Overcoming violence through a democratic and dialogical process

Main Article Content

Armando Marino Filho


In this article, I present a way of understanding how to overcome violence through dialogue and the democratic organization of group relations. The goal is to discuss how this approach to overcoming violence in an NGO (non-governmental organization) revealed the need to be flexible, to listen to each other, and to be willing to create a new unknown path together with the students by developing the activities to overcome violence (AOV). The objective of the AOV was to change the interpersonal relationships in the organization, to make it a place of co-existence for the children and adults, and to overcome this preponderant form of relational violence. I present actual events that took place at a Brazilian NGO specifically founded to provide care for children at social risk. The project I designed at the NGO focused on the (re-)organization of teaching activities and daily life as a community practice creating a community as a space where the relationships among the participants could become more democratic. The idea was to transform the power and individualistic domination of the NGO’s teachers, coordinators, or founders into shared power relationships established through democratic and dialogical processes.

The expected result was that the young attendees of the NGO would become community authors of their own life in the institution and have more personal autonomy. this process also showed us that while we could transform reality, the reality was also transforming our expectations. The very dynamics of the dialogical process require openness in the sense that one cannot predefine the goals according to one’s wishes. One has to be ready to accept the new, unexpected issues that may arise through dialogues and change initial objectives. In any case, I would reckon that one cannot strictly control the dialogical process. For this reason, the means and instruments, as well as the procedures for the AOV have to be understood, created, and reinvented during the process by the participants themselves and not by a single person prior to the AOV. The results showed that an action plan and instruments could only be suggested as a guide during the events, but not as an a priori condition, independent of all those involved in the actions taken.

Article Details

How to Cite
Marino Filho, A. (2023). Overcoming violence through a democratic and dialogical process. Dialogic Pedagogy: A Journal for Studies of Dialogic Education, 11(2), A261-A284. https://doi.org/10.5195/dpj.2023.283
Author Biography

Armando Marino Filho, Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

Armando Marino Filho is a Psychologist with a Ph.D. in Education from UNESP-Marília SP, Brazil, and an associated professor at the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul – CPTL, Brazil. In addition, he is a postgraduation professor, head of the group research "Historical Cultural Theory for Teaching and Learning," affiliated with the National Research Council, and coordinator of educational research projects at the elementary school. Currently, his research interests include children's psychological suffering at fundamental school, group process learning, and dialogical and democratic organization of the class.


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