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

Let’s Resolve Conflicts Together: Middle School Classroom Activities

A 30-page guide filled with suggested activities designed to be used during Conflict Management Week (May 1-7, 2000) in Ohio Middle Schools. In the middle school classroom, making use of themes of conflict can invigorate subject areas across the curriculum. This activity booklet/guide offers ideas for improving the overall climate of the school and for learning how to resolve conflicts in the classroom. The guide first presents ideas for drawing attention to issues of conflict and peace. It then provides activities for helping students become aware of underlying causes of conflict. The guide cites the six steps to conflict resolution and states that, in addition to learning steps of a conflict management process, teachers may also work with students to enhance communication skills used in conflict management. According to the guide, these skills include understanding blocks to communication, using “I” statements, and improving listening skills–resources to teach these skills are included in the guide. The guide is divided into four broad sections: School-Wide Activities; Learning about Conflict; Communication Activities; and Conflict Management across the Curriculum.

Let’s Resolve Conflicts Together: Elementary School Classroom Activities

A 30-page guide filled with suggested activities designed to be used during Conflict Management Week (May 1-7, 2000) in Ohio Elementary Schools. This activity booklet/guide first offers ideas for how schools can engage in school-wide activities. The guide then describes a process for improving the overall climate of the school through the use of the classroom meetings. Six steps to conflict resolution are offered in the guide, as well as activities for helping students become aware of underlying causes of conflict. According to the guide, in addition to learning steps of a conflict management process, teachers may also work with students to enhance the communication skills used in conflict management; these include understanding blocks to communication, being aware of nonverbal communication, using “I” statements, and using active listening skills. The guide is divided into four broad sections: School-Wide Activities; Learning about Conflict; Communication Activities; and Conflict Management across the Curriculum.

The Dignity in Schools Campaign Model Code on Education and Dignity

The Dignity in Schools Campaign Model Code on Education and Dignity presents a set of recommended policies to schools, districts and legislators to help end school pushout and protect the human rights to education, dignity, participation and freedom from discrimination. The Code is the culmination of several years of research and dialogue with students, parents, educators, advocates and researchers who came together to envision a school system that supports all children and young people in reaching their full potential. Five chapters organize the 104 page document. They cover Education, Participation, Dignity, Freedom from Discrimination, and Monitoring and Accountability.

In October 2013, DSC released a new revised version of the Model Code, which includes new sections on: social and emotional learning, prevention and response to bullying behavior, reducing tickets and summonses issued in school, reducing racial disparities in discipline through culturally responsive classroom management, creating safe schools for LGBTQ students and other topics. A community toolkit was also created to help groups make good use of the Model Code. It is available separately.

Recommended Guidelines for Effective Conflict Resolution Education Programs

These Recommended Guidelines for Effective Conflict Resolution Education Programs, released in 2002, are the product of work begun by a committee of the Conflict Resolution Education Network (CREnet) and completed by the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR). The Guidelines outline how elementary and secondary school teachers, administrators, conflict resolution education practitioners, and policy makers can measure progress toward effective conflict resolution education programs. By addressing core goals, components, content and qualities of effective school-based conflict resolution education programs, these Guidelines are intended to also help leaders to make decisions about the resources and strategies needed to support such educational programs in their schools.

Conflict Resolution and U.S. History – Sample Lesson – War Between Mexico and U.S.

This 111-page pdf provides a full kit for a classroom activity focused on learning U.S. history within a conflict resolution framework. The activity, focused around the war between the United States and Mexico in the 1840s, sets up a negotiation and mediation between two historical figures from the period. The activity comes from Volume One: The Colonial Period through Reconstruction, the first of two volumes available from the NJ Center for Civic and Law-Related Education for teaching conflict resolution and U.S. history. The two volume set was created with supportive funding from the Ford Foundation. More than 25 leading historians helped to provide a rich historical background as the materials were developed and presented. More than 200 teachers from 15 states participated in the institutes and piloted the materials in their classrooms. More information available at

Inside Contexts – Encountering Conflict

This guide for educators explores the concept of conflict as a way to teach English in an interesting way. It was developed by the Victoria Association for the Teaching of English. It uses four texts that explore different types and levels of conflict against a variety of settings, modern and historical. The texts are The Secret River by Kate Grenville, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Paradise Road by Bruce Beresford, and The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif by R Hillman and N Mazari.

GIRC Annotated Bibliography of Conflict Resolution Resources

An annotated bibliography from the Global Issues Resource Center on conflict resolution resources covering the topics of bullying prevention, classroom management, and trauma & violence prevention. Includes books, curricula, videotapes, simulations and games.

Teaching about peace through children’s literature

16-page PDF article in which author, Stan Steiner discusses teaching about peace and conflict resolution using children’s literature. He believes that the instructor should: have more books than readers, have a wide variety of books in terms of level of difficulty, length and points of view and make sure that readers consume a number of books. Steiner mentions small group discussions vs large group discussions, providing readers with open ended questions prior to reading assignments and being open to differing points of view. The article concludes with a 10-page bibliography.

Conflict Resolution Education Connection teacher’s calendar 2009-2010

24-page pdf calendar created by the Conflict Resolution Education for Teacher Education (CRETE) Connection Project and the Association for Conflict Resolution Education Section. “The calendar, designed to be hung by a teacherÌ¢‰â‰ã¢s desk, provides short takes on CRE tools each month along with corresponding Special Days related to conflict resolution or peacemaking, CRE catalog resources, online links to the CRE website and other great collections of classroom activities and professional development tools. The calendar skips the summer and ends with the month of September to welcome folks back to the new school year!”


Managing and resolving conflicts effectively in schools and classrooms

A multipart learning module developed by the National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Drug Prevention and School Safety Coordinators which contains a five-day curriculum which providing educators and administrators with the skills and techniques to manage and eventually reduce conflict in schools. Day 1 addresses conflict and conflict management in education, day 2 presents curriculum infusion and peer mediation, day 3 introduces the peaceable school and classroom, day 4 presents best practices in conflict resolution education and day 5 helps educators develop a conflict management plan. Includes annotated bibliography and list of CRE organizations and programs.

Inter-agency P.E.P.: Skills for constructive living: Analytical review of selected peace education

271-page pdf document which “is one of the components of the Inter-Agency Peace Education Programme, the programme is designed for education managers of ministries dealing with both formal and non-formal education and for agencies which implement education activities on behalf of the government … this document presents a compilation of resource materials in peace education … the purpose is to give an overview of materials used by practitioners and provide references for those searching materials.”

Conflict resolution across the curriculum

Pdf article reprinted from the Aug/Sept 1997 Issue (Vol 79) of The Fourth R, The Newsletter of the National Association for Mediation in Education which creates an argument for the teaching of conflict resolution in colleges and universities in every academic discipline as a necessary skill for graduation much like basic writing skills classes. “Ultimately, conflict resolution across the curriculum suggests that good conflict resolution skills need broader integration into the culture in which we live, conflict resolution must not simply be the private domain of specialists, it must be a way in which everyone learns to solve problems, it must become a part of every discipline just as good writing is a part of every discipline.”

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.