On November 2, 2009, House Democrat Bobby Rush from Illinois introduced a proposed Bill that would support mediation and conflict resolution programs in schools. It has been referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor. You can view the text of the bill here.
I’m glad to share with you this delightful event. Our Integration and Development Center for Information and Research (IDC) in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine has been awarded the Max van der Stoel Award for 2009.
In 2001, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands established an award honouring the former OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Mr. Max van der Stoel. The prize is awarded to a person or institution in recognition of extraordinary and outstanding achievements aimed at improving the position of national minorities in the OSCE area. The ceremony will take place on 14th of October 2009 in the Hague.
As a result of funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Community Action Partnership of Riverside County’s Dispute Resolution Center has been able to affect more than 30 schools in Riverside County (California – Palm Springs area) by making peer mediation training available. A story with details about the initiative appears in The Desert Sun. Dana Crawford-Lofton is program manager of the Dispute Resolution Center. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The United States Institute of peace (USIP) is proud to announce the topic for the 2009-10 National Peace Essay Contest: ‘The Effectiveness of Nonviolent Civic Action.’ Students will examine cases where nonviolent methods have been used and discuss under what conditions nonviolent civic actions are most likely to achieve justice, end conflict, or lead to positive political and social change.
First-place state winners of the contest receive scholarships and are invited to Washington for a five-day awards program.
Blogtalkradio, a talk radio podcast – features an interview with Margaret Leeds on CRETE topics. Margaret, a distinguished educator, school administrator, mediator and consultant has 37 years of experience in Conflict Resolution Management Skills. She was centrally involved in the recent San Antonio CRETE training. During the interview she talks about the successes, trials and tribulations in trying to establish programs to bring Conflict Resolution programs to schools and communities. When participating live during a broadcast as a registered user, you can also post questions and comments and blog during the talk radio show.You can check out this audio interview with Margaret Leeds at: http://snipurl.com/leedsaudiointerview
The Conflict Resolution Education in Teacher Education (CRETE) Project and The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) are planning two new contests for Teachers and their students. This year, Conflict Resolution (CR) Day is on October 15. There is a Video Contest, which is geared to College and University students. In this contest, students are invited to create and submit a two minute or less video depicting the power of conflict resolution. The submission time frame for this contest is expected to be September 1, 2009 to October 1, 2009. Complete contest rules are available online.
There is also a Poetry Contest available for CR Day for students in elementary, middle/intermediate and high schools. This contest will take place in the Fall 2009. If you would be interested in receiving information about this contest, teachers need to e-mail representatives from ACR at poetrycontest@ACRnet.org and information will be sent to you.
If you have a unique idea you have developed to enhance conflict resolution education consider sharing your ways to celebrate by submitting the idea at: http://snipurl.com/crdayideas
There is more information about Conflict Resolution Day and the many opportunities that are available for participation and collaboration of ideas. Visit www.ACRnet.org/crday to view listings of past events and to view a sample letter requesting a gubernatorial proclamation. Add your event to ACR’s Web site by completing this form. You also can share a proclamation on the ACR Web site by completing this form.
Let me, please, continue my presentations of our Western CIS partners in PE/CRE activity.
Main programs of Odessa Regional Group of Mediation (Ukraine) in the Sphere of Education.
by Angela Guseva (ORGM)
Odessa Regional Group of Mediation (ORGM) – is a non-governmental organization that was created for propagation and implementation of mediation and other principles, techniques of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the different spheres of social life. ORGM has been working with education system since 1995.
Basic programmes of the last 3 years.
1. Education and familiarizing of school education specialists with principles of Alternative dispute resolution and restorative justice.
2. Implementation of the restorative justice into educational process.
3. Development of Peer Mediation Programmes.
4. Creation of on-line community of educational specialists who implement restorative justice into upbringing and educational process.
5. Implementation of Conflict Studies courses in higher education curricula.
Moldova-Pridnestrovie Professional Groups Share on the Conflict
by Corina Simon (PATRIR)
Republic of Moldova, a small country situated in Eastern Europe, neighboring Romania and Ukraine, is the site of one of the Black Sea region’s protracted conflicts. A violent conflict in 1992 and the creation of a separate, unrecognized state, called the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic, and the lack of settlement in the issue between the involved parties as well as other specific factors has led to present day status quo in the peace process.
