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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
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.
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.
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.
How to Have a Conference - Coloring Book An 8-page pdf coloring book written and illustrated by Friends School of Minnesota 5th grader Patrick Raines. It is designed to introduce students to the conference meeting (conflict resolution meeting) used by the school to resolve student disputes.
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.
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.
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 Mediation Role-play Script: Crush Stealer "Crush Stealer" is a full scripted role-play designed to be presented as a skit by students, introducing the peer mediation process in an engaging way. This resource was created by the Student Led Peer Mediation Program,  a pilot and evaluation project by the Conflict Resolution Center of St. Louis supported by a grant from the St. Louis Mental Health Board. Student Led Peer Mediation is a process where trained students act as neutral mediators. Students in conflict work with a trained student mediator to uncover the root causes of their disputes and together decide on fair ways of resolving their conflict. Additional training resources are available at peermediation.net/resources
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.
Peer mediation Powerpoint presentation introducing the concept of peer mediation.
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.
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."
Quick Guide to Implementing a Peer Mediation Program A 7-page pdf providing a series of annotated questions designed to help a school plan for the implementation of a peer mediation program. Draws on the many years of experience gained at School Mediation Associates, a long-standing peer mediation advocacy and training organization.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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 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 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.