I watched some very interesting videos the other day under the "Extra Resources" category on Blackboard. All of the videos discussed the similar principle of sitting in a circle and hashing out problems. Sounds so simple, right? The magnitude to which this small and seemingly insignificant principle benefitted so many people was beyond belief.
In one video, men in jail sat down and talked in a circle with both a minister and a victim of a crime similar to one that one or all of the men had committed. For these men, it took sitting down and listening to someone else's side of the story for them to feel repentance and want to make a change. The fact that they could all sit down peacefully and have such a difficult and painful conversation was both interesting and heartbreaking.
In another video, a group of violent rival highschool girl sat in a circle and talked about the issues they had with one another. They talked about the fear they shared of being "jumped" when they would walk down the street because the rivalry between the girls was so intense. After spending some time talking peacefully, the girls hugged and chatted in a friendly manner and agreed to be friends again. The impact this circle talk had on these girls was pretty cool.
Another video I watched was about a highly dangerous highschool in Philadelphia. The school instituted the circle talks and within a year their crime rate was down over 50 percent.
The idea seems so trivial but the affects are huge. Sometimes all people need is to talk and have a chance to say what they are feeling. When you take them out of the hostile situation and setting and put them someplace quiet where they can talk, it seems they have no choice but to work it out. The videos were eye opening and I will certainly implement such talks when I'm a teacher.