Day 3: Peaceable Classroom Model and Peaceable School Model
On Day 3 we review models for implementing conflict management and provide sample programs. We also look at how these programs started, and what is recommended to successfully start one in your classroom and throughout your school.
Curriculum infusion is incorporated into the construction of these models as we provide practical examples of conflict management becoming a seamless part of daily education. In recognition of the importance of support from other educators, we provide methods to publicize the concept to build school-wide and eventually district-wide interest. Finally, we help you monitor and report on the effectiveness of your program in clear, accessible language.
The Peaceable Classroom Model
This model is a whole-school classroom methodology that includes adults modeling and teaching the skills and concepts of conflict management with and to their students. Conflict management is ideally infused into the curriculum, across subject areas for all students, and into classroom management strategies. Peaceable classrooms are a fundamental component of the peaceable school. Classrooms should incorporate some form of problem-solving approach for use by students and the curriculum infusion approach covered in more detail on Day 2.
Curriculum infusion is the process of using any subject area or topic to teach the concepts of conflict and conflict management. This might entail the development of an entire course on conflict management, integrating the concepts of conflict management into daily lessons across subject areas, or to teach related content and skills as a separate subject. Co-curricular activities may also be used to teach conflict management.
Alignment with Academic Content Standards
The Committee for Children has developed alignment charts on how their curriculum supports various state academic learning standards. Much of their curriculum corresponds with the skills and concepts of conflict management. The following information may be helpful to you as you consider how to integrate conflict management skills and concepts into what classroom educators are already required to teach in the classroom.
The alignment charts illustrate the many connections between the Second
Step program and student academic learning standards at all grade levels
from Kindergarten to Grade 9. The charts align the Second Step curriculum
with standards from Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards
and Benchmarks for K–12 Education by John S. Kendall and Robert J.
Marzano, third edition (2003). This carefully analyzed compilation of
content standards is a comprehensive model drawn from national subject-matter
associations. In addition to the usual subject areas, such as math, science,
and language arts, Life Skills and Behavioral Studies are included. This
information can be accessed via their web site at: www.cfchildren.org/
While this model is discussed more in depth on Day 2, it is a fundamental component of the Peaceable Classroom Model and the Peaceable School Approach.
Click here for more information on the link to academic content
related to conflict management.
Classroom Management Strategies
Conflict that arises in school often absorbs a great deal of the time and energy of teachers and principals that could be used for instruction and positive student support activities. The incorporation of positive strategies for behavior management such as conflict resolution and management education can significantly reduce the time staff and students devote to managing unacceptable behaviors.
One effective means of teaching and modeling conflict management skills and concepts is to incorporate them into classroom management processes and school policies. Building a conflict resolution procedure into school and classroom policies not only offers students the security of known expectations and procedures; it also leads to a reduction of distractions and an increase in productive learning time. Conflict resolution skills can empower students to resolve conflicts that occur inside and outside of the classroom.
There are several classroom management strategies that may be used to help students obtain conflict resolution skills including:
- Exposure to adults who model conflict management skills
- Classroom experiences in which students use the skills they acquire to resolve conflicts
- Cooperative Learning
Modeling the Skills of Conflict Management
Conflict resolution can also be part of a teachers' classroom management style. Teachers include conflict resolution principles and skill-building activities in their teaching style to provide all students with the opportunity to learn to understand and analyze conflict; recognize the role of perceptions and biases; identity feelings; identify factors that cause escalation; handle anger and other feelings appropriately; improve verbal communication skills; improve listening skills; identify common interests; brainstorm multiple solutions; evaluate the consequences of different options; and agree on win-win solutions. Teachers report the inclusion of conflict resolution principles in classrooms helps students better understand the relationship between academics and the real world.
“Each of us must be the change we want to see in the world.” - - - Mahatma Gandhi
Modeling techniques may include using class meetings to discuss issues
that impact the class or the use of a “garbage can” or “recycling
bin” to acknowledge problems or challenges encountered outside of
the classroom that may affect behavior and academic performance, while
assisting them to manage these emotions during class. Class meetings
can help students to develop, apply, practice, and use group decision-making
and consensus building processes.
Click here for an activity for a faculty meeting on how to conduct class meetings.
