Conflict Resolution Education Connection

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Recognizing Conflict Styles

A lot of work has been done over the years seeking to identify different basic approaches to conflict. Perhaps the most widely used approach, based on the work of Thomas and Kilmann (1974) suggests 5 different basic approaches, namely cooperative problem-solving (collaborating), competing, avoiding, accommodating and compromising. An online quiz can help you identify the approach you or your students might prefer. Here are a couple choices: Conflict Resolution Questionnaire available from the University of Arizona or the Adult Personal Conflict Style Inventory or the Conflict and YOUth quiz from the Mennonite Peace and Justice Network (note Christian religious references in some of the materials).

The Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management provides a set of curriculum materials on conflict management for teachers. They’ve put a portion of this content online, including a section exploring conflict styles using animal metaphors. You can read it here.

As they indicate,
“Conflict situations offer each of us an opportunity to choose a style for responding to the conflict. The key to effective conflict prevention and management is to choose the conflict management style appropriate for the conflict. Most of us have a favorite style that we use in conflict situations, but we are all capable of choosing a different style when it is appropriate.”

Related Videos of Possible Interest

Related Catalog Resources

Below you'll find a randomized listing of up to 20 related items (we may have more...) drawn from our Resource Catalog.


Resource TitleDescriptionLinks
Youth peace resources: Reminder sheets 2-page PDF document of bookmark style reminders (from the Youth Peace Resources webpage of the Peace & Justice Support Network of the Mennonite Church), each reminder discusses an approach/style in conflict resolution such as problem solving and compromising, advice on when this style makes sense, and a relevant quote from the Bible. Catalog Listing

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Peacebuilding Toolkit for Educators - High School Edition The Peacebuilding Toolkit for Educators is designed to support the work of educators as peacebuilders. It is a resource developed by and for educators, to help introduce peacebuilding themes and skills into the classroom. The Toolkit can help develop students’ understanding of, and interest in, global peacebuilding, and develop their skills and...(see more) Catalog Listing

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Nonviolence: An Assertive Approach to Conflict This 50-minute activity lesson plan takes the Occupy Wall Street protest movement as a jumping off point to explore different approaches to resolving conflicts. The lesson is structured to help students explore what escalates/deescalates conflict; look at the difference between aggressive, submissive and assertive responses to conflict; focus on...(see more) Catalog Listing

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Ten Lessons for Teaching Conflict Resolution Skills A teaching packet provided by the Fairfax County Public Schools and the Student Safety and Wellness Office consisting of 10 lessons designed to help students learn conflict resolution skills. Each activity takes about an hour to complete and is designed to be interactive. As the authors note: "These skills are important for many reasons. Not only...(see more) Catalog Listing

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Conflict: How do you respond? Online questionnaire designed for children in grades 3-12 to help them discover how they handle conflict. Provides immediate feedback in terms of a childs "conflict style" based on their answers. Catalog Listing

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Defensive communication Powerpoint presentation introducing defensive communication vs. supportive communication and the climate each strategy can create. Catalog Listing

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