Estimated Time of Completion: Two 45-minute class periods
III. Materials Needed
V. Classroom Assessment
VI. Extensions and Adaptations
VII. Online Resources
VIII. Relevant National Standards
For grades 9-12. This lesson has been designed to introduce students to the process of mediation. If Peer Mediation is an ongoing program at your school, this lesson can be used to inform students of what they can expect if they choose to solve a problem through mediation. It can also be used to encourage students to train to become mediators. If Peer Mediation is new to your school, this lesson can be the jumping-off point to bringing a training program into your building. If possible, the PBS In the Mix episode "School Violence: Answers from the Inside" should be used because it shows an actual mediation (re-enacted) and shares viewpoints from both the participants and the student mediators.
|To understand that conflict presents a unique opportunity to grow, change
|To see how mediation is one of the ways to deal with stressful and
|To understand the confidential nature of the peer mediation process
|To learn the steps of a mediation process and see that it is just a more
formalized way of doing the basic steps of problem-solving|
III. Materials Needed:
|Option 1: The PBS In the Mix video: "School
Violence: Answers From The Inside"
Option 2: Access to a computer connected to the Internet and installed with RealPlayer, for viewing the "Reaching Peace Through Peer Mediation" video clip online.
|Blackboard or easel flip-chart|
|Have students write down all words that the word "conflict"
stirs up in them. (This is the classic way that most training programs
in conflict resolution or mediation begin.)
||Have the group share and write them on the board. Most associated
words will be negative-- like fear, anger, arguments, etc.
||If a few positive words emerge, start a second column.
||Usually someone will start to talk about opportunity and that's the
direction you want to go.|
|Conflict can be creative
||Conflict gives us an opportunity to seek solutions
||Conflict can open doors to communication|
|What was the conflict about?
||How did it make them feel?
||What did they do about the conflict?
||If they didn't do anything, how are they doing now?
||If they did do something, what did they do and what was the end
|Define the problem
||Understand the problem-- the emotions, the circumstances, etc.
||Evaluate the solutions
||Try it out
||How did it go?|
|Focus initially on the beginning of the film where the conflict in the
cafeteria explodes and the subsequent mediation. (Video Cue: This
segment begins 11:00 minutes into the program)
|Ask the students to observe the problem-solving steps in the process.|
||Mediators are not judges, just neutral facilitators of a conversation.
||No standing up, yelling or threatening,
||Written agreement only if it is their agreement, not the mediators.|
|Ask them to observe what the mediators are trying to do. What are the
steps that they're seeing?
||They should understand that no mediation is perfect and to understand
that being a mediator is very difficult.
||They have to keep control of the conversation and stay neutral at the
|Remember that every student is a film critic.
||Don't let them get lost in any negative reactions they might have,
like "it looks so phony" or "those mediators should have
just yelled at them."|
|take advantage of Mediation if it is in place in your school,
||become mediators themselves
||apply some of the principles they saw in the film to their own
||help themselves or someone else|
V. Classroom Assessment:
Since this activity is primarily participation, teacher can grade according to her/him own personal accepted practices. A cognitive test could be developed, having students list information learned.
VI. Extensions and Adaptations:
|Lead a discussion about the different resources available at your school
for students who have conflicts with other students. For instance, school
psychologists, guidance counselors, social workers. Who would students feel
most comfortable discussing a problem with? Would they know the first steps
in getting help?
|Practice mediation with the class using the following activity:
VII. Online Resources:
|PBS In the Mix - "School Violence: Answers from The
|Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence|
|North Carolina Center for the Prevention of School Violence|
|National Urban League - Stop the Violence Clearinghouse|
|Alaska Comprehensive Regional Assistance Center|
VIII. Relevant National Standards:
These are established by McREL at http://www.mcrel.org/standards-benchmarks/docs/contents.html:
|Knows how to maintain mental and emotional health|
|Understands conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals, groups, and institutions|
|Thinking And Reasoning: Applies basic trouble-shooting and problem-solving
||Working With Others: Uses conflict-resolution techniques
||Working With Others: Displays effective interpersonal communication skills|