Student Conflict Resolution
Children experience a prominent sense of purpose at stage three of learning. Conflicts may arise as children starts to affirm their control and power over their surroundings while undertaking various activities of their own choosing. Consequently, children at this stage are already conversant with a certain degree of autonomy concerning actions they will undertake as they deal with some conflicting feeling about themselves and their surrounding (Young et al, 2012). Although conflicts between classmates is a normal part of growing up, high rates of conflicts among young students is often experienced as they try to fit into social groups, this can interrupt class time and derail students’ learning, as emotional stress is inflicted on them (Jones et al, 2002). In that case, a teacher has a role of coming up with a conflict resolution plan to manage conflicts before they interfere with the normal process of learning which may lead to bigger social emotional challenges in the future.
De-escalation techniques for conflict resolution
Calming down the two conflicting students is the first and foremost important thing to do as an upset mindset always escalate the conflict. In addition, nothing coherent enough is realized when trying to lead a conflict resolution discussion between two upset and emotionally fragile students (Lacomba et al, 2014). It is of importance that the teacher tries to learn how to come down the conflicting students either by allowing the kids to walk away from each other while helping them relax in order to realize successful results.
Apologizing is a great remedy when it comes to conflict dis-escalation. A fulfilling apology always communicate a regret, responsibility and a remedy while a bad apology often suffer from shortcomings such as; blaming the victim, justifying words, minimizing consequences and making excuses. Therefore, a teacher has the responsibility of teaching students how to discern between the two. Although apologizing for a mistake seems difficult, it is the duty of the concerned teacher to emphasize on the importance of apologies. Additionally, the teacher should encourage each of the involved students to come up with a fulfilling apology to the student with whom they are in conflict with (Young et al, 2012).
Although it is very tempting for an adult to try and generate a solution for the problem, empowering and promoting students to brainstorm various solution to their conflicts is very important and goes a long way to future conflicts resolutions. Through brainstorming, the conflicting students are able to honestly state and understand their problem and come up with solutions of their own which are easy and more likely to work as they are based on their own terms (Curilem et al, 2010).
Strategies to create a calm, positive atmosphere for the other students during a conflict
Mediation is one of the positive problem solving process, whether peer or adult mediation. Mediation can help to prevent disputes and various misunderstanding from becoming escalated destructive and protracted conflicts. Consequently, mediation helps parties assess and weigh their options in a realistic way and reach a mutually acceptable solution. Since mediation is aimed at encouraging future cooperation, it is structured, goal oriented and follow clear understandable steps in resolving disputes confidently. In addition, it allows the aggrieved parties to listen to one another, and through this, they are able to have clear insight of what the other party is feeling about the situation. In a classroom, mediation allows other students to learn and come up with ideas of avoiding conflicts in the future (Lacomba et al, 2014).
David Johnson and roger Johnson Cooperative learning and academic controversy approach is yet another method of creating a peaceful learning environment in a classroom during a conflict. In this strategy, the teacher should divides students into small working groups to achieve a shared learning goal. It is always advisable to encompass conflicting students in the same groups as it encourages students to work together towards the same goal. Academic controversy approaches are mainly used where two students often disagree, through deliberate discussions on advantages and disadvantages of proposed actions in resolving conflicts (Curilem et al, 2010).
In many classrooms, especially the lower grades classes, low level disruptions can cause a lot of stubbornness. Restorative justice can help students involved in a conflict learn the impact of their disagreements while giving them a chance to amend their behavior. Consequently, restorative justice can help to calm down the classroom environment by allowing other students to contribute various applicable measures that conflicting students could use to resolve their disputes. By allowing such contributions, a proactive and calm learning classroom environment is realized (Lacomba et al, 2014).
Strategies to incorporate positive interactions among students
Positive interaction among students is important social, cognitive, language development and in realizing a positive learning environment in a school. Most students always develop acceptable positive interaction behavior naturally, however students with behavioral disorders often fail to build positive peer relationship in school. Teachers have a responsibility of enhancing positive interactions between conflicting students. By focusing on teaching and modeling certain social and emotional strategies to encourage a state of self-awareness and a reflection of the consequences of their actions (Curilem et al, 2010). To do this, a teacher can make the students think through situations and challenges by rehearsing the possible outcomes. Through this, students are able to learn the consequences of their actions and words.
A teacher should enhance learning of communication skills among students, through modeling and providing effective communication skills practices, peer understanding is enhanced. In addition, the teacher should teach the students how to listen to one another by taking turns in conversations, suggesting ideas, providing praise to others, apologizing as well as saying kind words like thank you. Quality communication skills enhance positive interactions among students and helps in mitigating conflicts that may arise due to misunderstanding (Young et al, 2012).
Utilization of effective collaborative learning environments can help in managing conflicts among students. Collaborative groups encourages students to observe, learn and practice appropriate social interaction skills from their peers. In addition, collaborative learning encourages students to interact and contribute their views in a learning process. Collaborative learning environment is highly effective when encompassed with proper communications skills, restorative justice approach as well as peer mediation (Lacomba et al, 2014).
Follow up process
Follow up meetings should be carried in calm and free from destruction environment, discuss each party’s contribution towards resolving the conflict as well as other applicable solutions if the conflict has not yet been resolved. The follow up process is an important steps in determining whether the students are getting along and if the suggested resolutions are working. But if talking together does not work out between the students, it is often best to suggest that the students take a prolonged break from each other, however, the conflicting students are still obliged to use kind and respectful language whenever they are interacting with one another.
Curilem, G. M., Vizcarra, B., Poo, A. M., Huenteman, D., & Brasil, L. M. (January 01, 2010). Design Methodology of an Intelligent Learning Environment Applied to the Non Violent Conflict Resolution Education. Retrieved from: http://peacemagazine.org/archive/v11n4p24.htm
Jones, T. S., Kmitta, D., Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management., & Ohio. (2002). School conflict management: Evaluating your conflict resolution education program. Columbus: Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution & Conflict Management. Retrieved from: http://www.creducation.net/resources/evaluatingcrep.pdf
Lacomba, J. A., Lagos, F., Reuben, E., & van, W. F. (January 01, 2014). On the escalation and de-escalation of conflict. Games and Economic Behavior, 86, 40-57. Retrieved from: https://k12engagement.unl.edu/strategy-briefs/Conflict%20De-Escalation%204-2-2016%20_1.pdf
Young, M., Killen, M., Lee-Kim, J., & Park, Y. (October 01, 2012). Introducing Cool School: Where Peace Rules and Conflict Resolution can be Fun. International Journal of Game-Based Learning (ijgbl), 2, 4, 74-83. Retrieved from: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1535803/1/Allsop_IJGBL%205%281%29%20article.pdf