychology and pedagogy (Rogers, 1994). Their integration served as a powerful incentive to develop relevant theories and tools for empirical and experimental research in the field of education on various aspects of non-violence.
By present, a number of research directions have emerged in the field of familiarizing the younger generation with the ideas of non-violence. Let us denote several of them.
As for the students, there are also interesting results. Hongyu (2018) offers a program for forming a position of non-violence among students who will become teachers. The program has appreciably changed their attitude towards non-violence. There has been a transition from a narrower to a broader understanding of it. The evaluation of the role of non-violence in a person’s life has changed from passive to active. Conditions for internal acceptance of non-violence were created. There is also evidence of the difficulties faced by researchers during implementation of programs for the formation of a non-violent position for students. In particular, Zhuravleva (2017) notes that students inherently resist the acceptance of the principles of non-violence and do not strive for personal changes and overcoming of the existing stereotypes.
Purpose of the Study
The study is aimed at the development of a technology for forming the ability for non-violent interaction among students to become future teachers and psychologists. We have tested a hypothesis that the positive effect can be achieved if the technology is focused on: 1) self-knowledge and self-acceptance of a person; 2) the formation of a non-violent attitude towards other people, the central component of which is sensitivity to a person; 3) actualization of own experience of interaction with other people, training of non-violent behavior and conflict resolution skills.
The methodological basis of the study was represented by an integrative approach, which lies on the integration of the understanding of non-violence in philosophy, psychology and pedagogy. A total of 172 students of both genders took part at different stages of the experiment with the average age of 19.5 years and studying in the directions of “Psychological and pedagogical education”, “Psychology” and the specialty “Psychology of service activities” of the Moscow University for the Humanities and Cherepovets State University. The forming experiment involved two experimental (N = 16 and N = 14) and two reference groups of students (N = 18 and N = 13). Groups were not specifically selected. The small size of the groups is explained by the fact that the main part of the classes was conducted in the form of a sociopsychological training. An original questionnaire was used as a diagnostic tool to identify students' inclination to coercion, manipulation, non-violence or non-intervention (Maralov & Sitarov, 2018). The questionnaire was used at the beginning and at the end of the forming experiment. In addition, the students’ subjective evaluations of the work effectiveness were also used. The experiment was conducted during the second term of 2018. To process the results obtained, Student's t-test was used.
The theoretical block consists of five modules: 1. Philosophy of non-violence; 2. Psychology of non-violence; 3. Pedagogy of non-violence; 4. Non-violent interaction of teachers with students; 5. Implementation of the ideas of non-violence in the practice of educational organizations. Within this block, students were introduced to the religious, philosophical-ethical, psychological and pedagogical aspects of non-violence. Special attention was paid to the problem of non-violent interaction of teachers and students, and the practical use of non-violence principles in life.
The practical block was realized as a workshop held in the form of a sociopsychological training of non-violence. It was focused on students' awareness of their behavior, on accepting non-violence and its usage in life. Each class took at least 4 hours. he structure of each lesson included: ritual, warm-up, main part, reflection and ritual.
Development of the ability to realize the strengths and weaknesses of a personality, creating conditions for accepting oneself and increasing the level of self-confidence (non-violent attitude towards oneself). In psychology, it was proved that self-acceptance is the most important condition for the acceptance of other people. The purpose of this course was to teach students to understand themselves, to understand the role and purpose of each of their personality traits. Students were asked to complete a series of tasks. 1. To find in themselves five strengths and five weaknesses of the personality, to emphasize the strongest and weakest qualities. 2. Draw four concentric circles on a sheet of paper, place all these ten qualities on them where “the hand wishes”. Most often, qualities that are not accepted by a person are located at the bottom of the sheet. 3. It was proposed to draw houses on a sheet where these qualities of personality (subpersonality) will “live”. The house for “I” was obligatory to draw. Next, students were asked to mark with an arrow the quality of the person, which they would definitely invite to “I”, and with a dashed arrow a quality that they would not invite to themselves. 4. Method “Working with creative garbage”. Students were asked to designate each quality of a person with any object (picture, calendar, flash drive, clip, etc.), after which the list was removed, and it was necessary to make any composition from the “creative garbage”. After completing the assignment, the students were asked to sketch this composition on a piece of paper, designating objects with circles or other geometric figures, and write in them those qualities of the personality that they symbolize. The result was a certain holistic projective “portrait” of the personality, where individual qualities were arranged in a certain way. 5. Psychodrama technique. Students were invited to play the game "At the reception of a King (Queen)”. The work was carried out in a group. The point is that one of the participants plays the role of his “I” (the king), who sits on the “throne” in the hall, and the rest are his servitors (subpersonalities) and are located to the right and to the left of the king, closer and further from him. Then, the participants playing the role of subpersonalities of the protagonist begin to engage in a dialogue (dispute) for places that are closer to the “throne”. The “King” listens attentively to the arguments presented but does not enter into the dialogue himself; however, he has the right to make a decision after hearing the arguments: leave everything as it is or make a swap. The head of the training gradually brings the protagonist to the idea of a circle where “I” (the king) will take the central place.
The gist of these tasks is to create prerequisites for understanding the role and value of each personality quality for an individual. “If this personality quality is there, it means that a person needs it for something.” The point is to realize what for. All tasks are accompanied by active discussion.
At the end of the course, a class lesson was held where corresponding summary was made and the students provided feedback. They were providing their conclusions they had drawn for themselves, what tactics they would choose in working on themselves and in changing their attitude towards people.
The effectiveness of the technology was evaluated on the basis of subjective assessments by students of the work that was done with them. As an example, we will give only one characteristic statement by student Alexei G. (20 years old): “From these classes, I realized that I do not have bad qualities, I need them all for something. I want to learn how to transform my weak qualities into strong ones. I began to look at the members of my group differently, they became closer to me, dearer. I began to communicate with many people more confidentially. People annoy me less. I also realized that in relations with people I unconsciously try to explain their behavior from the perspective of my expectations, thereby subjecting them to evaluation. Now it is easier for me to treat them non-judgementally, and I can calmly defend my point of view without fearing that it will not be accepted by others”.
Thus, in this article, we presented the technology for forming students' ability to non-violent interaction consisting of two blocks: theoretical and practical. The theoretical block is focused on the assimilation of non-violence as a panhuman value. The practical block is focused directly on the internal acceptance of the ideas of non-violence and their implementation in practice. It was realized in the form of sociopsychological training of non-violence, which included tasks for self-knowledge, self-acceptance, increasing the level of self-confidence, formation of non-violent attitudes towards other people, actualization of own experience and training non-violent interaction skills. The first implementation of this technology allowed drawing conclusions on its effectiveness and applicability in universities of a corresponding profile. We see the further perspective of the study in the refinement and improvement of technology, its broader testing and practical implementation.
The study was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research in the framework of research project No. 18–013–00151.
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21 January 2020
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Sitarov*, V., Maralov, V., & Romanyuk, L. (2020). Technology For Formation Of The Ability Of Non-Violent Interaction Among Students. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 2911-2918). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.12.04.392