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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
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.
A negotiation between Stan and Susan This 7-page scripted role-play illustrates the six-steps of the Negotiation 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.
Good Practice Guidelines for Peer Mediation Initiatives A one-page summary of guidelines for best practice for peer mediation program initiatives. Based on a larger evaluation of Peer Mediation Programs in New South Wales Government Schools published in 2003
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.
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.
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.
PROS: Peaceful resolution for Oklahoma [high school] students 106-page PDF manual designed to help teachers and trainers teach high school students the art of peer mediation. Includes definitions, exercises to improve communication skills, leadership and problem solving.
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.
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.
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."
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.
High School Mediation Manual - Spanish Language Edition This mediation training manual, developed by the Washington Heights Inwood Coalition Mediation Program, is the product of ten years experience teaching mediation skills to secondary students in New York. The school program worked mostly with Latino students, newcomers to the country. So the trainings have been in Spanish. The material and activities of this program are designed to prepare high school students as mediators. The basic mediation skills taught and practiced are the same as in adult training.  It updates and adapts the lessons and activities to the level of development and interests of students.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.