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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Conflict resolver to conflict creator: Thoughts on writing mediation roleplays Pdf article from Conflict Management in Higher Education Report, Volume 3, Number 3, (May 2003), which discusses "roleplays [which] were designed to help prepare the newly emerging student CPR (Campus Peer Resolution) Team based in WSU's [Wayne State University] Counseling and Psychological Services office, roleplays are a significant part of the education process, they play a vital role in training mediators to help parties consider positions from the other side."
SCORE peer mediation guide for students: Student conflict resolution experts 34-page pdf manual which "guides students through the principles and techniques for successful mediation. The content of the student manual reflects that of the coordinators’ manual." With lessons in introduction to mediation, building trust, listening and troubleshooting.
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.
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.
Schools conflict resolution and mediation competition: Manual 27-page pdf manual for SCRAM a, "Year 9 & 10 interactive role play program which encourages the development of mediation skills in secondary school students. The mediation is based on fictitious community based scenario. A team of 6-8 students is given background information on an issue which is causing conflict among 4 participants. The team uses this information to practice their mediation skills." Objectives for the students include: Learning to manage conflict in a productive way, to encourage the development of self esteem through self awareness, to encourage the development of self esteem through self responsibility, to encourage the parties to identify the issues that are in dispute, considering options, working towards an agreement that will meet the needs of all parties and encouraging the development of self esteem. For practice training scenarios go to: http://www.scram.business.ecu.edu.au/scenario.htm To find out more information about SCRAM see their website at: http://www.scram.business.ecu.edu.au/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
World of CRE Powerpoint presentation examining peer mediation.
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.