Peer Mediation: A School-Based Mediation Program
"I wish that resolving conflict could be taught in every classroom in America, because we are not going to deal with the violence in our communities, our homes, and our nation, until we learn to deal with the basic ethic of how we resolve our disputes and to place an emphasis on peace in the way we relate to one another." Marian Wright Edelman
What Is Peer Mediation?Peer Mediation gives students an opportunity to resolve their conflicts through communication and problem solving. Fellow students trained in the peer mediation process facilitate conversations between students to help them settle disputes in a way that is satisfactory to all involved. When a school adopts peer mediation as a way to allow students themselves to resolve disputes, there seems to be a positive effect on school climate. Some studies show that in schools with peer mediation programs, there is a greater willingness to help friends avoid fights and solve problems. Some schools report that after starting a peer mediation program, fights, referrals to the office and suspensions all decreased.
Steps to Structuring a Peer Mediation Program:
- The school commits to implementing a Peer Mediation Program.
- The school selects its Peer Mediation Program Coordinator.
- The school determines what kinds of conflicts are appropriate for mediation.
- A location at school is set up for mediations.
- A diverse group of students are selected and trained as Peer Mediators.
- The DRC provides mediation training to students and school staff.
- The Peer Mediation Program is "advertised" throughout the school community.
- DRC and school staff monitor implementation of the Peer Mediation Program.
- DRC and school staff evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
The DRC provides on-going support through consultation; assistance with program evaluation; and annual training.
The School provides space for scheduled mediations and a Peer Mediation Coordinator.
The role of the Peer Mediation Coordinator is to:
- Help in the selection of student mediators
- Participation in training activities
- Schedule mediations for student conflicts
- Meet periodically to support peer mediators
- Monitor and evaluate the Peer Mediation Program
Peer Mediation Training Curriculum
Students and selected school staff participate in mediation and conflict management training.
- The nature of conflict - its causes and how we typically react
- The mediation process - stages and strategies
- Practice in core mediation skills - communication and problem solving
- Mediation role plays and coaching
The DRC provides experienced trainers and coaches for the training and the mediation training materials.
To learn more about Peer Mediation or to discuss ways in which the DRC can help with conflict resolution at your school, please contact us at (360) 698-0968 or firstname.lastname@example.org.