Inevitably, some students and teachers bring a number of problems to our schools and classrooms each day which may result in frustration, anger, fear, disappointment, rejection, jealousy, hunger, etc. In some instances, they may encounter conflicts before they leave home in the morning. Some of the problems students bring into the school environment can be acknowledged and addressed using conflict resolution techniques after class either with or without the assistance of an adult. The “garbage can” and “recycling bin” are two techniques that have assisted some educators help students to address these challenges.
Click here for more information on how to use the “garbage can” and “recycling bin” in your classroom.
Students Resolving Conflicts in the Classroom
The effective resolution of many classroom conflicts does not have to require the active involvement of teachers. In some instances, students can solve their own disputes once they have been taught basic problem-solving skills.
Teachers can use age-appropriate problem-solving models to teach all students in their classrooms how to use conflict resolution strategies on their own to resolve simple disputes. For example, in K-2 the age-appropriate model is likely to be the ability to talk about the problem and label basic feelings. In K 3-5 students can be taught the basics of cooperative negotiation. In middle and high school, the use of elaborate problem-solving, negotiation and mediation models is possible.
One approach for using conflict resolution in the classroom with middle school students is the "conflict resolution corner" model. This model suggests that as conflicts arise in the classroom, teachers can refer disputing students to the "conflict resolution corner,” which contains information that reminds them of the ground rules and steps for effective problem solving. Age-appropriate negotiation models can be used during these encounters.
Click here for more information on how to set up a Peace Table or Conflict Resolution Corner in your classroom.
Another approach is to establish a classroom mediation program as discussed in detail on Day 2 of the course. This approach requires the teacher to teach all students conflict management skills, choose a process and set up a system for using these skills to resolve classroom conflicts. If peer mediation does not resolve the conflict, the teacher determines the next appropriate step.
Sample Interactive Learning Scenario – Creating a Youth Led Organization to Address School Climate Issues: “Creating Innovative Pathways to Acceptance and Peace”
According to the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Heath, children and youth make healthier lifestyle choices if they feel connected to others at home and at school. This scenario illustrates how a sensitive, observant administrator channels the talents of troubled youth in a positive direction – one that helps them reconnect to the school, while at the same time helps the school staff enhance the learning environment. (www.ebasedprevention.org/scenarios/innovative-pathways) A Flash player is needed on your computer to access this scenario. It can be downloaded at no cost at: www.macromedia.com.
If students' experience a non-threatening classroom environment where cooperation is encouraged, trust is promoted, and group interaction is frequent, they will have more opportunities to practice and reasons to choose non-violent conflict resolution strategies over aggression and violence.
Teachers utilizing the peaceable classroom model may use cooperative learning such as the methods described in the following books: David Johnson and Roger Johnson, Teaching Students to Be Peacemakers (1991), Spencer Kagan, Cooperative Learning (1997), Spencer Kagan (2000), Reaching Standards Through Cooperative Learning: Providing for all Learners in General Education Classrooms and Robert E. Slavin in Cooperative Learning: Theory, Research, and Practice (1994).
Cooperative learning provides an opportunity for students to use and learn conflict management skills such as understanding, analyzing, evaluating, communicating, and problem solving. It also helps them in students utilizing and refining their higher order cognitive abilities. Using this strategy, students are paired in teams to collectively interpret and learn information.
Click here for an activity for a faculty meeting on cooperative discipline.
Examples of Peaceable Classroom Programs
Two examples of a peaceable classroom program have been summarized in Conflict Resolution Education: A Guide to Implementing Programs in Schools, Youth Serving Organizations, and Community and Juvenile Justice Settings Program Report by Donna Crawford and Richard Bodine. They include the Teaching Students to be Peacemakers Program (TSP) and Educators for Social Responsibility.
The Teaching Students to be Peacemakers (TSPM) approach focuses on classroom management strategies (utilizing cooperative learning), staff development, and student training. A brief summary of the staff development components and student training include:
- Teams of Faculty receive 30-40 hours of training during the year
- Trainers conduct follow-up sessions providing demonstrations, observations, and feedback
- Students receive 30 minutes of training per day for 30 days followed by 30 minutes per week over the course of the rest of the school year
- Students then serve as mediators in pairs such as on the playground and lunch room
- Students receive annual training grades 1-12.
The Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR) Program recommends
a need assessments, the creation of steering committee, the creation of
a multi-year implementation plan, and staff training. A brief summary
of the staff development suggested includes:
- An initial four-day training covering curriculum infusion and classroom management techniques.
