Conflict Resolution Education Services
Fostering peaceful learning communities and change agents through education and empowerment
26th Annual "Peace" It Together SummitThe 26th Annual "Peace" It Together Summit will be held on March 15th from 9:30 am to 2 pm at George Mason University.
Conflict is a part of everyday life. Conflict resolution is the use of communication and problem solving skills to help people understand each other and solve their problems together peacefully.
Mediation is a process where a neutral third party facilitates a discussion between the parties in conflict. The mediator uses advanced communication skills and effective questioning to help parties discover unmet needs and common issues. Parties decide the outcome and an agreement may be crafted that is acceptable to both parties. The process is voluntary and confidential.
The Benefits of Peer Mediation
Peer mediators are students who are trained to mediate disputes between their peers. They are taught skills in communication, active listening, and mediation process management. The role of the peer mediator is to listen to the issues raised and guide the disputants through the process. The mediator does not determine right or wrong. The disputants are encouraged to work together to find a solution that works for them both.
The benefits of peer mediation extend in many directions. Research has shown that students, both mediators and disputants, learn communication, problem solving, and interaction skills while participating in mediation. They also learn to take responsibility for their actions and build confidence in their ability to help themselves.
The school benefits from positive student leadership, a decrease in levels of violence, a safer school environment, and sense of student responsibility for creating change.
Conflict Resolution and Peer Mediation Education
Schools teach conflict resolution in a variety of ways. Some middle school and high schools have an elective course in Peer Mediation. While other schools offer after-school clubs. In the elementary schools, peer mediators may meet during lunch to practice their skills or mediate. To determine if your school has a program, please call the school to request information.
Annual “Peace” It Together Summit
26th Annual “Peace” It Together Summit
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) holds two summits each year geared toward students and staff members interested in expanding their conflict resolution and restorative justice knowledge and skill sets. The "Peace" it Together Summit, co-sponsored by the Student Safety and Wellness Office and the George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, is dedicated to creating our next generation of peace-builders. The annual summits are occasions for developing leadership, enhancing fundamental social-emotional skills, and exploring new ideas in the field of conflict resolution education and restorative justice. Students and staff members have the opportunity to meet other students and active conflict resolution and restorative justice practitioners, and receive confirmation that resolving conflicts constructively leads to peaceful outcomes.
The summit is designed to meet the needs of schools at various stages of interest and implementation in conflict resolution, mediation, restorative justice, and social advocacy initiatives. It provides students and staff members with fundamental communication skills, an understanding of different perspectives, and problem-solving approaches to creating a caring and safe school climate. During the past 23 years, more than 25,000 students and school staff members from the greater metropolitan Washington, DC area have attended the summit. Past attendees have participated in workshops such as: "Introduction to the Mediation Process," "Building Peaceable Schools and Communities," and "The Social Media Revolution."
Program Support Specialist