At most schools explicit skills in maths, sciences, humanities etc are taught with discipline and rigor. The assumption is that maths takes lots of class hours, homework, tutorials and repetition to get right. Skills centered on communication, negotiation techniques, knowing feelings, bringing up difficult topics, teamwork or how to be firm yet kind, are typically less central in the curriculum. At UWC RCN we have given priority to this area, not the least to our work centered around the 7 Principles of the Red Cross and the skills associated with it.
On the weekend of 5th-6th March, a stimulating, thought-provoking two-afternoon workshop was held, which very much complement the work that goes under the Red Cross umbrella. For the eighteen students and staff who took part it was an introduction to the principles and practices of non-violent communication as developed by American psychologist Marshall Rosenberg. Through video clips, talks and lots of hands-on exercises we explored how to deal with ourselves and “difficult” people, gaining awareness of the importance of identifying and acknowledging needs and feelings in our interactions.
We were led by Lauge Schøler, a Danish graduate of RCN from 2008, who is a psychologist, having received his BA and Master’s degrees in psychology from the University of Copenhagen in 2015. In 2015 he co-founded a boarding school for 14-16 year olds in southern Denmark with fellow UWC graduates. Since his graduation from RCN he has taken an active interest in new generations of students selected by the Danish National Committee.