- On-site follow-up by trainers providing demonstrations, coaching, planning, etc.
- ESR encourages staff to find time to plan together and share ideas.
Click here for a more detailed summary of the TSPM and ESR Program. (see pages 35-38 in the linked document)
Peaceable School Approach
The most effective school conflict management program is the peaceable school or comprehensive school conflict management program approach. In this model, the entire school community and local community are knowledgeable about and regularly use “win/win” approaches in attempting to resolve conflicts. A comprehensive program offers members of the school and local communities the opportunity to learn, practice and model effective conflict management skills. Ideally it becomes a central component of the daily operations of the school. It includes everything from how parents and guests are greeted when they enter the school building to how discipline is addressed. It addresses how educators manage their classrooms, the use of positive conflict management strategies being modeled by all adults in the school building, both with youth and other school community staff, and strategies for teaching conflict management skills to youth.
The components of a peaceable school approach include:
- Some form of problem-solving approach for use by students such as mediation covered in more detail on Day 2;
- The Curriculum Infusion Approach covered in more detail on Day 2;
- The Peaceable Classroom Approach described above;
- Integration of conflict management into the school policies, procedures, and mission statements;
- Integration of the skills of conflict management into training, workshops, and events for all individuals in the school community including: parents, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, administrative staff, playground aids, classroom educators, administrators, etc.; and
- Integration of conflict management into after school programs and extra-curricular activities.
Implementing a Peaceable School Approach
A comprehensive program can not be implemented overnight, but it can be implemented in phases. The first phase may include a peer mediation program or a few teachers piloting conflict management in their classroom (implementing the peaceable classroom approach or curriculum infusion approach). As more and more students, teachers and parents experience the benefits of teaching conflict management, the program can be expanded to all classrooms, throughout the school community into the school discipline procedures and mission statements, and throughout the daily operations of the school community.
Schools provide a readily accessible opportunity to teach young people effective, non-violent conflict resolution skills. Students also need consistent modeling of effective conflict resolution skills by adults outside the school to overcome the message of "might makes right” that is prevalent in many television shows and movies. Staff development programs, parent education programs, civic organization presentations, and church-sponsored programs can provide opportunities to teach adults effective conflict resolution skills.
Examples of some of the approaches that can be implemented to implement conflict management in classrooms, schools and communities were described above. Although different schools and communities may establish different goals and objectives for their conflict management programs, there are several characteristics of successful programs. Essential elements include a needs assessment, securing administrative support, securing funding, selecting a program/curriculum and staff development providers, orient/train the staff and students, create a site leadership team, publicize, utilize, and evaluate the program. Goals and objectives that are developed and supported by everyone - students, administrators, teachers, lunch and recess supervisors, bus drivers, parents, and community members-provide direction and establish a climate which supports the program. A more detailed review of these elements of a successful program are described in more detail below.
Best Practice Implementation
"Success is dependent on effort. –"
Click here for a PowerPoint presentation for staff development on best practices as listed below.
Using a conflict management program only garners desired results if the implementation strategy is based upon best practices. Research shows that programs adopted and poorly implemented may be worse than not having a conflict management program at all. What are some characteristics of effectively implemented programs?
There are a variety of best practices that have been identified that should be incorporated into your implementation strategy regardless of the specific program model you adopt. This includes:
- Conducting a Needs Assessment—A needs assessment is important in the development of a more comprehensive approach to school conflict management that moves beyond individual or small group efforts. The assessment should include the entire school community such as the classroom educators, support staff, bus drivers, administrators, youth, parents, etc. This not only assists with identifying the types of conflicts and perceptions of conflict in the school building, but also when surveying all individuals that participate in the school community, can give many who rarely have a voice an opportunity to share their perspective.
- Identifying the Goals—Stakeholders in the school should identify which of the general conflict goals are most important for their school.
- Assessing Interests—Stakeholders (and especially teachers and administrators) should be surveyed in terms of their interest in developing and implementing a CRE program. If they are not interested it is not likely to happen.
