maple leaf 2-9. Conflict Resolution

Three Basic Models:

There are three basic conflict resolution models which can be used successfully in isolation, or they can be combined to create a model specific to a school:

1. In-class Model

A self-contained classroom where conflict resolution strategies are used. They are not used throughout the school because the school has not "bought" into it.

2. School-wide Model

The complete school addresses conflicts via conflict resolution strategies. Teachers in halls/etc. can approach any student conflict and will be able to interact using conflict resolution strategies because all students know how the system operates. Parents are often involved as well.

3. Community-wide Model

Students are taught concepts such as due process, the rights and responsibilities of individuals, how problems are resolved in courts, etc. Parents are highly involved, as are other community members.

Which model to use depends upon local needs. If most of the staff is in agreement but the community is not, then it is wise to start with a school-wide model. If the staff is not supportive, then start with the in-class model.

Three Basic Conflict Styles:

  1. Avoidance
  2. Confrontation
  3. Problem-solving

Active Listeners:

  1. Listen politely
  2. Ask questions for clarification
  3. Repeat what was said in your own words
  4. Summarize
  5. Acknowledge speakers point of view, feelings, etc.

Problem-Solving:

  1. Choose an appropriate time and place
  2. Identify the problem
  3. Brainstorm solutions
  4. Agree on a solution
  5. Avoid compromise or win/lose situations
  6. Always try for win/win situations
  7. Respect the rights and values of others
  8. Check back later to ensure the solution is working
Compromise and win/lose situations almost always produce dissatisfaction in everyone.

Practicing Conflict Resolution Strategies

As with teaching anything, students and teachers must be taught:

CONFLICT RESOLUTION

STEP #1:
Person #1: TELL YOUR SIDE of the story

Person #2: LISTEN ACTIVELY

STEP #2: REPEAT STEP #1 with roles reversed

STEP #3: Mediator CLARIFIES the CONFLICT

STEP #4: Everyone expresses FEELINGS (take turns)

STEP #5: How can we SOLVE this problem?

STEP #6: Select a WIN/WIN solution

STEP #7: Agree on FOLLOW-UP

STEP #8: Principal does CLOSURE

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