Elementary School Peer Mediation
(For grades 4 and up)
What is peer mediation?
Peer mediation is a demonstrably effective youth leadership model. In peer mediation programs, trained students help other students to resolve their differences when a conflict is brewing or has already occurred.
Peer mediation recognizes that students can utilize conflict resolution practices and social skills to play a leadership role in increasing peace and reducing violence in their school.
How can a peer mediation program help my school or district?
Peer mediation programs continue to be one of the most widespread and important peer leadership programs in the country. They are an important part of comprehensive violence prevention and character education initiatives. Well-implemented peer mediation programs have proven effective at increasing safety and improving the climate for learning in schools, from elementary through high school.
Students who are experiencing a conflict, or are distracted by classroom feuding, have trouble learning and often disrupt the rest of the class. In schools with peer mediation programs, students can request mediation or be referred by either staff or other students. Peer mediation is a voluntary, non-punitive process that helps students resolve disputes before they escalate into violence. Peer mediation can also help prevent the recurrence of fights if conducted before students who have fought return to the classroom or school.
Peer mediation programs have been shown to consistently reduce disciplinary referrals, violence levels, and suspension rates in rural, suburban, and inner-city schools. Student mediators, drawn from a cross-section of the student body, become positive leaders in the school, and their own self-esteem, confidence, and conflict resolution skills improve. Additionally, peer mediation programs can promote the use of conflict resolution skills among the entire student body.
What do I get with a peer mediation program?
When you work with ESR to set up your peer mediation program, you’ll get proven materials and experienced consultants who guide you through the stages of setting up a successful program. Over 100 schools nationwide are running peer mediation programs that were established with our assistance. As a pioneer in the field, we are experts in helping districts and schools design and implement new peer mediation programs. We also help revitalize and improve existing programs.
We train a carefully selected cross-section of students along with adult peer mediation coaches and a program coordinator. After three days of training for this group, your school will be ready to have students begin mediating disputes among their peers. The students will learn a model that helps them provide a structure for disputants to tell their stories, listen to each other, brainstorm solutions, and negotiate an agreement that will work for them. The peer mediators will learn listening, empathy, questioning, intergroup relations, and problem solving skills. In addition to this training, the peer mediation coaches will receive coaching in how to implement peer mediation programs, promote the program school-wide, and help improve peer mediators’ skills. Your peer mediation coaches will then be able to sustain the program and train new peer mediators in future years.
With a peer mediation program you’ll receive:
- An introductory meeting with an ESR trainer and a committee of your administrators, teachers, and parents to customize the peer mediation program to fit your school’s schedules, cultural composition, most pressing needs, and constraints
- One day of training for five to seven adult peer mediation coaches followed by three days of training for a core group of 20-30 students and the adult coaches to help all involved become proficient in the skills they need and the process they’ll be using to help students resolve conflicts
- An introductory presentation for school staff to familiarize them with the peer mediation approach and encourage them to refer students to the program
- One day of on-site follow-up consultation later in the year which includes a meeting with administrators and additional training for staff and students, and ongoing consultation to help you make implementation decisions, integrate the program with other school initiatives, and resolve program dilemmas
- Peer mediation implementation guides for the core staff working with the peer mediators and a notebook of materials and forms for peer mediators
To find out how a peer mediation program can serve your school or district, call 800-370-2515 ext. 19 or fill out the form below to have us contact you about a customized quotation for our services.