Click here for a sample needs assessment questionnaire and survey that can be used with your staff. (see pp. 85-86 in the linked document)
- Secure Administrative Support—Administrative
support is critical to the creation of a peaceable school. If the
administrators are behind the program it is much more likely to be adopted
and be maintained. Administrators can support their school’s
conflict management program in a number of ways including providing:
- Showing they value conflict management through their actions
Time is important in the creation of a comprehensive program. It is a commodity which many times is ultimately allotted by the administrator. The administrator can provide support by providing time to allow teachers to plan how to integrate conflict management into their lessons, to share strategies in staff meetings on what is working well for them, share lessons, and designate staff in-service days to be spent on training in conflict management.
Administrators may provide financial support by covering the costs of stipends for staff development in conflict management, pay for substitute teachers so that educators can attend staff development on conflict management, allocate part of the budget to hire trainers, and cover the cost of curriculum and training materials.
Administrators provide important support by simply attending trainings and participating in various classroom management activities. This shows that they value the programming as well.
- Secure Funding: Funding is often the subject of questions
asked by people who are interested in implementing school conflict management
programs. Existing school conflict management programs are funded in
a variety of ways, depending upon the available resources of the school,
community, and state and federal agencies. Various funding mechanisms
include the following:
- existing school budgets,
- community foundations,
- community civic groups,
- parent groups,
- local businesses, and
- state and federal programs, such as drug-free school grants.
The cost of starting conflict management programs also varies. It is like buying a car - the cost depends on the quality and type of "model" you want. Potential financial “costs” for starting up a conflict management program include the following:
- curricular materials,
- expert training,
- substitute costs,
- program-coordinator stipends, and
- release time to attend regional or statewide conferences.
If you wish to start a conflict management program in your school, you may find your school district's drug-free schools coordinator to be a helpful source of suggestions for funding. In developing a funding strategy, you may wish to consult with coordinators of existing school conflict management programs for information on how they acquired funding.
Selecting a Program/Curriculum and Staff Development Providers/Trainers
Researched and Approved Programs Reviews of Prevention
Blueprints for Violence Prevention Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Programs and Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence: www.colorado.edu/cspv/blueprints
Safe Schools, Safe Students: A Guide to Violence Prevention Strategies. Drug Strategies. www.drugstrategies.org/pubs.html#safe
Safe and Sound: An Education Leader's Guide to Evidence-Based Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Programs. www.casel.org/projects_products
The No Child Left Behind Federal Legislation stresses the need for educational programming to be evidence-based. Trying to choose a program and trainers may seem overwhelming, but there are many resources available to assist you with this task. In the last decade, the research has shown effective strategies for teaching staff and students the skills and concepts of classroom management in order that they can be applied throughout the school community leading to reductions in discipline challenges, improved academic achievement, and a more positive overall school climate. Below are several documents containing reviews of the research on various programs and note some of the programs that are approved for use with federally funded grants.
After reviewing the different types of programs, identifying your goals, conducting a needs assessment, developing an initial action plan, and deciding on a program budget, then you will want to select a qualified trainer. Selecting a qualified trainer is one of the most important components of establishing an effective conflict management program. Regardless of the curriculum chosen, without adequate staff development, it is very difficult to achieve the goals that your school has set.
Method for Selecting a Trainer
- Compile a list of names
- Look for certain qualifications
- Interview the trainer
- Evaluate and make a decision
Selecting a Trainer Sample Resources for Educators:
There are several tools that are available to assist educators in making their selection including a consumer guide for selecting a school conflict resolution trainer and sample assessment forms. Used together, the following documents can assist you in making a well informed decision.
Consumer Guide: School Conflict Resolution Training: What you Need to Know
to Select a Trainer. This guide, designed by the Ohio Commission on Dispute
Resolution and Conflict Management is designed to assist the consumer in selecting
quality school-based conflict resolution training and trainers. Available
Conflict Resolution Staff Development Provider Assessment Forms. These forms, located in the federal program report, Conflict Resolution Education: A Guide t implementing Programs in Schools, Youth Serving Organizations, and Community and Juvenile Justice Settings, can help school personnel to assess the experience and ability of the conflict management trainers and whether or not they meet the needs of their school. Click here for the provider assessment forms.
Orient the Staff
Staff represent a critical element of the conflict management program. To have an effective program, it is important to provide all staff with an understanding of the rationale for implementing a conflict management program and a description of the proposed approach or model to be used. Staff should be included in the planning process, and be provided with staff development appropriate to their expected roles in the program.
