This process is focused on 9 to 16-year-olds and aims at turning conflict from a negative interaction to a constructive resolution-based process.
There are essentially 5 steps to a successful mediation.
- They are comprised of the Introduction;
- statement of the problem
- Information gathering
- Identification of the problems
- Bargaining finally Settlement.
These stages are taught to the students by first introducing the process to the schools and teachers. The school will see a significant change in the interactions and problems being dealt with in the playground, as students learn to resolve issues creatively and constructively themselves. The key here to have the process well run with boundaries and process in place.
The process can also lead to less issues being raised in the staff room, management, and parent interactions. Mediation can also lead to less issues being raised.
What is Peer Mediation?
According to the Institute of Citizenship (IOC) “Peer mediation involves pupil mediators acting as an impartial third party to help their peers resolve conflicts, such as name calling bullying, arguing and fighting.
The pupil mediators facilitate communication, empathy and conflict resolution. The pupil mediators work with their peers to find “win-win” solutions, where both parties feel that the decision is fair.” Peer mediation is a voluntary process. Mediators work in pairs to help parties in dispute work out their conflicts.
Peer mediation trainers often talk about the added value that peer mediation provides. If the school adopts a whole school approach to peer mediation and conflict resolution and see the provision of mediation as an investment, then peer mediation can help to change the culture in schools.
Peer mediation helps pupils develop:
- Communication and listening skills
- Teamwork skills
- Critical thinking
- Negotiation skills
- Emotional intelligence
- Problem-solving skills
Schools and teachers benefit from:
- Improved behaviour and attendance
- Improved relationships
- A more inclusive calm, caring environment.
- More teaching time as teachers’ time is less often taken up by resolving disputes between pupils.
- The creation of listening and democratic schools.
- Train a small number of young people to fulfil the role of peer mediators in their school.
- Build capacity of school staff to provide on-going support to the mediators.
- Develop social skills for pupils dealing with conflict in a more positive way
- Contribute to the development of a calm, co-operative classroom and a school atmosphere
- Affirm pupils and raise their self-confidence and self-esteem
- Give pupils conflict resolution and negotiation skills
- Give pupils alternatives to disruption and violence
- Enhance learning through creating a safer, more positive environment