Facilitating Peaceable Schools

  • Deborah B. Gentry
Part of the Outreach Scholarship book series (OUTR, volume 1)


The peer mediation program described here was implemented in an elementary school in Normal, Illinois. Programs similar to it had previously been carried out in several other elementary schools in the same community. These efforts were a result of the collaborative thinking of community leaders. They realized the town’s recent growth and progress was accompanied by stressful living and conflict among its increasingly diverse population. Educators were noticing that interpersonal conflicts, whether they originated during school hours or were prompted by difficulties at home or in the neighborhood, interrupted instruction and distracted students from engaging in sustained learning. A group of school administrators, educators, and parents determined a peer mediation program would be one of several strategies that could be carried out in an effort to teach the town’s younger citizens to manage their conflict in positive and constructive ways. University faculty with alternative dispute resolution knowledge and skills agreed to consult with a given elementary school principal; train six elementary school teachers and selected 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in conflict resolution approaches; and assess parents’ perspectives regarding student/child conflict management approaches. With continued mentoring on part of the university faculty, the initially trained teachers and students would subsequently train other teachers and students in their own and other schools in the district.




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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah B. Gentry
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois State UniversityUSA

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