THE NEED FOR ONLINE PEER MEDIATION
Since the mid 1980s peer mediation has been the most commonly used conflict resolution education program in the United States. Research indicates that as many as 25% of US schools have had peer mediation programs serving grades 3 to12 and many programs in large urban districts are districtwide. However, three important changes in the educational and social context now suggest the need for an online version of peer mediation.
Judy Tindall from the National Association of Peer Program Professionals (NAPPP) describes the context, scope, and elements of our Online Peer Mediation Project in her March 2016 article for Mediate.com. Read the article here.
1 Significant and Increasing Online Public Education
In formal educational contexts (K through 12) the increase in online schools has skyrocketed. Approximately 3 million K through 12 students are now enrolled in free, online public schools, which are not served by peer mediation.
2 Prevalence and Preference for Online Communication
Current schoolage generation prefers to communicate online. For the millions of students in conventional K through 12 schools, community groups, or youth organizations, online peer mediation opportunity is more congruent with their use of social media and communication technology.
3 Global Peer Mediation Growth
Peer mediation programs have been growing not only in the United States, but also around the world. In fact, much of the increase in peer mediation since 2000 has happened in Europe, Australia and South Asia.
ONLINE PEER MEDIATION PLATFORM (OPMP)
For the reasons listed above, in December 2014 the JAMS Foundation funded this Online Peer Mediation Platform (OPMP), a 2-year project initially managed by the Association for Conflict Resolution, and now managed by the Association of Peer Program Professionals
The four goals of our Online Peer Mediation Platform are:1-Resources
Provide extensive to anyone interested in peer mediation: useful links + resources , research + best practices , standards , curriculum , and media.
2-Online Training in Basic Peer Mediation Skills
Show how middle and high school can teach their students basic peer mediation skills online . Available in 2016
3-Online Peer Mediation Skills Development
Teach middle/high schools how students can practice their peer mediation skills by participating in online peer mediation simulations with other students and their trainer. Each simulation consists of four parts:
1- (Co)mediation of a typical school-related conflict between two or more students.
2- Debriefing, to reflect on what happened during that peer mediation: what worked well or not-so-well, and why.
3- Video Recording.
4- Online Survey, to collect all students' feedback: e.g. what they liked about their simulation, what the learned.
4-Online Peer Mediation Services
Show how middle/high schools experienced in peer mediation can deliver online peer mediation services to schools that don’t have a peer mediation program. Coming soon.
5-Peer Mediation Coordinator Training
- Following this intensive 32-hour training, individuals will qualify to teach adults how to establish, maintain, and evaluate a peer mediation program. Upon completion, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association for Conflict Resolution and the National Association of Peer Program Professionals as meeting the criteria of establishing a standard based program. In addition, participants will be eligible to apply as a trainer/consultant for the National Association of Peer Programs Professionals.
6-Organizational Conflict Resolution Training
- An organization’s success is based on its commitment to invest in human capital in order to compete in the global market. To sustain this advantage, organizations should consider the substantial return on investment from teaching conflict management skills and appropriate oral and written communication skills when working together. According to the American Psychological Association, the U.S. economy loses around $500 billion because of stress due to unmanaged conflict. Therefore, investing in appropriate conflict management skills can improve an organization's relationships, increase productivity, and reduce stress saving an organization thousands each year. Let our team work with your organization to teach practical techniques for managing conflict, effective conflict resolutions skills that improve working relationships and foster collaboration. Source
7-Teacher-Student Mediation for school administrators, counselors, and staff members
- Unresolved conflict in schools builds barriers to learning, including low motivation, lack of focus and disruptive behaviors that remove students from the classroom. Data show mediation is highly effective in repairing relationships and boosting understanding across racial lines. The goal of mediation is to restore respect so teachers can teach and learners can learn. This training will share evidenced based mediation techniques for use with teachers and students. The training will show the process of starting a student-teacher mediation, conducting a successful mediation, and collecting and monitoring data to measure the effectiveness of interventions.
8-Mediator Mentor Training for college students (Coming Soon)
- Nationally, there are tens of thousands of college students who have matriculated from peer mediation programs in the K-12 context who are often looking for further opportunities to use and refine their mediation skills. Further, many colleges throughout the United States offer conflict resolution studies as a focus for Bachelor of Arts or Masters level degrees. These students are well suited to gain training and support as Online Mediator Mentors to coach and encourage less experienced students at the high school level. The Online Peer Mediation Platform was established for high school youth, offering training modules for skill development as well as providing a platform to practice mediation simulations with the guidance of more experienced mediators who are college students.
Our team is a group of experts in peer mediation, online mediation, Internet and mobile technology.
Judy Tindall - President, National Association of Peer Program Professionals
Dr. Cynthia Morton - Former Chair of Education Research and Teaching Section, ACR
Prof. Karen DeVoogd - MA, Professor, California University of Dominguez Hills
Kyle Bruner - Past President Georgia Association for Conflict Resolution and Registered Mediator, Bruner Mediation
Michael Sonn-Social Work Intern, Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District, Hoopa Valley Reservation, California
Ondine Gross-author and nationally certified school psychologist, Champaign, Illinois
Christa Tinari, Author and Founder of Peace Praxis
Kristen Woodward-Assistant Coordinator for the ADR Program for Fairfax County Government
The video below is a recording of a Zoom conference which outlines the opportunities and how to get involved with Online Peer Mediation.
For more information about our Online Peer Mediation Platform, send us an email through our Contact page.