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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 [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.
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".
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."
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Multi-party roommate conflict Pdf article from Conflict Management in Higher Education Report, Volume 5, Number 1, (Sept 2004), which presents a "roleplay for a graduate course in interpersonal and small group conflict resolution, while it could be used for a mediation roleplay, it's written to be a 4-5 person small group conflict with no formal, outside intervenor, the expectation is that students can represent the characters and still demonstrate conflict resolution skills."