Eva Nivbrant Wedin | Conflict resolution
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Conflict resolution

In today’s schools a lot of time is spent on conflicts and social issues. There are studies showing that teachers only use 20% of their time in class for the actual subject and up to 80% of their time on conflicts and social issues of various kinds. However if the teachers undergo training in conflict resolution and learn another approach and use of language, the figures after two years can to be the opposite: 80% to the subject and only 20% to conflicts and social issues.

Education in conflict resolution is necessary for future teachers. Even practicing teachers could benefit greatly from learning more about this.


Conflict Theory & Practical Conflict Resolution

When I teach conflict resolution I combine theory and practice. The two parts go hand in hand and reinforce each other.

The theory is based on research and experience, and also links to leadership and social psychology. The theory is essential for understanding, but is not enough; one must also practice.

Practical training is needed to learn new behaviours. Just like playing etudes and technical exercises in order to learn an instrument, you need to train how to handle conflicts when becoming a teacher. If you do the exercises in a neutral context you can learn skills that will later be useful. It can for example be using language in other ways, a new approach to teaching, or a method.

When you are in a real conflict it is easy to fall back into old patterns, but if you practice new behaviours in advance it is more likely that you will apply them.

Only after you have done things practically will you really understand.

I hear – I forget
I see – I remember
I do – I understand


National network

In 2003 a national network for conflict resolution in the teacher training was formed. The goal was that all teacher education programs should include good and compulsory education about conflict resolution. The network invited lecturers from all Swedish Universities to take part in the courses. I was the representative from the Royal College of Music in the network and had the privilege of participating in these courses.

Over the years the network has produced a lot of material and the members have supported each other and exchanged experiences. For me, this has been invaluable. I use what I learnt about conflict resolution daily, and I have also seen how beneficial it is to those that I teach. I have received lots of feedback from participants about how much the conflict resolution education has helped them both at work and in everyday life.