Free Peer Mediation Reduces The Level Of Conflicts In Urban Schools Literature Review Sample

Type of paper: Literature Review

Topic: Students, Education, Peer, School, Conflict, Violence, Security, Strategy

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/10/24

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Introduction

Peer mediation decreases the level of conflict in urban schools. The conflicts in school could be initiated from factors within the school, or outside the school. According to a research that was done by William Paterson University, violence in schools is a process that is highly dynamic and contextual. Adolescent aggressiveness is rooted in the environment of the adolescent . The physical security measures that are put in schools only make the school environment seem strict and unaccommodating. At least that is what the literature review reveals concerning the perspective of the students on such measures . According to Frost, “The use of severe punishment such as suspension on bullies does not make them better people. It only passes on a bully to another institution or state.” The essay covers the impact of peer mediation in addressing the issues of crime. It reveals that the use and training of peer mediators is of worth to the other students, the school and the peer mediators as well. For instance, one of the peer mediators confessed to have learned many interpersonal skills in the educative forums that he was involved .

Key Words

Peer mediation: The process in which students facilitate the process of solving the conflicts of other students in the same age group.

Academic Achievement: The wholesome academic outcome of education.

The Causes of Conflicts among Students
The conflict groups that surround them, their peers and the allies reflect the cultural setting of the adolescents, both in school and at home. Psychological studies show that peer intervention is different from any other form of professional intervention, especially when the issue pertains to behavioral change. Violence in school is not a reserve for urban schools. Rather, it is also witnessed in rural schools. However, cases of violence are prevalent in the urban areas as compared to the rural areas because most of the largest schools are found in the urban areas .

The Impact of Peer Mediation in Reducing conflicts in Urban Schools

The British Journal of Educational Psychology (2009) conducted a longitudinal study to determine the effectiveness of peer counseling in addressing bullying in schools. It was conducted in an all-girls secondary school whereby the cases of peer victimization were reported to have reduced upon the introduction of peer counseling schemes. The study revealed the effectiveness of peer counseling strategies varied among the various age groups. For instance, it was more visible among the younger students that the older ones. However, the management of the peer counseling scheme requires professionalism because failure to do so only increases the chances of violence among the students.
The School of Mediation Associates has proof of the positive impact of peer mediation in solving conflicts in the urban schools. It is not effective on its own without support from the institution and the senior counselors. Rather, it is effective to a considerable degree. When solving the conflicts between conflicts in schools, most students are more comfortable solving issues among themselves because of the similarity in opinions. Some conflicts are sensitive and it is easier to confide to a person that understands the situation because their experiences are similar to theirs.
Peer mediation in middle schools and secondary schools is more visible that it is in other levels of education . Peer education is found to have positive impact on the interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships among the students. It is advised to include peer mediation in the violence mitigation plans. However, for positive impact, the peer mediators should be trained on the roles that they are assigned to avoid the cases of imposing personal opinions on others. The standards of peer mediation require the mediator to be genuinely interested in solving the conflict. The mediation should be impartial, confidential, competent and without the conflicts of interest. A fourth grader of Brooklyn in New York said that he had become better in communication because he had been serving as a peer mediator in school.
Peer mediation encourages the students to be involved in solving their own conflicts actively . The impact of peer mediation is more visible whereby the mediators are chosen by the student or out of volunteering, rather than choosing the best performing students. That is because they represent the entire school population and social groups. The social groups that students form while in school have their methods of communication and interpretation of issues. As a result, it is better to have peer mediators that represent the entire population so that they can reach all the students.
According to Research to Prevention (2010), “the students know the problems that go on with their fellow students; they understand the causes and the reactions of the students that are in a conflict.” In addition to that, it is easier for the students that have a conflict to trust a fellow student whereby the issue is delicate and personal. In such cases, peer mediators do a better job at addressing conflicts in schools because the mediators and the conflicting parties are at the same stage of life and development. They are impacted the same way by their environment. “Most of the characteristics of adolescents and children are an expression of their experiences,” . Factors such as racism and physical abuse in and out of school leaves the child susceptible to becoming a perpetrator. The environment shapes the behavior of students, and the likelihood of causing or getting involved in violent activities as a result of conflict.

Sample Abstracts that Reveal the Superiority of Peer Mediation over Physical Crime Mitigation Measures in Curbing Crime in Urban Schools

