Attitude of school community towards mediation

Jolanta Sondaitė, Svetlana Vimoncienė

Abstract


School mediation is an opportunity to develop skills of cooperation and the positive conflict resolution among pupils. Mediation is an alternative way of conflict resolution wherein a neutral third party gets involved in the process conflict resolution to encourage and help conflicting parties reach a decision independently. In the case of school mediation, specially trained pupils or mediators help their peers solve their conflicts.
In Lithuania there is a lack of scientific literature and research in the field of school mediation. This innovation is yet to be applied at schools, though some discussion on the subject is already taking place. In order to ensure better conditions for the success of a mediation program, it is necessary to ascertain the attitude of the school community towards mediation before making proposals for its implementation. Participants of the study. 51 teachers, 51(6-9 forms) pupils from schools of Vilnius, Utena, Šiauliai, Pabradė, Švenčionys and 47 parents participated in this study.
Methods of evaluation. Questionnaires and sample mediation scenarios were used in the study.
Method of analysis. SPSS version 13.0 statistical data analysis package was used to analyse the collected data. Hypotheses were checked using criterion χ2 and the Mann and Whitney U. test. Data was also analysed using qualitative analysis.
The study reveals that the school community’s attitude towards school mediation is positive. Many of the participants (teachers, pupils, parents, both men and women) had no prior knowledge of mediation, but received it positively after participating in the study. There were some differences among groups as to desiring more information about mediation, perceived necessity of the program, willingness to participate and inclination to solve conflicts by means of mediation.

Keywords


conflict resolution in school; peer mediation; mediator

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789