Home » Teachers »

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

See MORE VIDEOS...

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
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."
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.
PROS: Peaceful resolutions for Oklahoma [high school] students: Student edition 46-page PDF high school student manual designed to teach peer-mediation techniques as well as communication skills, leadership and problem solving.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.