Cards for Democracy Series

Learning from Conflicts

We have long talked about the use of Cards for Democracy and we have also brought practical examples of how they can be used in everyday life, especially in academic and institutional contexts.

In this article, I would like to report a real and contextualized case to everyday life.

The example in question starts from an episode that actually happened in a school and sees a problem that frequently occurs in these environments: conflicts.

Conflicts are not only are frequent in schools, but very often I have had the opportunity to confront teachers who report having problems in managing conflicts between students.

Before telling how cards can be useful in this context, let’s first take a look at the real case:

The story

Sam, a 16 years old pupil of the vocational school in grade 11, used to joke around with one other pupil of this class, Leon, in such a way that he pretended to be hitting him in his private parts.

That is, he made this sudden movement but never actually touched him.

Leon, more and more annoyed by this behavior, went to his friends and told them that he believed that “Jerry is gay”.

So, during break time one of these friends, Jo, went to Sam and said to him “I hear you’re gay and you like doing things to boys!”.

At which point Sam saw red and started a physical fight.

Other’s from the class intervened and stopped them from fighting.

The teacher convenes all to an activity with the cards.

A conflict is an opportunity to learn

Supported by the use of the Cards 4 Democracy, each protagonist is given a card that corresponds to possible reflections linked to their behavior during the conflict.

Possible choice of cards to help in a situation of conflict:

To learn more about this topic, I suggest you watch this speech entitled «Cards for ‘Democracy for All’ and ‘Cards for Democracy. Teachers Edition» held for The European Wergeland Center (EWC) where this and other practical cases are told:

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