The Cooperative Peace Project in Moldova-Pridnestrovie is a project which started in 2006 with the purpose of building foundational capacity, structures and resources to empower civil society in Moldova-Pridnestrovie to actively engage in peace building and conflict transformation work – to address concrete social issues affecting the people of the region.
A new use for mediation skills and techniques that has been growing rapidly is Truancy Mediation.
The National Center for State Courts has been compiling a list of information on the growing number of states (18 and counting) that are offering Truancy Mediation service. You can view the Truancy Mediation Materials online.
A well developed example is the statewide program the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management administers. The Truancy Prevention Through Mediation Program is a statewide effort run in cooperation with The Ohio Supreme Courts Office of Dispute Resolution, school districts and local courts, which is designed to address attendance concerns in public schools. The program has been used in grades K – 12, but the primary focus is on grades K – 8.
A set of Standards of Practice for Truancy Mediation has been developed and is available on the web.
I want to give you a very brief information of two more NGOs in our region that could be the partners for your inter-networking.
1. Patrir, Romania – Peace Action Training and Research Institute of Romania http://www.patrir.ro/index.php?newlang=english . Among other activities they conduct a lot of trainings on peacebuilding for different groups of participants in their International Peace and Development Training Center http://www.patrir.ro/training.
They also have special youth programs like “Youth for Peace” (available in Russian at http://youth-for-peace.blogspot.com/)
2. Inter-regional Social Movement “Conflictological Forum”, Russia. http://www.conflictology.spb.ru/index_en.html An assistance in research and activity in creation of new methods and techonolgies of CR and development of education in CR are among the main tasks of this organisation. Their partner – the chair of Conflict studies of St.-Petersburg State University. It is the only chair that gives CR specialization (the diploma) at the university level within the whole post-soviet space.
I also would like to draw your attention at the III INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS of CONFLICTOLOGISTS organised by Forum and its partners. It will take place at September 30 – October 2, 2009. Deadline: March 1, 2009 More information you can find at their website, listed above.
Some of the most compelling information supporting Social Emotional Learning (SEL) comes from findings of the largest, most scientifically rigorous review of research ever done on interventions that promote children’s social and emotional development. This review of more than 700 studies published through 2007 included school, family, and community interventions designed to promote social and emotional skills in children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 18. This large sample of studies was divided into three main areas: studies about (a) school-based interventions, (b) after-school programs, and (c) programs for families. Results of the school-based research, which included 207 studies of programs involving 288,000 students, is of key relevance here.
In this meta-analysis (study of studies), researchers used statistical techniques to summarize the findings across all the studies and found a broad range of benefits for students:
9% decrease in conduct problems, such as classroom misbehavior and aggression
10% decrease in emotional distress, such as anxiety and depression
9% improvement in attitudes about self, others, and school
23% improvement in social and emotional skills
11% improvement in achievement test scores
The world marked the International Day of Peace (September 21) in different and creative ways as electronic reports have indicated to us. In my case I am happy to report that my colleague, Jasmin Nario-Galace and I celebrated it by launching a book that we conceptualized long ago but had the opportunity to write and complete only recently.
The book is entitled Peace Education: A Pathway to a Culture of Peace. The overall goal of this book is to provide educators with the basic knowledge base as well as the skill- and value-orientations that we associate with educating for a culture of peace. Although this work is primarily directed towards the pre-service and in-service preparation of teachers in the formal school system, it may be used in nonformal education. It can also be a resource for those who want to understand peace issues and some of the ways by which they can help work for change towards a more peaceable society.
Jasmin and I are pleased that we can offer this small contribution to the Global Campaign for Peace Education, which seeks the introduction of peace education in all educational institutions in the world. It is our hope that our work can help in the realization of this vision. This book is firmly rooted in the belief that deliberate and sustained peace education, both in our schools and in our communities, is an important force and pathway towards a culture of peace and the prevention of violent conflict.
This book is based on our study and research as well as on our experiences as teachers and trainers. By writing about what we have come to know and experienced, we are pleased that we are now able to reach a larger community of educators and other concerned people. It is our hope that the ideas contained in this book will circulate widely and promote enthusiasm for both education and action for peace.
