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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
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.
Peaceful Conflict Resolution Guide for Primary and Secondary Schools (Croatia) This training guide for schools consists of three primary modules: 1. damiri/ice - Conflict and Communication 2. spajalice - Peer Mediation 3. kazimiri/ice - Peer Education The guide is the result of the work on the project Peaceful Problem Solving in Schools and Trauma Alleviation, Youth for Youth - Peer Mediation, initiated and supported by UNICEF Office for Croatia in co-operation with Croatian Ministry of Education and Sports. The Project was carried out by NGO "Mali korak" - Centre for Culture of Peace and Non-violence Zagreb. In the school year of 1999/2000 it was implemented in 52 primary schools, most of which were schools of special social care in previous war affected areas. The purpose of this program model was to change attitudes, behaviors and experiences related to conflict and violence: improve coping with problem and conflict situations, develop awareness of prejudice, of one’s own rights as well as the rights of others both in those who participate in the program (students) and those who deliver it (teachers).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Session for Stan and Susan This 7-page scripted role-play illustrates the peer mediation 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. In classroom use, this activity may be preceded by the same scenario being played out as a negotiation between Stan and Susan. See related document "A Negotiation between Stan and Susan" for more details on the conflict.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mediation@MIT Basic Mediation Training Slides and Scenarios This document accompanies the Mediation@MIT Basic Mediation Training Trainers' Manual (Higher Education). It contains all the slides utilized by instructors in the Basic Mediation Training. The lectures are NOT continuous slide presentations but consist primarily of discussion and exercises. The slides are used at intervals to reinforce key points, and to alternate between aural and visual instruction techniques. Part Two also contains the instructions to parties in all role plays or simulations. The General Instructions are the same for both parties, the material they both know and know that the other knows. The Private Instructions contain material known only to that party, which may or may not be revealed during the course of the mediation, including information about motivation and personal style of the character.
PROS: Peaceful resolutions for Oklahoma [elementary] students: Student edition 46-page PDF (student edition) manual which introduces elementary school students to peer mediation and conflict and teaches communication and problem solving skills.
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
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.
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".