- Give detailed information—the staff should know what the program is, what is can be expected to do, and how much time it will take from start-up through seeing these kinds of results
- Have open discussions about the utility of the program—it is critical that people understand the realistic limitations for the program. And, it is important for staff to talk about how they think the program should be used.
- Clarify staff expectations for their involvement or support for the program—CRE programs are often not terribly labor intensive, but anything can seem like a lot when you’re asking people who are already carrying a heavy load to take on additional responsibilities. It is important to explain what time and energy commitments are required to implement the program so that people do not become disillusioned or disengage from the process.
Select the Site Leadership Team (SLT)
"A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has." – Margaret Mead
It is helpful to create a core team to monitor, coordinate, and oversee the implementation of the schools action plan.
- Identify staff—the SLT is usually a team of teachers, administrators, non-teaching staff, and students who work together to develop and oversee the CRE program. Some educators have found it particularly helpful to include an educator that they feel may be non-supportive or feel that the program will not be successful because if these individuals have a positive experience this can not only lead to their buy-in but may provide an opportunity to identify potential challenges that the rest of the group may not have foreseen. It is important to include students on the site leadership team. They should represent the various student groups within the school.
Discuss time and resource commitments -- the SLT will have to devote more time that other members of the school community to the conflict management effort. Each member should be made aware of the requested time commitment they are being asked to make.
Orient the Students
Ideally all students in the school would have the opportunity to learn and utilize conflict management skills if you decide to implement a peaceable classroom or peaceable school approach. Many schools may add various conflict management groups as well as establishing a peer mediation program as discussed in Day 2.
- Select Students to be involved in Conflict Management Programs – the selection of students and staff depends on the kind of CRE program you are planning to implement. In most cases, there are three general guidelines for student involvement. They are (1) voluntary participation (2) diverse student and staff participation or (3) a process through which you replenish the program with new participants yearly
- Provide Training – As discussed in Day 2 and above. Note that not all training organizations are equal – just as not all conflict management curricula are equal. It is important to select a well-qualified training organization and/or curriculum for use.
- Do not overestimate the learning curve -- the development and implementation of a well designed conflict management program takes time. Expecting full success within six months to a year is not realistic.
Publicize the Program
It is important for the school community to know what types of conflict management programming are occurring in the school in order that they might utilize or participate in those services, recognize the good work being done by the staff and students implementing the programming, and to gain buy-in from others when they see the positive results.
- Publicize! – The more the CRE program is publicized the better. Let students and staff become involved in developing publicity materials.
- Manage expectations – Help school members understand how to use the program and what can be expected from the program.
Utilize the Program
Quality training and publicity are essential factors that can increase the likelihood that people will use the program. Additional ways to ensure that the programs are utilized include:
- Initiate and sustain the program
- Coordinate with other initiatives – Many conflict management programs can exist together with other types of programs such as: social and emotional learning, bullying prevention, violence prevention, drug and alcohol prevention, and through coordination, produce a synergy that is extremely powerful
- Refresh skills/knowledge – Every year refresher training should be provided and new and updated curriculum added to the program.
- Maintain a high profile in the school - This can be done through publicity, integration into the staff in-services, integration into daily announcements, wall displays, integration into student programming, classes, and parent/community events.
Evaluate the Program
Evaluation is an essential component of your program. Your evaluation will help the school identify what is working, and what might need some adjustment, may lead to additional funding, buy-in from staff and the entire school community, and assist with positive community publicity.
- Evaluate on an ongoing basis – You won’t know if the program is working for you if you don’t look. But this is an area that often scares educators and students. There are a number of tools that can assist in conducting assessments for educators if they are unable to secure an outside evaluator and are covered in Day 4 and on the Resources page at the end of the course.
- Feed information back to improve program
Conducting an Evaluation Sample Resource for Educators: Evaluating Your Conflict Resolution Education Program: A Guide for Educators and Evaluators. This manual provides an introduction to program evaluation and evaluation tools as well as 125 pages of user-friendly materials for evaluating staff development, student peer mediation programs, and curriculum integration. Available at: http://disputeresolution.ohio.gov/
Click here for an activity for a faculty meeting on the components of an effectively implemented program.
