Direct Instruction and Guided Practice Matter in Conflict Resolution and Social‐Emotional Learning

Published date01 March 2016
Date01 March 2016
C R Q, vol. 33, no. 3, Spring 2016 279
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the Association for Confl ict Resolution
Published online in Wiley Online Library ( • DOI: 10.1002/crq.21156
Direct Instruction and Guided Practice Matter in
Con ict Resolution and Social-Emotional Learning
Karen DeVoogd
Pamela Lane-Garon
Charles A. Kralowec
Seven schools in an economically challenged area of an urban school
district in central California implemented mentored peer media-
tion programs under the guidance of a university–K-12 partnership
project, Mediator Mentors. Individual student outcomes for social-
cognitive dispositions, perceptions of school climate, confl ict strategy
choices, and standardized testing results in language arts were ana-
lyzed on the basis of assessments administered after one year of program
implementation and compared to pretest values generated by student
mediators and nonmediators. Attendance and student perceptions of
school safety were also examined after a year of peer mediation at the
schools. Overall school climate was analyzed with respect to bullying
incidence and suspension and expulsion rates before and after one year
of program implementation.
Mediation is often described by those new to the fi eld as a win-win
process, with a focus on disputants who design their mutually sat-
isfactory confl ict resolution. While this is a valid perspective, our research
confi rms that there are additional and perhaps larger “wins” for students
who are facilitating the mediation and for the school community as a
whole.  is outcome perspective is often met with some skepticism when
the school community is situated in a neighborhood characterized by high
rates of crime, poverty, and low levels of literacy. All seven of the schools
in this study can be described in this manner. Our study of mentored
peer mediation programs in the San Joaquin Valley was supported by  e
California Endowment, Building Healthy Communities grant in 2013.
C R Q • DOI: 10.1002/crq
As in the studies of peer mediation in the 1980s and 1990s, positive
outcomes of this inquiry also justify program implementation. However,
what may distinguish the contribution of this study to the existing knowl-
edge base are (1) the social-emotional variables selected for measurement;
(2) the considerable number of participants across schools in economically
challenged neighborhoods; (3) the tie to academic achievement, specifi -
cally language arts for English language learners; and (4) the unique men-
toring aspect of the mediation model.
Background and Literature Review
Confl ict resolution education (CRE) programs come in all shapes and sizes
(Jones 2004). Peer mediation is one.  e program that served as “treat-
ment” in our study features university students (future helping profes-
sionals) adopting a school and participating in assessment, training, and
ongoing relationship building. Each of our seven schools had a univer-
sity student mediator mentor who collaborated with classroom teachers,
school administrators, and university professors.  e mediators were on
their school campus to advertise the upcoming program rollout by dis-
tributing applications to any interested child in grades 4 to 8 (reducing
selection bias).
During the teacher training and the two days of student training, the
mediator mentors were present and learning with their mentees while help-
ing professors and teacher trainers facilitate the exercise.  ese desirable
role models were in on the peer mediation team development from the
start and therefore often became the go-to adults for most of the younger
student mediators. Although peer mediation programs have been docu-
mented and evaluated for decades in hundreds of studies (Durlak et al.
2011; Johnson and Johnson 1999; Jones 2004), we submit that the ongo-
ing program development provided by mentoring is powerful.
Perhaps the CRE program most similar to ours is Bickmore’s (2002)
Winning Against Violent Environments (WAVE). Developed by Carole
Close and institutionalized in the Cleveland Municipal School District,
twenty-eight urban elementary schools were evaluated. WAVE high school
mediators trained twenty-fi ve to thirty elementary mediators in each school,
conducted follow-up visits with schools, presented at school staff meetings,
and led workshops for parent groups. Data were collected to determine the
impact on understanding of confl ict, attitudes toward confl ict, perceptions
of school climate, attendance rate, number of suspensions, and academic

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT