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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
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.
Conflict Resolution Education: A Guide to Implementing Programs in Schools, Youth-Serving Orgs A manual in pdf format providing an overview of various models for conflict resolution education program implementation. The first chapter defines conflict as a natural condition and examines the origins of conflict, responses to conflict, and the outcomes of those responses. It introduces four approaches to implementing conflict resolution education. Each of the next four chapters discusses one of these approaches and presents examples of programs that use the approach. One chapter describes an approach to conflict resolution education characterized by devoting a specific time to teaching the foundation abilities, principles, and one or more of the problemsolving processes in a separate course or distinct curriculum. Another chapter describes an approach in which selected, trained individuals provide neutral third-party facilitation in conflict resolution. A chapter presents an approach that incorporates conflict resolution education into the core subject areas of the curriculum and into classroom management strategies, and another chapter presents a comprehensive whole-school methodology that builds on the previous approach. The next two chapters address conflict resolution education in settings other than traditional schools. The final three chapters address more overarching topics: conflict resolution research and evaluation; a developmental sequence of behavioral expectations in conflict resolution; and the process of developing, implementing, and sustaining a conflict resolution program.
A Peer Mediation Needs Analysis For Schools A three-page worksheet providing a series of questions for schools to consider prior to implementing a peer mediation program.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Squash It!: Routes to Mediation for Young People by Young People This 19-page booklet was written by young people associated with PeerLink who wanted to share their mediation expertise and get other young people mediating. Print copies available via http://www.peerlink.org.uk The guide addresses questions like: What are the key skills you need to be a good mediator? How do you plan a mediation session? What should you do if mediation goes wrong?
Does it work?: The case for conflict resolution education in our nation's schools In March, 2000, a gathering of educators, practitioners, and researchers took place in Washington DC in a research symposia sponsored by the United States Department of Education and convened by the Conflict Resolution Education Network. This group came to share their colective knowledge about CRE research, how the research is informing practice in the field of CRE, and what direction future research should take. This 155-page manuscript is a product of this gathering. The chapter structure is as follows: Chapter 1: Conflict Resolution Education in the U.S. Chapter 2: Impact on Students: Conflict Resolution Education's Proven Benefits for Students Chapter 3: Impact on Educators: Conflict Resolution Education and the Evidence Regarding Educators Chapter 4: Impact on Diverse Populations: How CRE Has Not Addressed the Needs of Diverse Populations Chapter 5: Impact of CRE on School and Classroom Climate Chapter 6: Conflict Resolution Education: Issues of Institutionalization Chapter 7: Does It Work? Shared Insights and Future Directions
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.
Ten Lessons for Teaching Conflict Resolution Skills A teaching packet provided by the Fairfax County Public Schools and the Student Safety and Wellness Office consisting of 10 lessons designed to help students learn conflict resolution skills. Each activity takes about an hour to complete and is designed to be interactive. As the authors note: "These skills are important for many reasons. Not only are they essential life skills, but they also help each individual acquire and maintain relationships, help make and maintain cohesive families, and increase the probability of attaining a job through communication and collaboration skills. These are pro-social skills which, in turn, increase student achievement levels and improve student resiliency." Topics covered include the following. Lesson One: Introduction to Conflict and Types of Conflict Lesson Two: Conflict Styles and Outcomes Lesson Three: Different Points of View, Identifying Biases and Perspectives, Prejudice Awareness Lesson Four: Steps for Solving Your Interpersonal Conflicts Lesson Five: Nonverbal Communication Skills Lesson Six: Communication Lesson Seven: Effective Questioning Techniques Lesson Eight: How to Handle Difficult Conversations Lesson Nine: Problem Solving and Decision Making Lesson Ten: Building Relationships, Developing a Win-Win Outcome Through Communication and Collaboration
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.
Kids Working It Out Resource Appendix A listing of books, publications and websites provided in the appendix to Tricia S. Jones and Randy O. Compton (Eds.) 2003 book Kids Working It Out: Stories and Strategies for Making Peace in Our Schools.
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."
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.