Examples of Components of a Peaceable School Program
The Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management since 1993 have provided more than 800 public schools across Ohio, grades K-12 with a school conflict management grant training package. A summary of this state-wide program is described in more detail on Day 5. Below are examples of ways that Ohio schools, grades K-12 have integrated conflict management into their:
- School policies, procedures, and mission statements
- Daily/monthly operations
- School programming
- Parent involvement
- Staff development
This list is not comprehensive, and does not include examples of the Peaceable Classroom Model, Curriculum Infusion Model, or the Mediation Model. For examples of components of these models used in Ohio schools, go to: www.disputeresolution.ohio.gov/ideas.htm
Integrating Conflict Management Into the School Policies, Procedures, and Mission Statements
Integrate conflict management guidelines into the school-wide discipline plan. In this plan, focus heavily on discipline verses punishment when appropriate. You can also integrate conflict management into the school’s continuous improvement plan by examining ways to improve teacher-student and student-student relationships.
Provide all of the staff, including the physical education teacher and librarian with the same steps to resolving conflicts. Encourage the staff to use the steps with the students at recess or in the classroom if a conflict occurs. Post the steps in the conflict management process in classrooms, lunchrooms, and hallways. Include conflict management training in the in-school suspension classes to help students evaluate their negative behaviors, learn some new skills depending on the time available, and make a plan for preventing this behavior from happening again.
Integration Into Daily/Monthly Operations
Some specific strategies you may want to consider to integrate conflict management into your daily/monthly operations include:
- The school administration can hold frequent “fireside chats” with the student body to discuss and address school climate issues.
- Feature conflict management lessons on the daily morning announcements.
- Incorporate a word of the month related to conflict management terms. Have the student council prepare posters relating to the specific word and encourage students to incorporate positive strategies related to conflict management. Display the word of the month in all classrooms. Have staff teach lessons related to it and model these skills both inside the class and outside of the class as situations arise in the building.
Integration Into School Programming
You can integrate conflict management into your school programming by:
- Hosting a Peace Assembly or Conflict Management Assembly at the beginning of the year and have all students sign a “Peace Pledge” or “Pledge to Resolve Conflict Non-Violently”. Post the pledge cards in the cafeteria.
- Conducting a Peace Week or Conflict Resolution Week dedicated to promoting and celebrating peace and conflict resolution. Have students create posters around the theme and host guest speakers on the topic from the community.
- Having a group of students model a conflict management lesson in front of the Board of Education.
- Creating a portion on your school’s website on conflict management. Students can view the site with their parents or during their computer class.
- Creating a conflict management newsletter for staff containing updates on your schools goals and articles on conflict management.
- Designing and install a “Conflict Bridge” on the playground where students can go to resolve their conflicts.
Parents should be made aware of your conflict management programs. Strategies for enhancing parent involvement include:
- Hold open workshops for parents and community members to explain your school’s conflict management program and its benefits. Share skills with those in attendance.
- Host a “Peaceful Night Out” providing conflict management training for parents and families.
- Send a flyer home with information on conflict management topics being covered in the classroom along with ideas on how parents can support what is being taught in school.
- Invite parents to “partner” in your efforts to teach conflict management. Send home a note each month and ask parents to write notes about appropriate ways a student solved a conflict. When a student has done a good job, read these forms in the classroom to other students and recognize the child for their successful effort.
- If conflict management terms are being used as a word of the month, share this with parents in a newsletter along with what the child is learning about that topic. Encourage parents to discuss the word and help their children better understand appropriate ways to deal with conflict.
Staff need information and support to effectively implement a conflict management program. This might include:
- Providing administrators, bus drivers, playground aides, school resource officers, school counselors, school psychologists, educational aides, cafeteria workers, with training in addition to the classroom educators.
- Providing planning time for the conflict management team/site leadership team to meet regularly to review what skills lessons, and activities have occurred over the month in their school and what actions need to be reinforced or be re-taught. At each of the staff meetings, take a few minutes and enable the staff to share formal or informal lessons that have worked.
- Organizing a summer retreat during which the conflict management team/site leadership team that have received intensive training, help train their fellow staff members in conflict management.
- Attending training on a particular conflict management topic, such as positive discipline and then have staff purchase a related book for all of the staff to read as a school-wide staff book study.
Examples of Peaceable School Programs
Two examples of a peaceable classroom program have been summarized in Conflict Resolution Education: A Guide to Implementing Programs in Schools, Youth Serving Organizations, and Community and Juvenile Justice Settings Program Report by Donna Crawford and Richard Bodine. They include the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program and the Creating the Peaceable School (CPS) Program of the Illinois Institute for Dispute Resolution.
