School Mediation is becoming increasingly popular as a progressive educational tool, enabling students to investigate the antecedents, mechanisms and outcomes of conflict in a safe, enjoyable environment.
It can also be referred to as Peer Mediation as it is the students themselves who act as mediators. Suitable for final year Primary Level (6th class) and all Second Level the programs have two features.
The initial learning phase is where suitable and appropriate role-plays are used to discuss topical causes of conflict for children of their age. Examples of these include sibling/family disputes, social media arguments (e.g. cyber-bullying) and falling-out with friends. Throughout the process students are encouraged to analyse, draw conclusions and make recommendations for future sessions.
Secondly there is the option for the school board of management to incorporate the mediation program into the wider school management program in a “live” capacity. This has been done very successfully in a number of primary and second level schools across the UK and also in Dublin.
For the mediator these sessions are absolutely inspiring and very professionally rewarding. Children and teenagers are no strangers to conflict and I have found they are always ready and enthusiastic to learn skills that allow them to deal with conflict. If you are a school principal or teacher and would like to know more about implementing a similar program please get in contact. References and testimonials are also available on request.