What is Peer Mediation?
Peer mediation involves young people in schools helping their peers to resolve conflicts. This means that teachers and children can engage in a positive, focused way, which might be different to the usual classroom relationship. Pupils who are trained as peer mediators learn vital skills in communication, negotiation, understanding and problem solving.
How does it work?
Peer mediation works by allowing children and young people to act as mediators in a dispute without help from teachers. This empowers children and develops their sense of community and co-operation. Teachers report that it is helpful, since the school and classroom become a more peaceful place allowing more teaching and learning to take place. There are limits, though, and a peer mediator has to be able to refer to a teacher or member of staff when the situation becomes too complex for them to handle.
How can it benefit pupils?
Acting as peacemakers promotes young people's emotional and social skills and student mediators report that it builds self-esteem and confidence. Peer mediation programmes can also be used as part of the citizenship curriculum. Young people who take part in such programmes often develop a sense of belonging and learn more about the impact that disputes have on a community