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It's time for resolution: Conflict management in a fourth grade classroom

1 May 1998


The purpose ofl this qualitative study was to answer the question: how do fourth grade students manage interpersonal conflicts? Deutsch's (1973) theory of constructive and destructive conflict resolution guided the examination of conflict resolution used in the classroom, The study took place in a K-5 elementary school in a suburb of Portland, Oregon. Information was gathered in the classroom and on the playground through a variety of methodological approaches including observations, interviews and written surveys. In order to protect the participants' rights to privacy and anonymity I have provided pseudonyms for all participants in this study. After collecting and organizing extensive field notes, interviews, and survey responses, various patterns emerged in the way these children managed conflicts. My research revealed that the techniques these children used were consistently destructive and that there is an alarming need for intervention.


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