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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.

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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
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.
Recommended standards for school-based peer mediation programs Twenty-eight page document presenting standards for school-based peer mediation programs that are designed to enhance quality and stimulate thought among youth and adult participants in peer mediation programs. Aids in the creation and implementation of programs, designing curricula and evaluation procedures, funding and promoting programs, providing professional development and setting guidelines for research.
Young Community Mediators Peer to Peer Mediation Curriculum Young Community Mediators is a regional EU-based group established with the purpose of equipping young people age 16-30 with the knowledge and skills to become peer mediators, empowering the youth of society to play a greater role in addressing conflict in the community around them thus helping to create a brighter future.  This 85-page PDF guide initially focuses on the trainer through a training delivery support-focused section. Following on from the tutor support guidelines is the Young Community Mediators Peer to Peer Mediation Curriculum which consists of five modules. The first Module is designed as an introduction module where participants are welcomed on to the programme and facilitated to engage as a group. They are introduced to the area of conflict, mediation and to the peer to peer mediation process. At the initial stage the trainer will conduct an audit of the participant’s level of understanding and knowledge of peer to peer mediation. Modules 2-5 are concentrated on the main themes and skills required to deliver a youth peer to peer mediation resolution process successfully. The modules are; - Introduction & Welcome - Understanding Conflict - Peer Mediation & Listening Skills - Overview and process involved in the Peer Mediation Event - Decision Making & Teamwork The modules are each designed as 4-hour peer mediation training sessions. Each module commences with a tutor module overview containing a module descriptor with the individual learning objectives/outcomes. Learning objectives/outcomes spell out exactly what should be achieved by the learning event.
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.
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."
IREX Conflict Prevention and Peer Mediation Toolkit The Conflict Prevention and Peer Mediation Toolkit provides the training notes, handouts, sample agendas, and resource templates needed to initiate a peer mediation program for youth. IREX and partner organization Foundation for Tolerance International (FTI) created the Conflict Prevention and Peer Mediation Toolkit to support the creation of peer mediation programs at schools in Kyrgyzstan as part of the Youth Leadership for Peace Project funded by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). After receiving training on conflict prevention, peer mediation, and use of the Toolkit, teachers and youth from the Batken and Chui regions of Kyrgyzstan initiated peer mediation programs at 16 schools. From January – June 2013, peer mediators held more than 60 mediations, with 90% of mediations resulting in a signed mediation agreement.
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."
Peer Mediation Invitational Coaching Information from WJC This web page provides sample materials used to host a Peer Mediation Invitational Event. The Western Justice Center Peer Mediation Invitational is an annual event and an opportunity to increase and deepen nonviolence and conflict resolution training for students who serve as peer mediators on their campuses.Ê During the invitational, students from all over Los Angeles County participate in demonstration sessions where they take on the role of disputing parties as well as the role of mediator, managing each state of the mediation from welcoming the parties to writing the agreement. Attorneys, judges, professional mediators and peers provide feedback and coaching so the students' skills can be recognized and improved.
Mediating a Better Solution A 5-page article on peer mediation written for principals. It appeared in the magazine Principal Leadership as part of a monthly column entitled "Counseling 101" that is written by members of the National Association of School Psychologists. Includes a case study exploring the need for improved referral system for a peer mediation program.
Institutional and Program/Practitioner Guidelines For Conflict Management in Higher Education Document (30-page pdf) provides a set of guidelines designed to support the development of comprehensive, educational, integrated and conflict-friendly approaches to managing conflict and disputes in institutions of higher education. The target audience includes key decision makers such as senior administrators, deans and department heads, ombudspersons, anti-harassment officers, housing and security administrators, faculty, student affairs professionals, and various frontline conflict services staff. The consensus document was developed by a national working group including the full spectrum of campus conflict resolvers. Presents a set of nine core principles that are elaborated on reflecting best practices in the higher education ADR field. Includes appendix with resource links.
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.
In the mix lesson plan: A primer on peer mediation Web resource "designed to introduce students to the process of mediation. If Peer Mediation is an ongoing program at your school, this lesson can be used to inform students of what they can expect if they choose to solve a problem through mediation. It can also be used to encourage students to train to become mediators. If Peer Mediation is new to your school, this lesson can be the jumping-off point to bringing a training program into your building. If possible, the PBS In the Mix episode http://to.pbs.org/2sX2aD2 should be used because it shows an actual mediation (re-enacted) and shares viewpoints from both the participants and the student mediators."
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.
My Peer Mediators Handbook A 15-page booklet designed to support trained peer mediators as they carry out their work. Topics include referrals, the mediation process, suggestions for a mediation service, some guidelines for good practice, what ifs, and help and support.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.