Peer Mediation in Schools
Peer Mediation involves trained students mediating certain conflicts and miscommunication between fellow students. Fairfield Center initiated effective Peer Mediation Programs in 1986.
Fairfield Center Peer Mediation Training
• 16 Steps to Success – Fairfield’s Peer Mediation Training Program recognizes the need for a comprehensive and phased approach for starting or reinvigorating a school program.
• Training focuses on the role of administration, teachers, students, and parents.
• Fairfield staff visit and train school personnel and students over a semester to develop and implement the program.
• Fairfield’s custom training manual has everything a school needs to get started and keep going.
Goals and Objectives of Peer Mediation
• Resolve minor peer disputes that interfere with the education process.
• Build a stronger sense of cooperation and school community.
• Improve the school environment by decreasing tension and hostility.
• Increase student participation, self-esteem, and development of leadership skills.
• Advance communication and practical life skills.
• Enhance student performance
Benefits of a Peer Mediation Program
Benefits for Staff
• Spend less time getting involved in settling squabbles among students.
• Experience a relief of the tension caused by the pressure to be the constant disciplinarian.
• Have better relationships with students, improving the overall school climate.
Benefits for Peer Mediators
• Develop leadership skill.
• Enhance language skills
• Improve academic achievement
• Increase self-esteem
• Learn communication skills useful in all relationships
• Learn problem-solving techniques applicable to many situations
Benefits for the Student Body at Large
• Become active in the problem-solving process.
• Experience greater commitments to making solutions work.
• Observe that students have a strong influence on one another.
• Have a positive model for solving conflicts appropriately through the Peer Mediator program.
• Assume greater responsibility for solving problems and recognize that adult intervention is not always necessary.
• Be encouraged to share feelings and search for positive ways to meet students’ needs through the mediation process.
• Understand and witness the fact that children who resolve their conflict improve their self-esteem and are less likely to begin substance abuse.
Benefits for Families
• Experience a ripple effect from the program as the problem-solving process taught in school often carries over to home life.
Benefits for the Community
• Experience a reduction of overall violence as schools teach students positive ways to resolve conflicts.
• Note that children who learn at an early age to solve conflicts in a positive way are more likely to do so as adults.
• Reap economic benefits and savings, for successful projects cost very little but may, in the end, save the financial expenses of dealing with illicit behavior.
Contact the Fairfield Center to explore Peer Mediation:
Tim@FairfieldCenter.org or 540.434.0059