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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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Does it work?: The case for conflict resolution education in our nation's schools In March, 2000, a gathering of educators, practitioners, and researchers took place in Washington DC in a research symposia sponsored by the United States Department of Education and convened by the Conflict Resolution Education Network. This group came to share their colective knowledge about CRE research, how the research is informing practice...(see more)
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Resolving Conflict with a Peer Mediation Program This 62-page peer mediation handbook for grades 4-8 provides the materials and resources for designing, building, implementing and sustaining a peer mediation program. It was developed as a collaborative project of the Peace Studies Program, University of Maine, and Maine Law & Civics Education, University of Southern Maine, with support from the...(see more)
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Mediation@MIT Basic Mediation Training Slides and Scenarios This document accompanies the Mediation@MIT Basic Mediation Training Trainers' Manual (Higher Education). It contains all the slides utilized by instructors in the Basic Mediation Training. The lectures are NOT continuous slide presentations but consist primarily of discussion and exercises. The slides are used at intervals to reinforce key...(see more)
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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.
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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.
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11 Conflict Simulations for Peer Mediation Role-Plays An 11-page classroom handout featuring 11 conflict scenarios that can be used by students to develop role-plays depicting a mediation. Includes peer mediation process script that walks students through a basic mediation process. The author explains "these Conflict Simulations were culled from over 150 written and oral interviews about He Said/She...(see more)
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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."
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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)
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IREX Conflict Prevention and Peer Mediation Toolkit The Conflict Prevention and Peer Mediation Toolkit provides the training notes, handouts, sample agendas, and resource templates needed to initiate a peer mediation program for youth. IREX and partner organization Foundation for Tolerance International (FTI) created the Conflict Prevention and Peer Mediation Toolkit to support the creation of peer...(see more)
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SCORE Quick Reference Guide to Peer Mediation for Students 10-page guide for student peer mediators that reviews the mediation process and provides practice tips. Developed for use by the Student Conflict Resolution Experts (SCORE) program in Massachusetts as "a quick reference guide for students to accompany their training".
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Mediating a Better Solution A 5-page article on peer mediation written for principals. It appeared in the magazine Principal Leadership as part of a monthly column entitled "Counseling 101" that is written by members of the National Association of School Psychologists. Includes a case study exploring the need for improved referral system for a peer mediation program.
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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.
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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.
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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)
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Conflict resolution education and Social emotional learning programs: A critical comparison Pdf document that compares and contrasts Social and emotional learning programs to Conflict resolution education, with bibliography. Part of the results of the National Curriculum Integration Project.
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Conflict management 12-page pdf document, intended for adults working in school settings, which examines the process of mediation for conflict resolution, includes sample peer mediation journal.
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Quick Guide to Implementing a Peer Mediation Program A 7-page pdf providing a series of annotated questions designed to help a school plan for the implementation of a peer mediation program. Draws on the many years of experience gained at School Mediation Associates, a long-standing peer mediation advocacy and training organization.
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Recommended standards for school-based peer mediation programs Twenty-eight page document presenting standards for school-based peer mediation programs that are designed to enhance quality and stimulate thought among youth and adult participants in peer mediation programs. Aids in the creation and implementation of programs, designing curricula and evaluation procedures, funding and promoting programs,...(see more)
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Peer Mediation Invitational Coaching Information from WJC This web page provides sample materials used to host a Peer Mediation Invitational Event. The Western Justice Center Peer Mediation Invitational is an annual event and an opportunity to increase and deepen nonviolence and conflict resolution training for students who serve as peer mediators on their campuses.  During the invitational, students...(see more)
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PROS: Peaceful resolutions for Oklahoma [elementary] students: Student edition 46-page PDF (student edition) manual which introduces elementary school students to peer mediation and conflict and teaches communication and problem solving skills.
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