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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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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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Summary of Core Skills For Conflict Work Peaceworkers UK developed this detailed description of the Core Skills they consider essential for Conflict Work and the vocational standards associated with them. Core Skill 1: Research Skills Core Skill 2: Written Communication Core Skill 3: Verbal Communication Core Skill 4: Self-Management Core Skill 5: Conflict Management Core Skill 6:...(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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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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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. 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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Conflict resolver to conflict creator: Thoughts on writing mediation roleplays Pdf article from Conflict Management in Higher Education Report, Volume 3, Number 3, (May 2003), which discusses "roleplays [which] were designed to help prepare the newly emerging student CPR (Campus Peer Resolution) Team based in WSU's [Wayne State University] Counseling and Psychological Services office, roleplays are a significant part of the...(see more) Catalog Listing

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Evaluating Your Conflict Resolution Education Program: A Guide for Educators and Evaluators This 258-page pdf manual is intended to help educators and/or evaluators conduct evaluations of their conflict resolution education programs. Because much of the funding from the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management and the Ohio Department of Education supports school programs, most attention was placed on helping users...(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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Kids Working It Out Resource Appendix A listing of books, publications and websites provided in the appendix to Tricia S. Jones and Randy O. Compton (Eds.) 2003 book Kids Working It Out: Stories and Strategies for Making Peace in Our Schools. 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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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) Catalog Listing

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Multi-party roommate conflict Pdf article from Conflict Management in Higher Education Report, Volume 5, Number 1, (Sept 2004), which presents a "roleplay for a graduate course in interpersonal and small group conflict resolution, while it could be used for a mediation roleplay, it's written to be a 4-5 person small group conflict with no formal, outside intervenor, the...(see more) Catalog Listing

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SCORE peer mediation guide for students: Student conflict resolution experts 34-page pdf manual which "guides students through the principles and techniques for successful mediation. The content of the student manual reflects that of the coordinators’ manual." With lessons in introduction to mediation, building trust, listening and troubleshooting. 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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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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Peer mediation Powerpoint presentation introducing the concept of peer mediation. 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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In the mix lesson plan: A primer on peer mediation Web resource "designed to introduce students to the process of mediation. If Peer Mediation is an ongoing program at your school, this lesson can be used to inform students of what they can expect if they choose to solve a problem through mediation. It can also be used to encourage students to train to become mediators. If Peer Mediation is new to...(see more) 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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