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Peer Mediation

School-based peer mediation is one of the most popular and effective approaches to integrating the practice of conflict resolution into schools. From the start of the modern “conflict resolution in education” (CRE) movement in the early 1980’s, peer mediation has been one of its centerpieces. Many thousands of schools in the US and in dozens of other countries have implemented peer mediation programs, and these efforts serve almost every conceivable student population.

Peer mediation teaches mediation skills to students so they can help mediate disputes that other students are having — hence the label, “peer mediation.”

The convergence of a number of factors help to explain peer mediation’s status:
* Increasingly, educators–in rural and suburban as well as in city schools–were troubled by an increase in the amount and the tenor of student conflict. There consequently was a burgeoning interest among educators to explore this issue.

* The mission of most schools includes helping young people develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will enable them to succeed as adults. One of the most essential sets of skills is the ability to resolve conflicts effectively.

* Peer mediation encourages students to apply conflict resolution skills when it matters most–when they are in dispute. This sets it apart from other conflict resolution models that lack a formal effort to encourage students to use their skills when they are actually involved in a conflict.

For more information on developing Peer Mediation as a model in your school, please visit Day 2 of our curriculum on Managing and Resolving Conflicts Effectively in Schools and Classrooms. To hear an interview with a middle school peer mediation coordinator and a student mediator, check out this episode of Peace Talks Radio.

Videos of Possible Interest

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Sample Catalog Resources

Below you'll find a randomized listing of up to 20 related items (we may have more...) drawn from our Resource Catalog.

