Facilitating Peaceable Schools
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.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Blakeway, M. S., & Kmitta, D. M. (1998). Conflict resolution in education research and evaluation synopsis and bibliography. Washington, DC: National Institute for Dispute Resolution.Google Scholar
- Bodine, R., & Crawford, D. (1998). Handbook of conflict resolution education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Carter, S. L. (1995). School mediation evaluation report: Project evaluation report 1993–1994. Albuquerque, NM: New Mexico Center for Dispute Resolution.Google Scholar
- Cohen, R. (1995). Students resolving conflict: Peer mediation in schools. Glenview, IL: Good Year Books.Google Scholar
- Colorado School Mediation Project. (1997). Handouts for parents. Boulder, CO: Colorado School Mediation Project.Google Scholar
- Community Boards. (1992). Starting a Conflict Manager Program. San Francisco, CA: Community Boards.Google Scholar
- Gentry, D. (1992, May). Conflict management training for school and for home. In J. K. Comeau (Ed.), Family information services professional materials (pp. 29–42). Minneapolis, MN: Family Information Services.Google Scholar
- Gentry, D., & Benenson, A. (1993). School-to-home transfer of conflict management skills among school-age children. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services, 74(2), 67–73.Google Scholar
- Jenkins, J., & Smith, M. (1995). School mediation evaluation materials: Evaluation plan and instruments. Albuquerque, NM: New Mexico Center for Dispute Resolution.Google Scholar
- Lam, J. A. (1989). The impact of conflict resolution programs on schools: A review and synthesis of the evidence (2nd. ed.). Amherst, MA: National Association for Mediation Education.Google Scholar
- Mastellone, F. R. (1993). Finding peace through conflict: Teaching skills for resolving conflicts and building peace. Amherst, MA: National Association for Mediation Education.Google Scholar
- Staff. (1996). Recommended standards for school-based peer mediation programs—1996. Washington, D. C: Conflict Resolution Education Network (CREnet).Google Scholar