NEGOTIATION, MEDIATION & VIGNETTES
Resolving Conflict Creatively in the School Community
This resource is designed for the whole school community: students and parents, teaching and non-teaching staff and was developed in collaboration with an advisory board of negotiation and mediation experts including Kathleen Wynne. Includes two half-hour videos, and a detailed teacher's manual with student handouts supporting ten forty-minute lesson plans.
"Negotiation" addresses the issues of interpersonal conflict and outlines a five-step conflict solving approach that can be used to work out conflicts without the aid of a third party. It also demonstrates how to conduct role-playing.
In, "Mediation", peer mediators demonstrate in detail a four phase mediation process and encounter two circumstances where the process breaks down - when dealing with issues of alleged sexual harassment and racism.
These two videos employ real students, parents and, school staff as participants in a workshop exploring negotiation and mediation skills under the guidance of a prominent workshop leader. The workshop footage is intercut with a series of dramatic "vignettes" that provide the viewer with an "eye witness" glimpse of the conflicts that the workshop participants will explore later through role-playing. To emphasize that conflicts at school are interrelated with conflicts in the greater community (which includes the home) the video begins with a conflict between Sophie (16) and patronizing "big" brother (18). At the same time, their parents are arguing in another room, and eventually this conflict spills into a confrontation between Sophie and her mother. Sophie is later seen arriving at her school workshop on conflict resolution where she becomes actively involved in the learning process. Throughout the workshop we observe Sophie and the other participants actively involved in the learning process by asking questions, volunteering their experiences and even arguing. After the workshop ends, we see Sophie arriving back home where she timidly tries to apply her acquired knowledge of the mediation process with some dramatic and comical results.