The Resolving Conflicts Creatively Program (RCCP) approach focuses on professional development for teachers and other staff, administrator training, parent training, and curriculum infusion K-12, and peer mediation. A brief summary of the staff and parent training components, curriculum infusion and peer mediation programming are listed below:
Professional Development for Staff and Parent Training
- Educators are provided with an initial 25 hour training on integrating the skills of conflict management into the curriculum, classroom management strategies, and teaching strategies.
- Trainers provide demonstrations and give feedback 6-10 times during the first year and provide additional follow-up during the following year(s).
- Administrators are provided with training in these skills so they too can model the techniques and strategies.
- Parents are provided with a 12 hour training in the skills of conflict management with an opportunity to become a trainer of parents by participating in a 60 hour training.
- A cadre of peer mediators are not trained until the second year of the program is being implemented in the school.
- Elementary school students use mediation on the playground, while Middle and High school students use a room designated for mediations.
- Conflict Management curriculum is infused throughout the K-12 curriculum in the regular academic curriculum.
- Educators are also asked to conduct 30-45 minutes lessons once a week during the school year as a special conflict resolution workshop.
The Creating the Peaceable School (CPS) Program, Illinois Institute for
Approach focuses on classroom management, systemic change, professional development, parent education, and community initiatives. The program can be utilized by a school or district. A comprehensive plan is then developed based on the school or districts needs and goals. A brief summary of the professional development, parent training, and community initiatives are listed below.
- The training is for administrators, classroom educators, and support staff and includes the topic of interpersonal conflicts not only with their students, but in all their relationships at home, work, and in the community.
- Introductory workshops are conducted on topics such as classroom management and the follow-up is provided to educators assisting with planning, observation, feedback, and coaching.
- Peaceable Home workshops are conducted at various schools and community locations covering the skills of conflict management which they can apply at home, school, and the community.
Parent Training Sample Resources for Educators:
• Social and Emotional Learning at Home: Schools and Families Working Together. www.casel.org/about_sel/SELhome.php
• Learning Skills of Peace Through Everyday Conflicts - (Pre-K-3) help adults work with children using songs, stories and other activities to address behaviors such as anger and aggression, biting, lying, and tantrums. English and Spanish: www.disputeresolution.ohio.gov/
- A variety of activities are conducted through a collaboration of youth, parents, and community organizations.
- High School students are recruited to be in the Youth Peace Corps through which they teach conflict management skills to younger students.
- Conflict resolution training is provided to youth serving community agencies.
- Police-youth-community dialogs are created to help the groups learn more about one another, build relationships, and learn conflict resolution skills.
Click here for a more detailed summary of the RCCP and CPS Program. (see pp. 41-46 in the linked document)
Please think about the questions below and share your responses with colleagues.
- What are the components of a Peaceable Classroom Approach? What strategies are you currently using in your classroom that are complementary and what additional strategies might you add to your tool box?
- What are the components of a Peaceable School Approach? What strategies and programming do you have currently in your school that are similar and what additional components of a comprehensive approach might you see meeting the needs of your school?
- What are the steps that need to be taken to develop and implement an effective program?
Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR). Recommended Guidelines for Effective Conflict Resolution Education Programs in K-12 Classrooms, Schools and School Districts. 2002. Available at: www.acrnet.org
Crawford, Donna and Bodine, Richard. Conflict Resolution Education A Guide to Implementing Programs in Schools, Youth Serving Organizations, and community and Juvenile Justice Settings Program Report. Washington, DC. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice and Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of education. October 1996.
Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) in Cooperation with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory, The Laboratory for Student Success (LSS). Safe and Sound: An Educational Leader's Guide to Evidence-Based (SEL) Social and Emotional Learning Programs. March 2003. Available at: www.casel.org
Hart, R.C., Shelestak, D. and Horwood, T.J. Cost Savings Report on School Conflict Management Program, Kent, Ohio. Kent State University, Bureau of Research Training and Services, February, 2003.
Jones, T. and Kmitta, D. Does it Work? The Case for Conflict Resolution Education in Our Nation's Schools. Washington, D.C.: formerly the Conflict Resolution Education Network (CREnet) now the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), 2000. Available at: www.acrnet.org
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