The Compassionate Classroom

Relationship Based Teaching and Learning

By Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson

Endorsements Read a Chapter Buy this Book

Please scroll down for more information.

  • The Compassionate Classroom front cover
  • The Compassionate Classroom back cover


The Compassionate Classroom is a long awaited how-to guide for educators who care about creating a safe, productive learning environment.
With 45 years combined teaching experience, Sura Hart and Victoria Kindle Hodson merge recent discoveries in brain research with the proven skills of Nonviolent Communication and come to a bold conclusion – when compassion thrives, so does learning.Learn powerful skills to create an emotionally safe learning environment where academic excellence thrives. Build trust, reduce conflict, improve cooperation, and maximize the potential of each student as you create relationship-centered classrooms. This how-to guide is perfect for any educator, homeschool parent, administrator or mentor. Customizable exercises, activities, charts and cutouts make it easy for educators to create lesson plans for a day, a week or an entire school year. The Compassionate Classroom is the first complete curriculum for teaching NVC to elementary age students.


Cover endorsements:

“This is a fabulous book! If teachers will read it, they can transform their classrooms.”
—William Glasser, MD, author of Schools Without Failure and The Quality School

“Teachers, parents, and school administrators: Today’s teachers can create a Planet of Peace. The communication process you will learn by reading this book is the cornerstone.”
—ROBERT MULLER, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and cofounder of the University for Peace in Costa Rica

“I believe the message in this book can change the course of learning and life for all of us.”
—MARSHALL B. ROSENBERG, PhD, author of Nonviolent Communication and Life-Enriching Education

“The Compassionate Classroom helps teachers and students practice communicating nonviolently. Its message is crucially important and its activities provide both fun and engaged learning.”
—NEL NODDINGS, PhD, author of Educating Moral People and Starting at Home: Caring and Social Policy

“We remember most how we were treated in school rather than what we were required to learn!”
—JOE NARDO, Asst. Superintendent of Schools, Las Virgenes School District, Calabasas, CA

Interior endorsements:

Endorsements From Teachers

“This book is easy to read and easy to relate it. It provides small, tangible steps that can be implemented by any teacher or parent. It is the ‘scaffold’ that educators have been looking for to set the stage for tremendous learning.”
—Brenda Harari, PhD, Educational Researcher and Consultant

“This book shows teachers how to strengthen relationships, fuel interest, passion, and inspire accomplishment! The authors solve the age-old mystery of how to resolve classroom conflicts without disrupting the learning process.”
—Resa Brown, Special Education Teacher of the Year

“The Compassionate Classroom presents clear and concise explanations of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of Nonviolent Communication along with playful exercises and games that animate the joy of natural giving. I am confident that The Compassionate Classroom will inspire many students in my college classes to share NVC in their own classrooms and beyond.”
—Michael Dreiling, Sociology Professor and Author

“The Compassionate Classroom has great exercises and practical lessons that give educators tools to implement Nonviolent Communication in the classroom and create connections with students that will enhance both learning and teaching.”
—Leslie Trook, Middle School Principal

“I am excited by The Compassionate Classroom and its potential to help the conflict that is a daily reality in our schools, especially here in South Africa. Some of its exercises and games have already yielded interesting results in our classes. It is an invaluable practical tool for today’s teacher. I heartily recommend it.”
—Shena Lamb, University Instructor

“The Compassionate Classroom is a highly accessible, reader-friendly book that delivers what it promises. My dog-eared copy is an invaluable aid in supporting courses I develop and teach, as well as an encouraging, uplifting work. There are two sections; the first describes with certain clarity the power of learning in a ‘safe’ classroom where children can participate without fear of shame or blame. The second provides practical tools and exercises that are easily duplicated in the classroom. I predict this book will become an indispensable guide for professional educators and parents who strive to create schools where ‘learning flourishes and teachers enjoy teaching.’ It’s a gem!”
—Marcy Piekos, Educator

“Last year was the best year of my teaching career. The tools in this book helped me transform my classroom from an ordinary to an extraordinary learning environment. Some end-of-the-year evaluations from my students said: This has been a really awesome experience! This is such a fun class! Mrs. Adivi is nice and fair. This class is a real treat! You will definitely love this class! One year ago I wouldn’t have thought these kinds of statements were possible.”
—Carla Adivi, 7th Grade Science Teacher

“Visionary and practical, insightful and inviting, The Compassionate Classroom will touch the heart and enhance the practice of all who read it.”
—Rob Koegel, Associate Professor of Sociology

“The language of Nonviolent Communication is a very clear and usable tool and replaces the language of shame, guilt, and blame. The authors demonstrate how this language introduces cooperation and peace into the classroom, and consequently, into the world. Supported by scientific
research that shows how emotional clarity and ease enhance children’s ability to learn, the authors give various examples of how to learn and teach this process, adding a number of fun classroom exercises and games.
This book is not just for teachers—anyone interested in compassionate
interactions will benefit.”
—Marcelline Brogli, Therapist and Teacher Consultant

NVC Education Web Resources

Click here for Featured Education Articles.
Click here for Marshall Rosenberg Education Articles
Click here for Marshall Rosenberg Education Videos
Click here for Nonviolent Communication Education Videos
Click here for Nonviolent Communication Education Articles
There is a wealth of information on Nonviolent Communication – in articles and videos. Of course we endorse all of Marshall’s sharing’s, however, there are many transcripts and videos created by others. Due to limited resources we do not verify the full accuracy of any particular video or articles created by others, even though there is plenty of wonderful and educational information on the web.