Nonviolent Education in Jordan

The project on Nonviolent Education in Jordan brings together educational experts who discuss and develop concepts for qualification measures for nonviolent education and put them into practice. We are currently working together with a team of experts from Jordanian universities, NGO's and the Theodor Schneller School in Amman on the implementation of curricula and on strengthening networks for nonviolent education in schools, universities and as well as within the work with refugees in Jordan. Furthermore, the project promotes the exchange of experiences between refugee aid workers from Jordan and Germany. Different learning media (manual, posters, films), developed by the Berghof Foundation, are being applied in schools, universities as well as in the non-formal education sector. These media are the result of an intensive two-year development process and were published in English and in Arabic. The aim of the project is to contribute to a sustainable, constructive and positive conflict transformation in order to strengthen the core values of non-violence, tolerance, mutual respect and participation in the Jordanian education system.

Timeframe

2013 - 2017

Conflict Setting

Children fighting in the school yard, students vandalising their own university and also within the refugee camps and the communities which are overstrained due to the fact that they receive a large number of refugees, violence occurs often as a problem - Jordan bears an extremely high potential for violence in everyday life. The current economic and social tensions, compounded by a tense domestic and external situation, exacerbate the problem. The educational institutions are severely affected by the violent expressions of familial, tribal and political conflicts. There is a lack of spaces for learning how to interact constructively and how one can deal with opposite views or diverging value systems without resorting to violence.

Approach

Our team consists of experts from Jordanian universities, NGOs and foundations as well as the Theodor Schneller School and the Berghof Foundation, all working together. In small groups directed at different target groups (students, teachers, social workers, refugee aid workers), various components of the trainings and curricula on nonviolent education, are developed and tested. Results will be shared, discussed and revised in expert-meetings as well as at an intended conference for higher education.

Aims & Outcomes

Jordanian educational experts were brought together with the aim of contributing to a sustainable, constructive and positive conflict transformation in order to strengthen the core values of non-violence, tolerance, mutual respect and participation in the Jordanian education system. Together they discussed concepts for qualification measures for nonviolent education, which have been put into practice in schools, universities and the work with refugees.

The Project 2013-2015

Following a series of workshops with lecturers and students carried out by the Berghof Foundation, Memoranda of Understanding have been signed with three universities in 2015 (University of Jordan, Petra University, Al Balqa Applied University). To make the approaches of nonviolent education at universities and their success visible throughout the country and to expand the circle of the participating universities, representatives of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research have strongly favoured a nationwide university conference.

During the project two multi-leveled qualification courses on nonviolent education took place in Germany and Jordan. The 45 participants - key persons from different education sectors who work as university lecturers, teachers, students, social workers - were qualified as "Trainers for Nonviolent Education". They conducted and evaluated numerous workshops on nonviolent education in schools, universities and refugee camps. In this period modules were used which were elaborated earlier in the handbook/manual like streetfootball for tolerance, storytelling and interactive theatre. In light of this, the Jordanian Ministry of Education thoroughly supports the usage of such qualification measures for model schools throughout the country.

The field of activity of this project has been expanded in 2016 to the educational work with Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan. First experiences and approaches exist on the basis of the cooperation with participants of the qualification courses who are active in refugee education. Cooperations and connections with experienced international NGO's in the field of refugee work in Jordan have been established through the participants of the qualification courses and workshops on nonviolent education were carried out in the Zaatari Camp and the Azraq Camp.

The Project 2016-2017

  • Implementation of the Curriculums "School without Violence"
    In the first part of the project the previous experiences with nonviolent education in Jordan will be condensed in a curriculum called "School without Violence". Principles of schools, instructors and social workers of 15 model schools from all around the country that are willing to test and implement the curriculum in their schools will receive relevant preparation and qualification measures.
  • Conceptualisation of the curriculum "University against Violence"
    The integration of nonviolent education in the lectures and the teaching routine at Jordanian universities will be enhanced especially in the education of teachers and social workers. Like in "School without Violence" the previous experiences of the project within the area of universities will be condensed in a draft of a curriculum "Universities against Violence". A conference on the topic "Universities against Violence" will be prepared and implemented. Representatives of Jordanian universities as well as political decision-makers who are responsible for the higher education sector will be invited to this conference. Jordanian researchers and German experts on violence prevention will comment on the proposed curriculum and make suggestions from their professional point of view.
  • Conflict-sensitive refugee work
    The project also includes the implementation of model workshops in refugee camps in Jordan as well as an expert discussion in Germany with experienced Jordanian and German refugee aid workers who are active in the education field. This last aspect is gaining more and more importance in light of the refugee crisis in Germany and Jordan. Refugee work in both Jordan and Germany could benefit from an exchange of experiences.

