7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2010
This book is not only easy to read, it is even easier to apply in the classroom. I purchased this book when I was working on my graduate degree in Education. My focus is in dealing with At-risk students. I have since recomended it to any and all teachers that I know and new teachers that I teach. It really is amazing how and adjustment in the words we use daily changes the environment around us. As a single parent of teens, I can also say that it works at home too and with slight adjustments, success is quick and painless. I now have peace in the classroom and at home.
on March 27, 2015
This is a great book. I previously read Rosenberg's "Nonviolent Communication," and it changed my life. So I wanted to read more by him. I also care a lot about education.
The Bad: I was afraid a lot of it would be redundant, and actually, a lot of it was. There were a lot of pages that were explaining NVC in succinct form, retelling stories told in the primary NVC book, and pages of "chapter review" that were not only the same as the other book, but didn't interest me when I read that book either. Furthermore, the "192 pages" is pretty misleading. The book is 138 pages, including chapter reviews, plus 8 pages for the foreword. The rest is just the lengthy bibliography, index, blank pages for notes, "about CNVC" and advertisement of other books. And other blank pages. The substantive portion of the book is much shorter than the original NVC book, although it felt even shorter to me since I skipped over some familiar parts.
The Good: In spite of all of this, I am giving this book 5 stars because this is a high quality book that I'm glad I bought and that I'd recommend for educators. Some of the repeated stories are elaborated on here. And there are a number of fresh stories. I love Rosenberg's stories of applying NVC because they're always so powerful.
But most importantly, Rosenberg offers here a revolutionary model for education. It's a model he helped schools put into practice. There are entire schools based on this model now. There are children in these schools learning to teach each other, learning to set objectives mutually with their teachers, choosing their teachers among their classmates, learning to resolve conflicts, and learning to play peacemaker (mediator) between one another. That's so amazing, I teared up a lot of times when reading this book. If I had had that in school, how different my life would be now.
He also offers a model that doesn't require grades. I've heard of the need for grades questioned or critiqued for years, even by my professors, in other books, but this is the first time I ever read an actual explanation of how an evaluation model without grades could work successfully. Apparently it's already been put into practice for more than a decade, at least. I'm not yet convinced that ALL schools would ideally exist without grades, but I believe now that this can be a successful model across a large number of schools. I think that there need to be more options for grade-free schools, so that grading becomes more of a choice. If that kind of competition is something that motivates people and helps them learn and have the most rewarding experience, great. If not, let students and teachers seek another model.
I still have a LOT of questions about this educational model, and I plan on researching it now. But overall, I believe in it. Rosenberg also does a nice (albeit brief) job of explaining how to sustain such a system. I just wish the book had been longer, with more examples/stories. If he implemented this in so many schools, there have to be a lot more compelling stories than this. I guess he was going for succinct.