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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
PROS: Peaceful resolutions for Oklahoma [elementary] students: School-based peer mediation curric 83-page PDF manual which helps teachers and trainers introduce elementary school students to peer mediation and conflict and teach communication and problem solving skills.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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".
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.
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.
Recommended standards for school-based peer mediation programs Twenty-eight page document presenting standards for school-based peer mediation programs that are designed to enhance quality and stimulate thought among youth and adult participants in peer mediation programs. Aids in the creation and implementation of programs, designing curricula and evaluation procedures, funding and promoting programs, providing professional development and setting guidelines for research.
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.
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.
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."
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.