ERIC Number: ED372874
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Sep
Peer Conflicts in the Classroom. ERIC Digest.
Wheeler, Edyth J.
Recent theory and research suggest that peer conflict contributes to children's development and represents an important form of social interaction. Research has identified structural features of children's conflict as issues, such as control of objects or physical space; strategies, including aggressive and nonaggressive physical and verbal tactics; and outcomes, such as an unresolved situation, an adult-imposed solution, one child's submission to another, or a mutually agreed-upon solution. Studies of children's conflicts indicate that age makes a difference in conflict resolution; the role of gender, however, is not as clear. Children's conflicts during play are influenced by the play setting, the children's prior relationships, and the presence of adults. Disputes are more likely to occur in closed than open play areas, children who were playing together before a conflict are more likely to resolve the conflict than children who were not playing together, and children more often generate their own solutions to conflicts when an adult is absent than when an adult is present. Implications for teachers and parents can be drawn from the research on children's conflicts. Teachers should: (1) be aware of children's intentions in an apparent conflict; (2) let children who are verbally competent try to resolve their conflict themselves; (3) note whether children were playing together before the conflict; (4) make play spaces accessible and provide ample play materials; and (5) help children, in conflicts characterized by physical strategies, to find words to use to express their feelings. (BC)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Parents; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.