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What is Nonviolent Communication (NVC)?






According to Marshall Rosenberg in his book “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life”, he states that nonviolent communication (NVC) is a way of communication in which leads us to give from the heart. We are able to perceive relationships in a new light when we use the tactics of NVC to hear our own deeper needs and those of others.


Our Goal

To teach elementary teachers how to apply nonviolent communication to their students. With this new knowledge, we hope to then allow the teachers to teach their students how to apply nonviolent communication as well.


Components of NVC

There are four steps to the process of NVC. The first is that we observe the actions that may affect our well-being. The second is how we feel from this observation. Third is what needs, desires, values, etc. that then create our feelings. Finally, we request in order to either benefit one or both parties.


Applying NVC


Nonviolent communication is very helpful in classrooms with children dealing with emotional or behavioral challenges. These students are most likely to respond to any demand negatively, usually with a strong sense of rebellion. A scenario from personal experience is given by Liz Rose in her article “General Music Today” where she had dealt with behavioral challenges distracting another student during class. An initial reaction for the student would be “If you don’t quiet down I’m going to have to send you to time-out.” She explains that the first step would be to observe and verbally reflect the child’s behavior in a non-judgemental manner. The second step would be to state your feelings regarding the said behavior. For example, “When you talk to your neighbor, I feel frustrated.” The third would to state your needs based on your feelings. “When you talk to your neighbor, I feel frustrated because other students are distracted from learning [the material] I am trying to teach our class.” The last step would be to make a request based on your needs. “Would you be willing to continue your conversation with [student] after class?” This avoids making a demand and more of a request, allowing the student to not feel pressured to comply to a demand and thusly become more likely to rebel.

Another example, Elizabeth Agnew writes in her article that nonviolent communication helps manage to create a peaceful atmosphere though there are diverse identities and individuals. The classrooms, as Agnew explains, create a necessity for communication due to these differences and inspecting shared human needs. While addressing different roles of conflict and toleration of other students and she argues that the method of nonviolent communication is a “powerful asset” to education that helps engage students in these classrooms and studies.








“Teachers, school administrators, and parents will come away from ‘Life-Enriching Education’ with skills in language, communication, and ways of structuring the learning environment that support the development of autonomy and interdependence in the classroom” -Marshall Rosenberg


“Public education for some time has been heavily focused on what curricula we believe will be helpful to students. Life-Enriching Education is based on the premise that the relationship between teachers and students, the relationships of students with one another, and the relationships of students to what they are learning are equally important in preparing students for the future.” -Marshall Rosenberg.











Baesler, E. James, and Sharon Lauricella. “Teach Peace: Assessing Instruciton of the Nonviolent Communication and Peace Course.” Journal Of Peace Education 11.1 (2014) 46-63. Academic Search Premier



Gorsevski, Ellen. “What Does Martin Luther King, Jr. Have to Do With Me? Using Nonviolent Approaches in Teaching Communication And Conflict.” Conference Papers -- National Communication Association (2008): 1. Communication & Mass Media Complete.


Nosek, Marcianna. “Nonviolent Communication: A Dialogical Retrieval Of The Ethic Of Authenticity.” Nursing Ethics 19.6 (2012): 829-837. Academic Search Premier.

Nonviolent Communication: A Tool for Working with Children Who Have Emotional or Behavioral Challenges. By: Rose, Liz, General Music Today, 10483713, Winter2006, Vol. 19, Issue 2


Rosenberg, Marshall B. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. 2nd ed. Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer, 2003. Print.


Teaching Theology & Religion. By: Agnew, Elizabeth Jul2012, Vol. 15, Issue 3, p210-224.