Does it work?: The case for conflict resolution education in our nation’s schools

In March, 2000, a gathering of educators, practitioners, and researchers took place in Washington DC in a research symposia sponsored by the United States Department of Education and convened by the Conflict Resolution Education Network. This group came to share their colective knowledge about CRE research, how the research is informing practice in the field of CRE, and what direction future research should take. This 155-page manuscript is a product of this gathering.
The chapter structure is as follows:
Chapter 1: Conflict Resolution Education in the U.S.
Chapter 2: Impact on Students: Conflict Resolution Education’s Proven Benefits for Students
Chapter 3: Impact on Educators: Conflict Resolution Education and the Evidence Regarding Educators
Chapter 4: Impact on Diverse Populations: How CRE Has Not Addressed the Needs of Diverse Populations
Chapter 5: Impact of CRE on School and Classroom Climate
Chapter 6: Conflict Resolution Education: Issues of Institutionalization
Chapter 7: Does It Work? Shared Insights and Future Directions

Useful Tools for Engaging Young People in Participatory Evaluation

This 42-page pdf provides an overview of strategies for involving young people in evaluation research and then provides details on a specific set of tools that have proved particularly useful. Included are activities such as Card Visualization, Smiley-face Scale, Testimonials/Stories, Impact Drawings, Historical Timeline, Social and Community Mapping, Trend Analysis and Force-field Analysis. The guide is illustrated with photographs of various youth groups engaged in these evaluation activities. Also provided are some examples of ice-breakers and energizers to help engage and motivate participants.

Measuring Bullying Victimization, Perpetration, and Bystander Experiences: A Compendium

This compendium (128-page pdf) provides researchers, prevention specialists, and health educators with tools to measure a range of bullying experiences: bully perpetration, bully victimization, bully-victim experiences, and bystander experiences. The compendium represents a starting point from which researchers can consider a set of psychometrically sound measures for assessing self-reported incidence and prevalence of a variety of bullying experiences.

Developing and Assessing School Culture: A New Level of Accountability for Schools

This 8-page CEP position paper argues that education in our nation is at a defining moment, one with the potential to reshape our national conversation about school improvement. Successful schools–ones that foster both academic excellence and ethics–have positive school cultures (or “climates”). CEP defines a positive school culture broadly to include all aspects of school life, including a safe and caring environment, a powerful pedagogy and curriculum, student motivation and engagement, professional faculty culture and relational trust, parent partnerships, and community collaboration. The paper presents case studies and educational research showing the impact of school culture on students’ academic achievement and social behavior. Because a positive school culture is central to student success, the authors argue we must address how to help all schools develop effective cultures. Since what gets measured matters, schools must also be held accountable for having positive school cultures and must have tools for assessing their culture. If we are to prepare students to be lifelong learners and 21st century ethical citizens, we must develop a new “school report card” that includes not only test scores but also concrete indicators of the quality of school culture.

Kit of Tools For Participatory Research and Evaluation with Children, Young People and Adults

Four countries in four regions where Save the Children Norway is working have participated in a Thematic Evaluation on Children’s Participation in armed conflict, post conflict and peace building – Bosnia-Herzegovina, Guatemala, Nepal and Uganda. The research tools developed and used in this project are contained in this ‘kit’ which has been developed collaboratively by the global researchers and the four country teams. It has been enriched, adapted and expanded by contributions from the children, young people and adults. For each tool the objectives are explained, the time and materials needed, key steps to be taken and facilitators notes. There is also a section where users have made their comments on the usefulness, or otherwise, of the tool.

Assessment toolkit for bullying, harassment and peer relations at school

170-page pdf “designed for teachers, school administrators, and ministries of education… Developed in partnership with the Canadian Initiative for the Prevention of Bullying (National Crime Prevention Strategy), this free kit provides a standard way to measure the nature and prevalence of school peer relationship problems, standards for quality programs, and a common set of tools to assess the impact of school-based programs. From a public health perspective, it provides an overview of what works and what doesn’t, foundations for best practice standards, and outlines the core school components. CPHA’s toolkit includes tips for students, parents, teachers and administrators in the form of a handout and checklist that can be posted on the fridge at home, in the student’s desk and on the chalkboard at school.”

