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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 Powerpoint presentation introducing the concept of peer mediation.
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.
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/
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Summary of Core Skills For Conflict Work Peaceworkers UK developed this detailed description of the Core Skills they consider essential for Conflict Work and the vocational standards associated with them. Core Skill 1: Research Skills Core Skill 2: Written Communication Core Skill 3: Verbal Communication Core Skill 4: Self-Management Core Skill 5: Conflict Management Core Skill 6: Observation Skills Core Skill 7: Teamwork Core Skill 8: Cultural Sensitivity Core Skill 9: Gender Awareness