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Peer Mediation

School-based peer mediation is one of the most popular and effective approaches to integrating the practice of conflict resolution into schools.  From the start of the modern “conflict resolution in education” (CRE) movement in the early 1980’s, peer mediation has been one of its centerpieces.  Many thousands of schools in the US and in dozens of other countries have implemented peer mediation programs, and these efforts serve almost every conceivable student population.

Peer mediation teaches mediation skills to students so they can help mediate disputes that other students are having—hence the label, “peer mediation.”

The convergence of a number of factors help to explain peer mediation’s status:
* Increasingly, educators—in rural and suburban as well as in city schools—were troubled by an increase in the amount and the tenor of student conflict.  There consequently was a burgeoning interest among educators to explore this issue.

* The mission of most schools includes helping young people develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will enable them to succeed as adults.  One of the most essential sets of skills is the ability to resolve conflicts effectively. 

* Peer mediation encourages students to apply conflict resolution skills when it matters most—when they are in dispute.  This sets it apart from other conflict resolution models that lack a formal effort to encourage students to use their skills when they are actually involved in a conflict. 

For more information on developing Peer Mediation as a model in your school, please visit Day 2 of our curriculum on Managing and Resolving Conflicts Effectively in Schools and Classrooms. To hear an interview with a middle school peer mediation coordinator and a student mediator, check out this episode of Peace Talks Radio.

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.


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Conflict resolution, peer mediation and young people's relationships: Technical Report 74-page PDF technical report that investigated, "what schools could do to improve young people's relationships with each other, with teachers and with their families. This is a key question for schools, policy-makers and pressure groups; there are currently programmes and initiatives on behaviour, citizenship, healthy schools and many other areas...(see more) Catalog Listing

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Helping Children Resolve Peer Conflict Vol 15, Issue 1 of School-Age Connections provides 4-page pdf reviewing research and concepts for understanding children's peer conflicts. Includes 8-step model for assisting children in resolving their conflicts. Catalog Listing

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SCORE coordinator's manual, 2007-2008: Student conflict resolution experts 183-page pdf manual which "provides an overview of the program, and instructs coordinators on the steps to setting up the program from start to finish, and the methods and expectations for training their mediators. The manual also provides an extensive lesson plan for training, as well as sample exercises and role-play scenarios." Catalog Listing

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Pioneer Peace Pack This resource collection includes information and activities for groups of 10 - 12 year olds who are participating in the U.K.-based outdoor education group known as the Woodcraft Folk. The resource includes instructor overviews and associated handouts and reading materials for activities focused on the following themes: Bullying, Conflict...(see more) Catalog Listing

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Creating harmony in the classroom: Building safe and inclusive classrooms for special populations 231-page pdf manual designed "to assist teachers with building an inclusive and safe classroom for all students, including special needs, deaf, and visually impaired youth. Teachers who build an inclusive and safe classroom environment are encouraging all youth to excel academically and socially." Includes chapters on building self-awareness in...(see more) Catalog Listing

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Peer mediator training: Student workbook (web version) 27-page pdf web version of student workbook for peer mediation training. Discusses topics such as communication skills, conflict resolution and mediation procedures (with role play exercises), and agreement writing. Designed as part of a 1-day peer mediation training. Catalog Listing

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A negotiation between Stan and Susan This 7-page scripted role-play illustrates the six-steps of the Negotiation process. It is designed to be used in the classroom with middle school age youth. It is based on scenario wherein Stan tripped, saw Susan laughing with her friend Misty, and immediately jumped to the conclusion that Susan was making fun of him. He called her a bad name in...(see more) Catalog Listing

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My Peer Mediators Handbook A 15-page booklet designed to support trained peer mediators as they carry out their work. Topics include referrals, the mediation process, suggestions for a mediation service, some guidelines for good practice, what ifs, and help and support. Catalog Listing

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Peer Mediation Introduction w Videos from Learning and Teaching Scotland Peer mediation involves pupils in schools helping their peers to resolve disagreements. It is a practical application of a restorative approach for pupils. This online resource from Learning and Teaching Scotland provides an introduction to this restorative approach with guidance, resources and videos that describe putting peer mediation into...(see more) Catalog Listing

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Institutional and Program/Practitioner Guidelines For Conflict Management in Higher Education Document (30-page pdf) provides a set of guidelines designed to support the development of comprehensive, educational, integrated and conflict-friendly approaches to managing conflict and disputes in institutions of higher education. The target audience includes key decision makers such as senior administrators, deans and department heads,...(see more) Catalog Listing

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Conflict Resolution Education: A Guide to Implementing Programs in Schools, Youth-Serving Orgs A manual in pdf format providing an overview of various models for conflict resolution education program implementation. The first chapter defines conflict as a natural condition and examines the origins of conflict, responses to conflict, and the outcomes of those responses. It introduces four approaches to implementing conflict resolution...(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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PROS: Peaceful resolution for Oklahoma [high school] students 106-page PDF manual designed to help teachers and trainers teach high school students the art of peer mediation. Includes definitions, exercises to improve communication skills, leadership and problem solving. Catalog Listing

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Good Practice Guidelines for Peer Mediation Initiatives A one-page summary of guidelines for best practice for peer mediation program initiatives. Based on a larger evaluation of Peer Mediation Programs in New South Wales Government Schools published in 2003 Catalog Listing

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Peer Mediation Session for Stan and Susan This 7-page scripted role-play illustrates the peer mediation process. It is designed to be used in the classroom with middle school age youth. It is based on scenario wherein Stan tripped, saw Susan laughing with her friend Misty, and immediately jumped to the conclusion that Susan was making fun of him. He called her a bad name in revenge. In...(see more) Catalog Listing

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Curriculum in mediation, A: Lesson plans gateway 5-page pdf document which presents a teacher's guide for training peer mediators, provides links to workbook lesson plans for conflict management, communication skills, role playing exercises and agreement writing. Catalog Listing

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PROS: Peaceful resolutions for Oklahoma [high school] students: Student edition 46-page PDF high school student manual designed to teach peer-mediation techniques as well as communication skills, leadership and problem solving. Catalog Listing

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Peer Mediation Student Handbook - Mediator Mentors 58 page mediation training manual in .doc format used to train peer mediators working at the elementary school level. Used as part of the Mediator Mentor program at California State University Fresno. The program is a university-public school partnership in which future teachers, counselors, social workers and school psychologists support the...(see more) Catalog Listing

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A Peer Mediation Needs Analysis For Schools A three-page worksheet providing a series of questions for schools to consider prior to implementing a peer mediation program. Catalog Listing

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Mediation@MIT Basic Mediation Training Trainers' Manual (Higher Education) A mediation training manual for use in higher education settings. According to the developers, "this Manual is intended to serve as a guide for the trainer(s) leading a Basic Training in Mediation for participants with no prior mediation experience. It reflects the style of mediation and the style of teaching we use at the Massachusetts Institute...(see more) Catalog Listing

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