We have organized the book into three sections. Part I presents chapters that are meant to help us develop a holistic understanding of peace and peace education. Part II discusses the key themes in peace education. Each chapter starts with a conceptual essay on a theme and is followed by some practical teaching-learning ideas that can either be used in a class or adapted to a community setting. Part III focuses on the peaceable learning climate and the educator, the agent who facilitates the planting and nurturing of the seeds of peace in the learning environment. Finally, the whole school approach is introduced to suggest the need for institutional transformation and the need to move beyond the school towards engagement with other stakeholders in the larger society.
“To reach peace, teach peace!”
Global Issues Resource Center announces the availability of the 1st Report to the Nation on Youth Courts and Teen Courts (MS Word doc). This national report documents significant highlights and events over a fifteen (15) year period of unprecedented and historic growth of this groundbreaking American juvenile justice prevention and intervention program that utilizes volunteer youth to help sentence their peers.
The report begins in 1993, when fewer than seventy-five (75) local youth and teen courts existed in just about a dozen states. The report concludes fifteen (15) years later in 2008, when more than a record 1,000 local communities in 48 states and the District of Columbia now operate these local juvenile justice programs. Historic numbers of youth and adults are now involved, as more than 111,868 juvenile cases were referred to local youth and teen courts and more than 133,832 volunteers – to include both youth and adults who volunteered to help with the disposition and sentencing of these juvenile cases. The report is written and researched by Scott Bernard Peterson and Jill Beres.
The ThinkQuest Website Competition 2009, sponsored by the Oracle Education Foundation (OEF), is now open to teams of students, ages 9-19, from anywhere in the world. Each team must be coached by a teacher or school employee.
Teams are challenged to develop an educational website on topics of their choosing, including [url=http://www.thinkquest.org/library/search.html?&search_text=conflict+resolution]conflict resolution[/url], of course. Website entries may utilize a variety of technologies and take a variety of creative forms.
Participating students can develop important 21st century skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, self-direction, and technology skills.
Entries are due on April 2, 2009, giving teams up to eight months to create their websites. Professional educators from around the world will judge all entries.
Qualifying entries will be published in the ThinkQuest Library, the world’s largest online repository of student-developed learning projects, visited by millions of web learners each month.
Prizes may include laptop computers, digital cameras, school grants, and a trip to the awards event in San Francisco, depending on placement.
[i]Posted on behalf of Loreta Castro, Executive Director of The Center for Peace Education, The Philippines.[/i]
The Philippines’ E.O. 570: Institutionalizing Peace Education in Basic Education and Teacher Education
July 24, 2008 is a good day for us here in the Philippines. It was marked by the signing of the “Implementing Guidelines” of Executive Order 570 issued by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo last September 2006. The Executive Order (EO) mandated the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to institutionalize Peace Education in Basic Education and Teacher Education.
The formal signing of the implementation guidelines by the concerned cabinet ministers heralded the beginning of action on the ground. The Secretary of the Department of Education and the Commissioner of the CHED as well as the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process not only signed the document but also publicly expressed their commitment and concrete plans in 2008-2009 in order to give life to the guidelines. Some of the specific actions mentioned by the cabinet members were the issuance of memoranda to their constituencies to provide information and more concrete guidance, curriculum review and development, and capacity-building activities.
I was invited to witness the signing because I was the civil society representative in the Executive Committee that prepared the implementing guidelines and it was a joy for me to see that EO 570 is beginning to have the life and vibrancy that it deserves. I am aware that the signing ceremony featuring the public commitment of the concerned government agencies is just the beginning. The more difficult part is the challenge of implementation.
The Center for Peace Education, of which I am the Executive Director, has committed to collaborate with the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process in ways that we can, especially with regards to this EO. I believe that only through such engagement and cooperation among civil society organizations, government and other stakeholders can we be more effective in pursuing goals that are for humanity’s common good.
We need more purposive focusing on the goals that count, and invest in these goals our renewed energy and commitment. I submit that building a culture of peace is among the essential goals for today and tomorrow. Human and ecological survival and well-being, now and in the future, depend on this. Therefore, it makes good sense for all to work together towards this vision.