Key actors

Key actors for the development and implementation of curricula on civic and nonviolent education are educational experts, university presidents, school principals and personnel of the Ministry of Education. For the implementation of contents and methods, qualified multipliers in the formal and non-formal education system (teachers, educators, youth workers, active students) are crucial. The project provides them with learning spaces and training. It builds a network of education institutions for the development and implementation of curricula on civic and nonviolent education.

Outreach

The Berghof Foundation seeks to enlarge this network for peace education among ministries, universities, schools, political foundations and NGOs in Jordan and the region. Further opportunities for reaching out to neighbouring countries are currently being explored.

Partner

Theodor Schneller Educational Training Centre, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, University of Jordan, Petra University, Al Balqa Applied University, Jordanian Expert Team of university professors, school principals, network of trainers, social workers and well as staff members of NGO's.

Funding

The project was supported from 2013-2015 by the ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) with means of the German Federal Foreign Office. Since 2016 the project is being supported by the cultural unit of the German Federal Foreign Office (unit 609, Cultural, Education and Media Relations with the Maghreb, Near and Middle East; Dialogue with the Islamic World).

September 2017 - „Schools without Violence!“…

...was the slogan of two summer camps with 12 participating schools in September 2017 in Amman. Over 70 students of the 8th grade learned interactively basics and methods of conflict transformation and nonviolent education. Especially the combination of public and private schools was of particular importance due to the fact, that this was the first activity of its type where public and private schools interacted with each other. Beside new friendships among students, the result was an intensive, successful exchange on new methods and perspectives between students as well as teachers.

Through interactive methods, the students and teachers developed basic knowledge on violence, conflicts and how one can solve them as a peer mediator at the school yard. The concept of peer mediation was in the focus of the activities. Through discussions and active role plays, the idea that also children can take over responsibility in solving conflicts, was transmitted.

At the experimental garden of the Theodor Schneller School in Amman, where both summer camps took place, the students strengthened their team spirit and built up trust. By playing "street football for tolerance" they set up their own fair play rules.

These summer camps were organised and carried out by educational multipliers together with the Berghof Foundation and the Ministry of Education.

November 2016 - Conference "Strengthening a culture of dialogue and promotion of civic education"

A highlight of the activities of the project "Nonviolent Education in Jordan" in 2016 was the conference on "Strengthening a culture of dialogue and promotion of civic education" in Jordanian families, schools and universities on the 25th and 26th November at the Dead Sea in Jordan. It was held under the auspices of the Jordanian Ministry for Higher Education and Research and counted approximately 70 participants. The documentation of the conference gives an insight into the different panel speeches, the vivid discussions as well as the thorough exchange of experiences and expertise between multipliers, including several university presidents and professors, as well as Jordanian and German experts with political, social or educational backgrounds. This exchange was particularly enabled through the interactive method "World Café". This method offered room for inspiring ideas on the implementation of a culture of dialogue and the strengthening of civic education at Jordanian universities. The rotation of the dialogue groups who had to visualise and write down their ideas enabled vivid discussions on new concepts for universities, as well as new contacts on a professional level.

Major topics during these two days were particularly the further development of the educational systems with a stronger focus on participative methods to empower and include students in schools and universities, the concept of Global Citizenship, as well as dealing with refugees in the educational systems and in society in Jordan and Germany.

Documentation of the Conference (engl.)

Documentation of the  Conference (arabic)

March 2016 – Planning the project measures of the new Project “Nonviolent Education in Jordan 2016” with our Partners in Amman

From March 9th-13th the framework of the project measures and activities for 2016 were discussed during an initial meeting of the Berghof Foundation and its local partners in Amman. Berghof and the Jordanian Ministry of Education determined the implementation of teacher trainings on the topic "Schools without Violence" which will be carried out with 15 model schools from various regions in Jordan. Together with the Jordanian expert group and the network of trainers on nonviolent Education we discussed the content of the project plan, in particular of the sectors school and university. With network members who are active in the work with refugees we exchanged information about the situation of refugees in Jordan and Germany and jointly prepared the new project component "Refugee work".

October 2015 - Closing Ceremony with Jordanian Ambassador

Twenty teachers and educators from schools, universities, and refugee camps in Jordan have completed the qualification course as trainers for civic and nonviolent education. The Jordanian Ambassador Dr. Mazen Tal awarded their certificates on 8 October 2015 at the Berghof Center in Berlin. Previously they spent one week at the Berghof Foundation's Georg Zundel Haus in Tübingen where they exchanged their experiences and listened to presentations about violence prevention in Germany. The programme also included visits to institutions of social work, child and youth services, as well as training centers for educators. The participants identified the humane treatment of the growing number of refugees in Jordan and in Germany joint task. All persons involved want to strengthen their networks and develop joint projects regarding this issue in the future.

June 2015 - Qualification course phase I completed in Amman

The first phase of our qualification course for trainers of civic and nonviolent education has been completed in Amman. In one week the 20 participants, who are working in different education sectors got to know different pedagogical approaches like interactive theatre, storytelling and streetfootball for tolerance. In a second phase they will test these new methods in their own environment and document their experiences. The third phase of the course will take place in Germany in October.

