Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
Peer Mediation For Elementary School Students
Our Conflict Resolution/Peer Mediation Project in San Francisco Unified School District utilized curriculum designed by the CRU Institute to help elementary school students learn interpersonal skills important for the development of prosocial behaviors and constructive conflict management.
Why Peer Mediation?
To train and develop a generation of everyday negotiation superheroes – starting in grade school – who are empathic listeners, restorative problem-solvers, and effective peacemakers.
What is Peer Mediation?
A peer mediation program trains a cadre of peer mediators (20-35) in a school. A small group of students (from grades 4,5 and 6) are chosen. School staff make efforts to involve a cross-section of students in terms of grade, sex, race, and socio-economic status; they also try to include some students who have or are at risk for behavior problems. The students attend six afternoons of training in mediation skills. Those who successfully complete the training serve as school-wide peer mediators for the year.
Referrals to peer mediation can be made by students, teachers, or administrative staff; pairs of mediators use structured mediation procedures to help disputants come to mutually satisfactory agreements. School staff develop a referral protocol and schedule for mediations that can accommodate disputants in a timely manner with minimal disruption of academic activities. All mediations are conducted by pairs of peer mediators with minimal adult supervision, and proceedings are recorded on mediation agreement forms.
Feedback on Peer Mediation
Disputants report high levels of (a) satisfaction with the mediation process and (b) adherence to the agreement reached
Peer mediators report generalization of skills to “informal” conflict situations and express high levels of satisfaction with the mediation process.
Parents of peer mediators report mediation as a positive experience for their child and indicate skills are generalized to the home environment.
Peer mediators indicate mediation is useful and effective for most interpersonal conflicts and feel an increase in confidence, leadership and empowerment.
447 Sutter St, Ste 405
San Francisco, CA 94108
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