Already a subscriber or advertiser? Enter your login information here

Tuesday, 24 April 2018
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL APPOINTMENTS

You are here: Home > Online Articles > Peer Mediation Teaches Students Life Skills at Carol Morgan School

FEATURED ARTICLES

SEARCH

Peer Mediation Teaches Students Life Skills at Carol Morgan School

At Carol Morgan School, middle and high school students go through extensive training, then work in pairs to help peers resolve conflicts.

By Rachael L. Gerbic

04/19/2017

Peer Mediation Teaches Students Life Skills at Carol Morgan School
Students trained in peer mediation learn key life concepts, such as placing themselves in another person’s shoes. They develop the understanding that conflict is a normal part of daily life, that our response to conflict is what makes a difference, and that conflicts largely arise due to limited resources, unmet basic needs, and differing values. Students undergoing this training additionally gain an understanding of the basic needs of every human being—which can be summarized as freedom, power, belonging, and fun—and how these might become sources of conflict. They learn the various response styles to conflict and how to choose a path that might de-escalate a problem while also creating win-win solutions. They learn how to be peacemakers.

Once students gain a clear understanding that conflict is a normal part of our daily lives, they learn to relax in the face of tension and gain confidence in addressing the various challenges that come their way, knowing these are to be expected.

The middle and high school years can be challenging and learning these communication skills will certainly help students navigate a smoother path, but it doesn’t end there. We are all faced with conflicts throughout our lives and developing skills to manage such conflicts in a calm solution-focused manner will help us in college, in our future workplaces, with colleagues, with bosses, in our personal relationships, and even later with our children. Mediation skills are life skills.

Middle school students often do not have the skills or tools they need to manage conflicts in a positive way. When students go through mediation training or find themselves in a mediation lead by their peers, they gain a sense of having a locus of control within themselves. They see others are managing conflict and resolving it efficiently and learn that they too can accomplish this without allowing the conflict to cause major stress in their lives, to endure for great lengths of time, or to cause broken relationships with classmates and friends.
Because international schools are innately comprised of people from all over the world with differing opinions, worldviews, and cultural backgrounds, they are obvious places in which conflict might arise.

Teaching students the skills they need to manage interpersonal relationships early on in their lives will achieve a number of outcomes. Students who are not experiencing the stress of unresolved conflicts are better able to focus in the classroom. They are less likely to resort to maladaptive ways of coping with stress—such as drugs, alcohol, and sex—because they have a channel for addressing conflict head on. Social isolation and bullying are reduced, as mediation becomes part of the fabric and culture of the school and aggression and unkindness is frowned upon by the majority.

Students as young as Grade 2 are able to successfully process their conflicts and find win-win solutions with the help of the Peace Table, an age-appropriate format usually established in a quiet corner of the classroom where students walk through a step-by-step conflict resolution process.

In middle and high school, students go through an extensive training, usually over the course of two full days, and become trained mediators and peacemakers who work in pairs to assist other peers in resolving conflicts and finding win-win solutions.

Regular promotion of the mediation program and an ongoing awareness campaign on school campuses are key elements in maintaining a peaceful school atmosphere. Students and faculty become keenly aware that mediation is an option available to them at any time, that it is confidential, and that it works, in all aspects of their lives.




Please fill out the form below if you would like to post a comment on this article:

Nickname (this will appear with your comments)
Email
Comments


Comments

04/20/2017 - Cara
Awesome work Rachael!
04/20/2017 - Available resources?
Where can I find resources regarding article's mediation program?

MORE FROM FEATURED ARTICLES
In schools, it’s the connotation we attach to the word "trust" and the deep reservoirs of associated ..more
We failed Cody. As I reflect on my development as a teacher leader, I now believe that we failed thi ..more
Collaborative problem solving, as assessed by PISA in 2015, is indicated by “the ability to maintain ..more
COLLEGE COUNSELING WITH MARTIN WALSH
GORDON ELDRIDGE: LESSONS IN LEARNING
Vocabulary Learning for Older Students
By Gordon Eldridge, TIE Columnist
04-Apr-18
How Do Kids Think About Effort and Ability?
By Gordon Eldridge, TIE Columnist
22-Feb-18
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
John Magagna’s Lifelong Search for Top-Quality Educators
By Meadow Hilley, TIE Editor
04-Apr-18
Education Is not a Zero-Sum Game
By Mike Simpson
04-Apr-18
THE MARSHALL MEMO
Getting the Most from Instructional Coaches
By Kim Marshall, TIE columnist
19-Apr-18
THE PRINCIPALS' TRAINING CENTER
The Servant Leader: A PTC Pearl of Wisdom
By Janine Stegall
19-Oct-17
TOP STORIES
Mindful Teacher, Mindful School: A Must-Read for Every Educator
By Cynthia Nagrath, TIE Staff Writer
20-Apr-18
Becoming Knowledge Experts Through the ToK Interview Process
By Luís Campos Ferreira, Olivia Kelly, Sarah Román-Quezada, & Taila Senanu
19-Apr-18