Peer Mediation facilitates change by providing a school environment that is positive, caring, safe and friendly. This as a result can contribute to the prevention of bullying. Mediation workshops teach all students to resolve low-level conflicts using their peers as mediators. Mediation opens up communication channels and allows the disagreeing students to discuss their problems with the guidance of mediators and come to a resolution that suits both parties.
Peer mediation is based on the assumption that conflicts are mutual problems that can be resolved in ways that benefit all parties. In secondary/high schools, peer mediation is used to help two or more students resolve serious conflicts they cannot handle independently. Peer meditation relies on an impartial third party, the peer mediator, to facilitate the problem-solving process and help students use advanced communication, negotiation, and problem-solving skills to reach a mutually beneficial resolution.
Peer mediation has been found to be particularly effective in primary/elementary schools. Here the dispute are often about relationships, playing together, working together and understanding human differences. Peer mediation is very powerful here as children begin to articulate their feeling and create a more profound understanding of each other and how to use dialogue to resolve their disputes.
Some programs use teams of peer mediators who collaborate to facilitate the negotiation process. Disputes about such issues as jealousy, the use of personal property, bullying, rumors, fights, and misunderstandings among students lend themselves to peer mediation. Peer mediation may not, however, be appropriate in situations where the students have severe emotional problems, have already engaged in violent acts, or have had unsuccessful experiences with mediation.
Peer mediation is also particularly appropriate for secondary school because at this stage in their developmental process, students typically rely on their peers for social and emotional support and welcome opportunities to function independently of their parents and teachers. In addition, secondary school students are better able to view problems from the perspective of their peers and can frame issues in language that is understood by their classmates.
At ADRGroup we focus on:
- youth development
- reduction of youth violence
- reduction of bullying and related behaviors
- the transformation of students’ interpersonal and group behaviors.
As young people learn peer mediation and peacemaking skills, they are progressively transformed. Students identify themselves with the peacemaking community and as individually they internalize peacemaking values. We are seeking to extend the reach of the Program by connecting school and peer mediators from different ethnic, religious and cultural communities to each other. Planned in the future, as the Program grows, is a collaboration between schools using co-mediators from different cultures to build bridges between individuals and communities.
Goals and Objectives:
The ADRGroup Peer Mediation program aims to reduce and even transform violence and other delinquent behaviors by
a) training students in conflict resolution;
b) reducing the number of disruptive behavioral incidents;
c) transforming the individual student, and
d) improving the qualitative climate of the school community by skill-training youth and staff.
Those goals are achieved through the following objectives:
1. Peer Mediation programs will be implemented in schools and, eventually, in community organizations.
2. Staff and students will form a working definition of respect and model respectful behavior.
3. Students will learn listening skills.
4. Students will learn basic mediation skills.
ADRGroup uses a modular program that harnesses the power of youth interaction to bear directly upon violent and delinquent behavior through an in-school skills training and conflict resolution program. We offer two ways to implement Peer Mediation programs:
I.) School or organization led, or
II.) AdrGroup led and administered.
I. School or Organization Led:
This option seeks to train the trainers so that the program can become self-sustaining in the schools.
A) The site director and selected teachers and students attend a two-day ADRGroup training session and develops an implementation program for his/her site that includes data tracking.
B) The site director chooses 10 60 minute classroom sessions, introducing skills training and communications to all students.
C) The site director, administration and ADRGroup identify students with a strong aptitude for peacemaking.
D) The ADRGroup trainer gives intensive training to students (with site director) wishing to become peer mediators. Training includes a workshops, lesson plans, and support material.
E) The site director and trained students operate a peer mediation program at the site.
F) The ADRGroup facilitator conducts a follow up evaluation and reflection to fine tune the program.
This option is designed for a 15:1 teacher student ratio.
II. ADRGroup Administered:
This option is designed to offer six sessions, that train students in a number of different conflict resolution skills. These highly participative and academic-based sessions challenge students to bring peacemaking skills into their daily lives. Students will learn communication skills, active listening skills, critical observation skills, mediation techniques, anger management skills, and problem solving skills through games, exercises, group interaction, and reflection. This program is taught by the ADRGroup trainers and two Facilitators per 30 youth.
The Benefits of Peer Mediation
Educators who have implemented peer mediation programs attribute many benefits to them. Hundreds of educators, separated by many miles and vastly different circumstances, report similar experiences. Although it is essential to be cautious because most of these claims are unsubstantiated and based on anecdotal evidence, it is likely that peer mediation programs have some degree of positive impact on all of the areas listed below.
Peer Mediation Resolves Student Conflicts.
- Peer Mediation Teaches Students Essential Life Skills
- Peer Mediation Builds Students' Conflict Resolution Skills Through Real-life Practice
- Peer Mediation Motivates Students to Resolve their Conflicts Collaboratively
- Peer mediation motivates students to talk things out rather than fight things out.
- Peer Mediation Deepens the Educational Impact of School
- Peer Mediation Empowers Students
- Peer Mediation Increases Self-Esteem
- Peer Mediation Gives Students Greater Insight
- Peer Mediation Expects the Best from Students
- Peer Mediation Engages All Students, Even Those Considered "At-Risk"
- Peer mediation enables students to learn from and manage a most vital part of their lives.
- Peer Mediation Creates More Time For Learning
- Peer Mediation is Preventive
- Peer Mediation Improves School Climate
- Peer Mediation Offers a "Gender-Balancing" Method of Conflict Resolution to Schools
For More information on Peer Mediation and the training programmes we currently offer in Greece please email Maria.Davari@adrgroup.co.uk or call +44 (0) 203 600 5058