Restorative Practices in Catholic School Communities: Audit Tools

33-page pdf providing 9 different assessment instruments for schools developing restorative practice initiatives. Prepared in Australia, “The…Audit Tools for Restorative Practices have been developed by the Student Wellbeing Team of the Catholic Education Office (Melbourne) for use by the Core Leadership Team and staff in the school. The purpose of the tools is to provide…both quantitative and qualitative data regarding the implementation of Restorative Practices strategies at the school level.”

Conflict Resolution Education in Indonesia: Mapping Adaptations and Meanings

This study, available as a pdf, examined the ways professors in teacher education departments in two universities in East Java translated and adapted Conflict Resolution Education (CRE) methods. To map the ways they adapted and understood cooperative learning (CL) and non-coercive classroom management (NCCM), a critical ethnography (a blend of ethnography and action research) was done based on Carspecken’s (1996) design. It was conducted from October 2004 to February 2008 in two universities in East Java. The results were based upon field work that included passive and participatory observations, semi-structured interviews, document analysis, surveys, and critical dialogues with primary informants. Analysis was framed using Roger’s (1995) diffusion stages. Findings indicated that although there were some very serious challenges to the adoption of these two innovations, there were points where bridges could be built in both practice and understanding. Barriers included informants’ struggles to shift from teacher-centered to student-centered instruction while still maintaining culturally prescribed expressions of authority. Related themes were challenges instructors encountered in engaging students through facilitation practices and reciprocal communication.

Evaluation of respectful conflict resolution and peer mediation program

35-page pdf report of project whose “primary purpose is to provide data for schools and their surrounding communities to become more peaceful by empowering teachers, students, parents, and community leaders to constructively address conflict and violence in their families, schools, and communities through integrated, sustainable, and comprehensive respectful conflict resolution skills programs … a total of seven schools were visited for this study, seven administrators, six parents, and twenty-nine students participated, interviews were conducted with school administrators and focus groups were conducted with parents and students.”

Public policy and conflict resolution in education project: Final report, July 2002

17 page pdf report of the The Western Justice Center Foundation, Pasadena, California, in partnership with the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), which “undertook a project funded by the Compton Foundation to develop recommendations for integrating conflict resolution education (CRE) throughout California public schools. We interviewed and met with relevant practitioners, educators, policymakers and others to assess needs and gather their views with respect to CRE and public policy.”

CRE/PE research project

18-page Powerpoint Presentation given at the Second International Summit on Conflict Resolution which outlined, “A session for team members working on an international research collaboration exploring the state of Conflict Resolution Education and Peace Education around the world.”

Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes, Behaviors, and Influences Among Youths (2nd Ed)

This 373-page compendium, available as a pdf, provides researchers and prevention specialists with a set of tools to assess violence-related beliefs, behaviors, and influences, as well as to evaluate programs to prevent youth violence. Although this compendium contains more than 170 measures, it does not claim to be an exhaustive listing of available measures.

Most of the measures in this compendium are intended for use with youths between the ages of 11 and 24 years, to assess such factors as serious violent and delinquent behavior, conflict resolution strategies, social and emotional competencies, peer influences, parental monitoring and supervision, family relationships, exposure to violence, collective efficacy, and neighborhood characteristics. The compendium also contains a number of scales and assessments developed for use with children between the ages of 5 and 10 years, to measure factors such as aggressive fantasies, beliefs supportive of aggression, attributional biases, prosocial behavior, and aggressive behavior. When parent and teacher versions of assessments are available, they are included as well.

Campus conflict hotspot mapping

Pdf article from Conflict Management in Higher Education Report, Volume 3, Number 3, (May 2003), which discusses the idea of Hotspot mapping, the “opportunistic sampling of campus community members to get their input on where conflict occurs on campus and what its relative intensity may be.”

Researching campus conflict management culture(s): A role for ombuds?

Pdf article from Conflict Management in Higher Education Report, Volume 3, Number 1, (Oct 2002), whose “purpose in this article is to briefly explore a somewhat expanded role set for the ombuds, one that includes the ombuds as researcher … I suggest here that the ombuds is in a unique position to serve as a guide or “primary informant” … to researchers interested in campus organizational culture and subculture, especially as it relates to conflict-related behaviors and beliefs.” Includes bibliography.