Resource Title Description Links
SCORE coordinator's manual, 2007-2008: Student conflict resolution experts 183-page pdf manual which "provides an overview of the program, and instructs coordinators on the steps to setting up the program from start to finish, and the methods and expectations for training their mediators. The manual also provides an extensive lesson plan for training, as well as sample exercises and role-play scenarios."
Mastering Mediation: Higher Education Mediation Training Slides The slides used in a basic mediation training program tailored to higher education contexts. It follows the framework provided in Mastering Mediation: A Guide for Training Mediators in a College and University Setting available via LRP publications. This workshop is typically offered over a long weekend. It includes lecture points, small group exercises and role plays.
Summary of Core Skills For Conflict Work Peaceworkers UK developed this detailed description of the Core Skills they consider essential for Conflict Work and the vocational standards associated with them. Core Skill 1: Research Skills Core Skill 2: Written Communication Core Skill 3: Verbal Communication Core Skill 4: Self-Management Core Skill 5: Conflict Management Core Skill 6: Observation Skills Core Skill 7: Teamwork Core Skill 8: Cultural Sensitivity Core Skill 9: Gender Awareness
Resolving Conflict with a Peer Mediation Program This 62-page peer mediation handbook for grades 4-8 provides the materials and resources for designing, building, implementing and sustaining a peer mediation program. It was developed as a collaborative project of the Peace Studies Program, University of Maine, and Maine Law & Civics Education, University of Southern Maine, with support from the Division of Family Health, Maine CDC, Department of Health and Human Services.
Peer Mediation Session for Stan and Susan This 7-page scripted role-play illustrates the peer mediation process. It is designed to be used in the classroom with middle school age youth. It is based on scenario wherein Stan tripped, saw Susan laughing with her friend Misty, and immediately jumped to the conclusion that Susan was making fun of him. He called her a bad name in revenge. In classroom use, this activity may be preceded by the same scenario being played out as a negotiation between Stan and Susan. See related document "A Negotiation between Stan and Susan" for more details on the conflict.
Mediation@MIT Basic Mediation Training Slides and Scenarios This document accompanies the Mediation@MIT Basic Mediation Training Trainers' Manual (Higher Education). It contains all the slides utilized by instructors in the Basic Mediation Training. The lectures are NOT continuous slide presentations but consist primarily of discussion and exercises. The slides are used at intervals to reinforce key points, and to alternate between aural and visual instruction techniques. Part Two also contains the instructions to parties in all role plays or simulations. The General Instructions are the same for both parties, the material they both know and know that the other knows. The Private Instructions contain material known only to that party, which may or may not be revealed during the course of the mediation, including information about motivation and personal style of the character.
Evaluating Your Conflict Resolution Education Program: A Guide for Educators and Evaluators This 258-page pdf manual is intended to help educators and/or evaluators conduct evaluations of their conflict resolution education programs. Because much of the funding from the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management and the Ohio Department of Education supports school programs, most attention was placed on helping users evaluate these kinds of programs. The manual was prepared as a workbook so that it should be easy to use. Worksheets are included throughout the beginning parts of the manual to help users identify the program goals and evaluation goals they want to emphasize. When offered, questionnaires and interview questions are presented so that the user can simply copy the forms from the book and use them in a school.
Building for the future: Connecting up with high school mediation program alumni Pdf article from Conflict Management in Higher Education Report, (Volume 1, Number 1, Jan/Feb 2000), which puts a call out to people and organizations interested in helping to build a national networking system for high school mediation program alumni as they continue their eduacation often at colleges and universities with no mediation programs.
Peer mediator training: Student workbook 27-page pdf student workbook for peer mediation training. This is the high-quality version designed for printing. Discusses topics such as communication skills, conflict resolution and mediation procedures (with role play exercises), and agreement writing. Intended for use as part of a 1-day peer mediation training.
Peer mediation training for schools: Best practice guidelines (UK) 8-page Word document which presents best practice guidelines developed by the Peer Mediation Network in the UK. Paper begins with a definition of peer mediation and then outlines best practices for many aspects of training.
Conflict resolution education and Social emotional learning programs: A critical comparison Pdf document that compares and contrasts Social and emotional learning programs to Conflict resolution education, with bibliography. Part of the results of the National Curriculum Integration Project.
Peer Mediation Introduction w Videos from Learning and Teaching Scotland Peer mediation involves pupils in schools helping their peers to resolve disagreements. It is a practical application of a restorative approach for pupils.This online resource from Learning and Teaching Scotland provides an introduction to this restorative approach with guidance, resources and videos that describe putting peer mediation into action.
PROS: Peaceful resolutions for Oklahoma [high school] students: Student edition 46-page PDF high school student manual designed to teach peer-mediation techniques as well as communication skills, leadership and problem solving.
Multi-party roommate conflict Pdf article from Conflict Management in Higher Education Report, Volume 5, Number 1, (Sept 2004), which presents a "roleplay for a graduate course in interpersonal and small group conflict resolution, while it could be used for a mediation roleplay, it's written to be a 4-5 person small group conflict with no formal, outside intervenor, the expectation is that students can represent the characters and still demonstrate conflict resolution skills."
SCORE Quick Reference Guide to Peer Mediation for Students 10-page guide for student peer mediators that reviews the mediation process and provides practice tips. Developed for use by the Student Conflict Resolution Experts (SCORE) program in Massachusetts as "a quick reference guide for students to accompany their training".
Pioneer Peace Pack This resource collection includes information and activities for groups of 10 - 12 year olds who are participating in the U.K.-based outdoor education group known as the Woodcraft Folk. The resource includes instructor overviews and associated handouts and reading materials for activities focused on the following themes: Bullying, Conflict Resolution, War Toys, War Detectives, Child Soldiers and Positive About Peace. The Conflict Resolution module alone includes 6 separate activities. The Woodcraft Folk group describes their goals as follows: "Our aim is to have great fun, but also to try and develop children’s self-confidence and build their awareness of society around them. Through our activities, outings and camps we help our members understand important issues like the environment, world debt and global conflict and, in recent years, we have focused on sustainable development. By encouraging children to think, we hope they will help build a peaceful, fairer world."
M.O.V.E.: Mind over violence everywhere 88-page PDF manual developed to provide learning materials on violence prevention for youth with low literacy skills. The objectives of M.O.V.E. are to: Increase awareness of violence and develop skills to prevent violence, increase literacy through non-traditional learning activities, encourage youth to participate actively and assist the facilitator in recording the workshop responses. The program is organized into five sections: Learning and thinking styles, Communication rights and responsibilities, Peer mediation, Resisting peer pressure and Social action.
Schools conflict resolution and mediation competition: Manual 27-page pdf manual for SCRAM a, "Year 9 & 10 interactive role play program which encourages the development of mediation skills in secondary school students. The mediation is based on fictitious community based scenario. A team of 6-8 students is given background information on an issue which is causing conflict among 4 participants. The team uses this information to practice their mediation skills." Objectives for the students include: Learning to manage conflict in a productive way, to encourage the development of self esteem through self awareness, to encourage the development of self esteem through self responsibility, to encourage the parties to identify the issues that are in dispute, considering options, working towards an agreement that will meet the needs of all parties and encouraging the development of self esteem. For practice training scenarios go to: http://www.scram.business.ecu.edu.au/scenario.htm To find out more information about SCRAM see their website at: http://www.scram.business.ecu.edu.au/
World of CRE Powerpoint presentation examining peer mediation.
11 Conflict Simulations for Peer Mediation Role-Plays An 11-page classroom handout featuring 11 conflict scenarios that can be used by students to develop role-plays depicting a mediation. Includes peer mediation process script that walks students through a basic mediation process. The author explains "these Conflict Simulations were culled from over 150 written and oral interviews about He Said/She Said situations the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students at Clinton Middle School in Anderson County, Tennessee, faced during the 1998-1999 school year. A few of the simulation situations came from descriptions in books, TV talk shows, or personal conversations with teachers and middle school students in other parts of the country."