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.


2013 - 2019

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.


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.


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.


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.


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).

October-December 2018: implementation of peer mediation and methods of nonviolent education at the „schools without violence“

Following the two summer camps in September and the in-depth transfer of knowledge on peer mediation and nonviolent education, teachers and students implemented the newly learned methods and skills in their schools. These methods and approaches to nonviolent education were put into practice in various forms by the 24 “schools without violence” and peer mediation teams were established and trained to support schoolmates on the yard to solve their conflicts without violence. Participative and interactive methods for constructively handling conflicts have been integrated into the lessons. Additionally, street-football tournaments for tolerance were carried out regularly. At some schools teachers and students used the acquired knowledge on nonviolence creatively and integrated it into theatre plays, songs, poems and joint projects and school events.  Staff from the Jordan Ministry of Education, as well as the team of the Berghof Foundation, accompanied activities from October until December.

September 2018 - Summer Camps for "Schools without Violence"

In 2018 the Berghof Foundation hosted two more summer camps in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education in Amman. Participants were pupils and teachers of the 20 “schools without violence!”. Most of these schools that have been working closely together with the Berghof Foundation are public educational institutions and are located in different regions in Jordan.

During the two days of the summer camps the pupils worked in interactive teamwork on peer mediation and constructive conflict transformation. The Berghof team conducted the activities together with their qualified local trainers. By role plays and theatre methods the pupils got insights into the role of a mediator as well as the different perspectives of conflict parties.  The new methods and strategies enable pupils to act as mediators in their schools and support their classmates to solve conflicts on their own and in a nonviolent way. Earlier this year, teachers and social workers attended several trainings on nonviolent education, where they also extended their competencies on peer mediation. In the frame of the summer camps the teachers exchanged intensively on their previous experiences of peer mediation and discussed how to strengthen the implementation of the approach in schools. Until the end of this year they will carry out follow-up workshops for pupils on nonviolence and peer mediation in their schools.

Juni 2018 - “Bulding peace from the inside out“ – course start in Jordanian refugee camps

A powerful „su“ fills the library container of Relief International’s educational centre in the Jordanian refugee camp Azraq. Once the sound of their voices had faded, the 18 participants of the course conducted by Berghof Foundation shake out their arms and legs in relief. The joint exercise helps the Syrian women and men to release straining and stressful emotions, feelings, thoughts and experiences. All participants are Syrians volunteers working for various international organisations. The course supports them in their oftentimes challenging work. They are active in the fields of education, child protection and psychosocial support under a cash-for-work scheme in both Azraq and Zaatari camp.

During this first part out of four, the peace educational foundations are being laid. Following a joint discussion of basic terms and concepts such as peace, violence and conflict the participants explore the links between those and “the human being”, comprising body, mind, and emotions and feelings.  The combination of methods from peace education, theatre pedagogics, mindfulness and self-care has proved to be a viable approach that seems, for now, to be unique among offers of international support programmes for Syrian refugees active in the camps.

Organised by the Berghof Foundation’s programme Peace Education & Global Learning in cooperation with Relief International, the 12-days course takes place for the second time in the two Jordanian refugee camps Azraq and Zaatari between April and October 2018. The course is held by Dagmar Nolden together with a team consisting of Prof. Dr. Hannah Reich and Prof. Dr. Vladimir Kostic. As part of the project “Nonviolent education in Jordan” the activity is supported with means from the cultural unit of the German Foreign Office.

November 2017- Evaluation and planning meeting at the Dead Sea, Jordan

The Ministry of Education, our local educational experts and committed facilitators involved in the project in 2017 came together at the Dead Sea, presented their results, reflected on this year's activities and planned the next steps for 2018.

The process of designing a framework for a curriculum for civic and nonviolent education at Jordanian universities has progressed considerably in 2017. In close collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education our expert group of university professors has collected ideas and inputs in a series of workshop with university deans, professors, and students from 20 universities in Jordan. For 2018 they envision the establishment of a Service Centre for Civic and Nonviolent Education at the Petra University. Other partner universities in this project are the University of Jordan, the American University of Madaba and the Al Balqa Applied University.

The Ministry of Education and our partner schools stressed the positive experiences from the joint summer camps on peer mediation in 2017 and jointly agreed to continue activities with the participation of private and public schools. For 2018, the Ministry of Education together with the Berghof Foundation plans to introduce the concept of peer mediation to teachers across the whole country.

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.

  • Dagmar Nolden & Vladimir Kostić: Strengthening Resilience - Building Peace from within (engl.). 2017. Tübingen. Educational & Multimedia. PDF >
  • Dagmar Nolden & Vladimir Kostić: Strengthening Resilience - Building Peace from within (arabic). 2017. Tübingen. Educational & Multimedia. PDF >
  • Schools without Violence! A Summer Camp on Peer Mediation in Jordan (engl.). 2017. Tübingen. Educational & Multimedia. PDF >
  • Schools without Violence! A Summer Camp on Peer Mediation in Jordan (arabic). 2017. Tübingen. Educational & Multimedia. PDF >
  • Documentation Conference "Strengthening a culture of dialogue in Jordan" (engl.). 2016. Educational & 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 >