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ERIC Number: ED522843
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 261
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-7333-1
Interactional Practices Used in the Teaching of Conflict Prevention and Resolution Skills in an Innovative Safe School Program at an Elementary School
Shin, Annalise Grace
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
Within the framework of language socialization, this dissertation uses conversation analytic and ethnographic methods to examine the interactional practices used by the adult safe school educator at a progressive elementary school to socialize students into beliefs and practices associated with the school's Cool Tools Safe School Program. Cool Tools is a unique and learning-focused safe school program at the heart of school philosophy, which encourages all of its students to develop peaceful problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. This entails remaining calm and collected in times of conflict as well as using a special set of terminology and body gestures, collectively referred to as "tools"--hence the name "Cool Tools". The two main mediums through which conflict resolution skills were directly taught were the Cool Tools conflict mediation sessions and the weekly Cool Tools classroom lessons. During conflict mediation sessions, the safe school educator (playing the role of the mediator) was found to follow a basic template phase-structure. Rather than being an impartial mediator, the safe school educator seemed focused on teaching the children how to resolve interpersonal conflicts by subjectively guiding them through the phases of the mediation. For this purpose, the mediator was found to use interactive practices such as selective facilitation, assessment, personal second stories, and formulation, all of which are discouraged in institutional mediations due to the strong bias they project. Concurrently, the mediator frequently used toy-like objects at various junctures of the mediation as instructional scaffolding resources. These toys were used as metaphors to concretize abstract concepts, such as integrity and forgiveness for young children. Cool Tools behavior and ideologies were also taught and practiced in weekly classroom lessons through various hands-on role plays. Role plays were used by the safe school educator for the purpose of teaching children to become more sensitive to the pragmatic implications of paralinguistic features (volume, tone, and pitch), facial expressions, and hand/body gestures according to the unique situational variables. Thus, role plays provided an abundance of opportunities for situated learning. Directives were heavily used by the safe school educator during the role plays, but in most cases, the directive sequences were used implicitly in the form of third-person running narratives by the educator in her role as the director/narrator to provide scaffolding to the actors during their performance. Running narratives, like live sportscasts, created a sense of drama and excitement since they described the moment-by-moment unfolding of the story. In both the mediations and classroom lessons, the educator consistently maintained the identity of an expert, playing the role of the "mediator" or the "role play director". However, the semi-play structure of these activities seemed to create more fluid participation frameworks, moving away from a formal teacher-student relationship and allowing for students to be creative within a make-believe setting to experiment with conflict resolution skills without worrying about making mistakes. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A