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ERIC Number: ED437328
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jun-9
Pages: 31
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Student Conflict Resolution, Power "Sharing" in Schools, and Citizenship Education.
Bickmore, Kathy
What does it mean to teach children to be "good citizens," for example, in conflict resolution and service learning activities? This study addressed that question by examining contrasting conceptions of "good citizenship" that were enacted in several peer conflict mediation programs implemented in urban elementary schools. In 1995, the Winning against Violent Environments mediation training program was expanded into the Cleveland Public Schools Center for Conflict Resolution. In school-based peer mediation, the mediator is supposed to neither judge nor investigate facts nor counsel nor offer suggestions regarding the conflict itself. Mediators are responsible for process only for assisting peers to communicate with one another and to negotiate a solution to their problem themselves. A small group of students per school are trained to provide mediation service; these student mediators typically meet and work together as a team to deepen their skills and to promote the use of nonviolent conflict resolution in their school communities. The overall research question was "What processes of conflict resolution learning are being facilitated at each school, and what are the observable effects of these processes among peer mediators and within each whole school community?" A range of qualitative and quantitative information was collected between 1997-1999 in the 10 schools whose programs had developed the furthest. All the peer mediation programs examined embodied notions of democratic service learning principles and notions of citizenship, but only a few embodied "democratic" citizenship, by including critical reflection, decision making, and autonomous action by the young people themselves. Challenges which emerge in developing these programs are: fairness; capacity of mediation programs to serve the school's whole client population; capacity of a program to grow and develop in the context of a school timetable; and helping diverse students to learn the basics of democratic citizenship in an imperfectly democratic system. (Contains 62 references.) (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A