The purpose of this study was to determine the most effective strategies teachers use to resolve conflict in an elementary classroom. The researcher investigated the methods teachers in grades one, four, and six found most successful for resolving conflict at Peace Elementary. Qualitative inquiry was the approach used to obtain literature, make observations, and analyze findings.
The classrooms were studied for two days a week for a three-week period and four days of another one-week period. During that time not only were teachers' conflict resolution strategies investigated, but the value of teaching students to resolve their own conflict and training students to be mediators for others was explored. While literature supports mediator programs for youth, observations and interviews revealed that students who were trained to be mediators derived more positive results in resolving their own personal conflict than for others.
Close examination of the classroom setting implied that skills to resolve conflict must be learned. By modeling, communicating openly, and providing a safe, positive environment, teachers become the primary tool for assuring that this occurs.
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