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Conflict Resolution

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 1997
4 pages
This fact sheet outlines four general approaches to conflict resolution education for juveniles: process curriculum, peer mediation, peaceable classroom, and peaceable school.
By teaching youth how to manage conflict, conflict resolution education can reduce juvenile violence in juvenile facilities, schools, and communities, while providing lifelong decisionmaking skills. These programs also combat chronic truancy and reduce the number of suspensions and disciplinary referrals. Reducing staff time spent on discipline and enhancing the self-esteem of participants are additional benefits. Educators who teach the principles and processes of conflict resolution as a distinct lesson or course are using the "process curriculum" approach. The Program for Young Negotiators, based on the Harvard Negotiation Project, typifies this approach. Young people, staff, and administrators are taught to practice principled negotiation as a means of goal achievement and dispute resolution. Recognizing the importance of directly involving youth, many schools and communities use "peer mediation" as part of a comprehensive strategy of violence prevention. Trained youth mediators work with their peers to find resolutions to conflicts. "Peaceable classroom" is a whole-classroom methodology that includes teaching students the foundation abilities, principles, and one or more of the three problem-solving processes of conflict resolution. "Peaceable school" programs build on the "peaceable classroom" by integrating conflict resolution into the management of the institution with every member, learning and using conflict resolution. Evaluation results from each of these four types of conflict-resolution education are presented. Contacts for resources in conflict-resolution education are listed.

Date Published: March 1, 1997