A study carried out by Eder L. Lemus (2012) researched on the reduction of gang violence, improvement of the security in schools and creating a learning culture in schools. The study sought to establish the best practices that should be applied to reduce the cases of gang-related bullying in schools. The research applied a systematic sampling system whereby the National Crime Victimization Study team picked black, white and Latino students. The study revealed that 47% black students and 43% of the Latino students reported that their schools had gangs. The multivariate analyses that were conducted revealed that the students that reported gang activities in their schools had little time to participate in extracurricular activities and the teachers used psychologically abusive language. The suggestion was made for the school educators, counselors and peer mediators to be considered as a major influencing factor in the strategy to change the state of the schools .
The other study that was conducted by the National Association of School Psychologists (2013) focused on finding out the impact of security measures on students. The research involved random sampling and interviewing of students aged between twelve and eighteen years old. The trends of security measures that were studied were the use of metal detectors and cameras in schools. 70% of the respondents said that there was the use of security measures in their schools whereas 11% said there was the use of metal detectors. Not much has been accomplished by the use of metal detectors and security cameras in the mitigation of violence in schools. As a result of the security measures and the continuing violence, most of the respondents agreed that they felt that the school environment was unsafe, and the others hated the school climate that was created by the stern measures that were taken against any form of crime. The recommendation was for the schools to implement a continuum of services that cater for the physical, educational and psychological needs of the students for a healthy learning environment.
A research by Alice Frost reviewed the impact of peer mediation in conflict resolution and the reduction of school suspensions . The focus group was middle schools’ students and according to the research, peer intervention was one of the most effective strategies of solving conflicts in schools and reducing the likelihood of recurrence of the event in future. According to the study, “ the schools that had a counselor to student ratio of more that 1:500 had more cases of violence-based suspensions.” In addition to that, only 1% of the schools had peer mediation programs. The schools that had peer mediation programs presented better results in terms of fewer suspensions as compared to those that did not. For instance, for the schools that had a counselor to student ratio of 1:501 and above, those with peer mediation programs presented fewer cases of violence-based suspensions.

Conclusion

Most conflicts among students end up in violence if they are ignored. The strategies of addressing such conflicts should be approached carefully across the different age groups of students. It is easier for a senior person to solve a conflict between two nine-year-olds by exercising absolute authority over the party on the wrong. However, the case gets more sensitive as the students mature and the students tend to retaliate and even insult the mediator. As a result, the idea of peer mediation was introduced. The results are positive but dependent on the training and support of the peer mediators by the schools. The use of intense physical security measures in the schools only interrupts the school activities and creates tension within the school environment. Such reasons affect the academic achievement of the students as well as their wellbeing. Peer mediation was recommended as a suitable measure of the standard of conflict resolutions in schools in 2007.

References

Frost, A. M. (2012). Bully Prevention, Peer Mediation and Conflict Resolution: Impact of
Prevention Programs on Reducing Schol Suspensions. Retrieved Feb 1, 2015, from Kansas State University Research Exchange: https://krex.k-state.edu/dspace/handle/2097/14941
(https://krex.k-state.edu/dspace/handle/2097/1494)
Houlston, C., & Smith, P. K. (2009). The Impact of a Peer Counselling Scheme to Address
Bullying in an All-Girl London Secondary School: A Short Term Longitudinal Study. The British Journal of Educational Pychology , 69-86.
(https://www.gold.ac.uk/media/BJEP438.pdf )
Juvonen, J. (2014). School Violence. Retrieved Feb 1, 2014, from Rand Corporation:
http://www.rand.org/pubs/issue_papers/IP219/index2.html
(http://www.rand.org/pubs/issue_papers/IP219/index2.html)
Lemus, E. L. (2012). Reducing Gang Violence, Improving School Security and Creating a
Culture of Learning in Schools. Retrieved Feb 1, 2015, from Wayne State University: https://isaac.wayne.edu/research/journal/article.php?newsletter=123&article=1711
(https://isaac.wayne.edu/research/journal/article.php?newsletter=123&article=1711)
Mateu-Gelabert, P. (2003). School Conflict: The Biodirectiona Conflictl Flow Between
Neighborhood and School. New York: 2003.
NASP. (2013). Research on School Security: The Impact of Security Measures on Students.
Retrieved Feb 1, 2014, from National Asociation of School Psychologists: http://www.nasponline.org/advocacy/schoolsecurity.pdf
(http://www.nasponline.org/resources/principals/Peer%20Mediation%20WEB.pdf)
NCPC. (2015). Strategy: Peer Education in Secondar Schools. Retrieved Feb 1, 2015, from
National Crime Prevention Council: <http://www.ncpc.org/topics/bullying/strategies/strategy-peer-mediation-in-high-schools>
(http://www.ncpc.org/topics/bullying/strategies/strategy-peer-mediation-in-high-schools)
Research to Prevention. (2010, Dec). Peer Edeucation. Retrieved Feb 1, 2015, from Research to
Prevention: <http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/research-to-prevention/publications/peereducation.pdf>
(http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/research-to-prevention/publications/peereducation.pdf)
Links to the references
http://www.ojs.unisa.edu.au/index.php/JSW
http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/research-to-prevention/publications/peereducation.pdf
http://www.ncpc.org/topics/bullying/strategies/strategy-peer-mediation-in-high-schools
http://www.nasponline.org/resources/principals/Peer%20Mediation%20WEB.pdf
https://isaac.wayne.edu/research/journal/article.php?newsletter=123&article=1711
http://www.rand.org/pubs/issue_papers/IP219/index2.html
https://krex.k-state.edu/dspace/handle/2097/14941

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