March 2015 - Workshops and project days in schools and universities

Several workshops at universities and schools on the topic of civic and nonviolent education have been conducted during a project visit in Amman. In the upcoming months our local trainers will independently plan and facilitate workshops and project days in their schools and universities and cooperate with several education institutions. Meetings at the Ministry of Education with Secretary General Mohammad Okour confirmed the high interest of integrating civic and nonviolent education into the formal education system.

December 2014 - Conference on civic and nonviolent education in Amman

The Berghof Foundation presented its annual results of the project "Civic and Nonviolent Education in Jordan 2014" on a conference with representatives of ministries, universities, schools and NGOs. The conference participants discussed possibilities of applying the produced learning material in their respective educational institutions. The signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Berghof Foundation and both, the University of Petra and the Al Balqa` Applied University affirmed the cooperation of the Berghof Foundation with universities in Jordan. Furthermore, a number of workshops with different target groups took place (e.g. with employees of aid organisations working in refugee camps, students and youth).

October 2014 - Closing ceremony of qualification course for nonviolent education

In the first week of October Jordanian teachers, lecturers and students successfully completed the third phase of the qualification course for civic and nonviolent education in Germany. They discussed their projects and exchanged their experiences of the practical part of the course between July and September 2014. In Tübingen and Berlin they, moreover, learned about approaches of violence prevention and spoke with the former Minister of Justice, Prof. Dr. Hertha Däubler-Gmelin, about the enforcement of the right to nonviolent upbringing in Germany in 2000. During the closing ceremony at the Berghof Centre in Berlin, the Jordanian ambassador Dr. Mazen Tal acknowledged the commitment of the participants and their contribution to the promotion of nonviolent education in Jordan.

June 2014 - Qualification course for civic and nonviolent education

At the end of June 20 Jordanian teachers, lecturers and students participated in a several days' qualification course for civic and nonviolent education in the Jordanian capital Amman. In the first part of the three-level course, the participants acquired the basics of nonviolent education. During the second phase between July and September 2014 they employed as trainers concrete methods of violence prevention in their schools, universities, non-state educational institutions and in working with refugees and victims of violence. Furthermore, representatives of Berghof Foundation and the University of Jordan agreed on a memorandum of understanding on the close cooperation in the area of civic and nonviolent education.

March 2014 - Workshops on violence prevention in Amman

Four workshops were held at universities in Amman during the last week of March 2014. They were organised by the Berghof Foundation and its local team of renowned educational experts. They provided spaces for reflecting and testing approaches to civic and nonviolent education. The one-day workshops were held at the University of Jordan, the University of Petra, the Al Balqa’ Applied University and the American University of Madaba. Around 140 students from different faculties and interested lecturers took part. They discussed the causes of violence and ways to prevent violence at universities.

October 2013 - Filming educational videos in Amman

The Berghof Foundation and Jordanian expert team met in Amman to produce four educational short films on various approaches to civic and nonviolent education. Local experts brought together students of all ages and from different schools. Together, they practised methods of storytelling, interactive theatre and street football for tolerance. They all contributed to the short films, which were produced to eventually serve other teachers and students as a guideline for implementing such approaches.

September 2013 - Jordanian-German Summer School in Tübingen

Learning means encountering, exchanging and exposing oneself to different perspectives. That is why the Berghof Foundation organised a Summer School in the Georg Zundel Haus in Tübingen which brought together educational experts from universities, schools and youth work in Jordan and Germany. The aim of the meeting was to inspire participants with new ideas for interactive pedagogic methods for civic and nonviolent education in Jordan.

  • Documentation Conference "Strengthening a culture of dialogue in Jordan" (engl.). 2016. Educationanl & Multimedia. more >
  • Documentation Conference "Strengthening a culture of dialogue in Jordan" (arabic). 2016. Educational & Multimedia. more >
  • Dagmar Nolden & Cassandra Schützko: Conflict sensitive refugee assistance (engl.). 2016. Tübingen. Educational & Multimedia. more >
  • Dagmar Nolden & Cassandra Schützko: Conflict sensitive refugee assistence (arab.). 2016. Tübingen. Educational & Multimedia. more >
  • Uli Jäger, Anne Romund & Hannah Reich: Fostering civic and nonviolent education in Jordan. 2014. Berlin: Berghof Foundation. Educational & Multimedia. PDF >
  • Uli Jäger, Anne Romund & Hannah Reich: Fostering civic and nonviolent education in Jordan (arabic). 2014. Berlin. Educational & Multimedia. PDF >
  • Culture of Dialogue (arabic). Tübingen. Educational & Multimedia. Poster >

  • Uli Jäger: Recognising, Assessing and Overcoming Violence. Team of Experts in Jordan Devise Peace Education Advanced Training Courses. In: Schneller Magazine, 2/2013, 14-15. Link >