Staffroom difficulties : a lesson plan for resolving conflict, negotiating, and mediating disputes in schools

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Hall, Andrew B.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2003
This project began out of concern for teachers and teaching staffs that seem unable to effectively resolve interpersonal disputes in schools. Existing policies and practice do not seem to be satisfactory in dealing with the negative impact of serious disputes. Like any other organization or workplace, schools experience conflict and there is a need to deal positively and effectively with conflicts and disputes. In the past twenty years academic study and practical experience in Conflict Resolution and Alternate Dispute Resolution have progressed significantly across North America and around the world. Often groups and individuals in dispute are unable to negotiate positive outcomes and a third party mediator is required to help understand and resolve the dispute. This project explores how some school staffs have incorporated the knowledge and experience of conflict management and, especially, third party mediation into their work-lives. Three practicing Alberta mediators were interviewed to add their professional insight and experience into the project. One was a mediator in private practice with an international reputation for teaching the mediation and negotiation process. She was able to share a committed enthusiasm for her work and valuable tips on mediation. The second mediator was an experienced Alberta public school teacher and administrator who worked at sharing the conflict resolution process with school staffs to create a better school climate. She was able to share some of her specific challenges in introducing the process at the school level. The third mediator was responsible for introducing the alternate dispute resolution process to schools through the Calgary Board of Education. Tape-recorded interviews with these three individuals were transcribed and their insights were added to a lesson plan for resolving conflict, negotiating, and mediating disputes in schools. Creating systems for more effectively resolving conflict takes time and effort. Although there are some individuals in the school system who intuitively understand the dynamics of interest-based negotiation and mediation there is much more to be learned, understood, and practiced on a daily basis by teachers and administrators. Mediation skills are a valuable asset to any adult working in a school.
vi, 102 leaves ; 29 cm. --
Interpersonal conflict , Conflict management , Mediation , School management and organization