Changing Conflict: Peer to Peer Mediation2015/2016 Projects
The Programme is a schools based initiative which will be provided an introduction to conflict management and the skills required to deal with conflict. Participating Students will gain the skills and knowledge required to understand and manage conflict within a structured educational environment.
We intend to run the programme in three second level schools within Galway City and County with the assistance and approval of the relevant boards of management. This programme will function with the co operation and education of parents and teachers of the students who choose to apply for the programme. The aim is to provide conflict resolution training to young people in an educational environment.
It is proposed that this pilot programme which will assist students to:
• Understanding similarities and differences (for older children, exclusion and inclusion)
• Understanding that perceptions vary and avoiding bias
• Understanding the nature of communication and the requirement to communicate effectively to resolve conflict.
• Realising that conflict is present and the need to deal effectively with conflict to ensure that all persons and interests are respected
• Accepting that there is a requirement to engage in mechanisms and methods to resolve conflict.
• Undertaking practice negotiation and a trial mediation
• There will be a requirement for the students and tutors to engage skill development such as Active listening, Better communication (two-way), Cooperation with others as part of a team, appropriate assertiveness in resolving conflict.
Project Team & Links
We had training of our volunteer faciliators for our school conflict resolution programme. The facilitators are a mixture of student mediators and law students from NUIG who are taking part in the school programme as part of their Clinical Legal Education module run by Larry Donnolly in the Law Faculty. We are excited to be starting this week.
The first school we will be training in conflict resolution skills is a mixed group of students who are in Transition Year. We will be attending Colaiste Iognaid (JES school) in Galway on Sea Road on Thursday 21st January for the first day of training. We have arranged to run the programme in Dominican College in Taylors Hill in February.
We attended at Dominican College in Taylors Hill on the 25th February and the 3rd of March the students were animated and engaged on dealing with conflict by creating and seeing solutions.
The role plays have been amazingly well done by the students who wrote up and imagined their conflicts and then came up with solutions through using a process of communication and co-operation. The students gave myself, Kevin, Paola, and Melissa a wonderful education on a wide variety of conflicts such as abortion, climate change, animal cruelty and the impact of racism on Irish society, the need to reform the Irish educational system to support those who are dealing with LGBT and Transgender issues. They also considered the issues with social media and the increase in cyber bullying with their peers. The students enjoyed the group work and discussion and were really a joy to work with as part of the peer mediation programme.
Huge Thank you to the Students, Teachers especially the Transition Year organisers and to the volunteer facilitators Melissa, Kevin and Paola!