Home » Teachers »

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

See MORE VIDEOS...

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 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".
Conflict resolution, peer mediation and young people's relationships: Technical Report 74-page PDF technical report that investigated, "what schools could do to improve young people's relationships with each other, with teachers and with their families. This is a key question for schools, policy-makers and pressure groups; there are currently programmes and initiatives on behaviour, citizenship, healthy schools and many other areas which have relationships at their core. Within that broad area, the team looked in more detail at school programmes that encourage conflict resolution and peer mediation." Ten studies relating to conflict resolution, all completed after 1994, were reviewed in detail.
Creating harmony in the classroom: Building safe and inclusive classrooms for special populations 231-page pdf manual designed "to assist teachers with building an inclusive and safe classroom for all students, including special needs, deaf, and visually impaired youth. Teachers who build an inclusive and safe classroom environment are encouraging all youth to excel academically and socially." Includes chapters on building self-awareness in students, enhancing student's problem-solving skills, mediation in school settings, evaluting conflict resolution education programs and a chapter on resources.
Lessons and activities for Florida's fourth annual mediation celebration 41-page pdf manual which can be used "as a general guide to activities that can be easily incorporated in your classroom to make everyone aware of measures that help ensure peaceful schools ... mediation skills and other methods of conflict resolution are life-long skills that help promote positive interactions among all people ... the intention of this booklet is to help peak your interest and awareness in the area of mediation, and let you see how easily and subtly these concepts can be integrated into the existing curriculum." Includes bibliography.
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.
Helping Children Resolve Peer Conflict Vol 15, Issue 1 of School-Age Connections provides 4-page pdf reviewing research and concepts for understanding children's peer conflicts. Includes 8-step model for assisting children in resolving their conflicts.
Beginning with the Children - A guide to creating a Peace Helpers program, grades K-2 This 73-page guide presents a field-tested, step-by-step process schools can use to train and support young students (K-2) in serving as “peace helpers” in their classrooms. After training sessions to develop their skills in listening, handling feelings, and mediating conflicts, they help their teacher establish a peace corner. Upon request they are available to work in the peace corner, listening to a student who is upset or helping two classmates talk out a conflict. Chapter 1 of the guide describes the Peace Helpers Program at P.S. 24 in Brooklyn, NY, to provide a vision of what's possible. Chapter 2 describes the ingredients for a successful program and a process a school planning team can use to decide whether now is the time for a Peace Helpers Program at their school. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 describe the steps for establishing and sustaining the program, including detailed agendas for workshop sessions to train the peace helpers. The Appendix has handouts for the peace helpers' training and other aids for implementing the program.
Conflict management 12-page pdf document, intended for adults working in school settings, which examines the process of mediation for conflict resolution, includes sample peer mediation journal.
Curriculum in mediation, A: Lesson plans gateway 5-page pdf document which presents a teacher's guide for training peer mediators, provides links to workbook lesson plans for conflict management, communication skills, role playing exercises and agreement writing.
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.
PROS: Peaceful resolutions for Oklahoma [elementary] students: Student edition 46-page PDF (student edition) manual which introduces elementary school students to peer mediation and conflict and teaches communication and problem solving skills.
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
Peaceful Conflict Resolution Guide for Primary and Secondary Schools (Croatia) This training guide for schools consists of three primary modules: 1. damiri/ice - Conflict and Communication 2. spajalice - Peer Mediation 3. kazimiri/ice - Peer Education The guide is the result of the work on the project Peaceful Problem Solving in Schools and Trauma Alleviation, Youth for Youth - Peer Mediation, initiated and supported by UNICEF Office for Croatia in co-operation with Croatian Ministry of Education and Sports. The Project was carried out by NGO "Mali korak" - Centre for Culture of Peace and Non-violence Zagreb. In the school year of 1999/2000 it was implemented in 52 primary schools, most of which were schools of special social care in previous war affected areas. The purpose of this program model was to change attitudes, behaviors and experiences related to conflict and violence: improve coping with problem and conflict situations, develop awareness of prejudice, of one’s own rights as well as the rights of others both in those who participate in the program (students) and those who deliver it (teachers).
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 Student Handbook - Mediator Mentors 58 page mediation training manual in .doc format used to train peer mediators working at the elementary school level. Used as part of the Mediator Mentor program at California State University Fresno. The program is a university-public school partnership in which future teachers, counselors, social workers and school psychologists support the development of conflict resolution skills in school children. Teachers and students in the public schools receive eight to 10 hours of communication and conflict resolution training and university students coach and mentor at lunch periods. More than 5,000 children and teachers have participated in the program as of Spring 2010.
PROS: Peaceful resolutions for Oklahoma [elementary] students: School-based peer mediation curric 83-page PDF manual which helps teachers and trainers introduce elementary school students to peer mediation and conflict and teach communication and problem solving skills.
Peer mediator training: Student workbook (web version) 27-page pdf web version of student workbook for peer mediation training. Discusses topics such as communication skills, conflict resolution and mediation procedures (with role play exercises), and agreement writing. Designed 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.
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."
Mediation@MIT Basic Mediation Training Trainers' Manual (Higher Education) A mediation training manual for use in higher education settings. According to the developers, "this Manual is intended to serve as a guide for the trainer(s) leading a Basic Training in Mediation for participants with no prior mediation experience. It reflects the style of mediation and the style of teaching we use at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This version contains the changes and improvements we have made in training over 250 faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduates over the years."