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Through education we seek to change attitudes; through legislation and court orders we seek to regulate behavior. Through education we seek to change internal feelings (prejudice, hate, etc); through legislation and court orders we seek to control the external effect of those feelings. Through education we seek to break down the spiritual barriers to integration; through legislation and court orders we seek to break down the physical barriers to integration. One method is not a substitute for the other, but a meaningful and necessary supplement... Martin Luther King,Jr.

 

 

 


 

 

 A conflict exists when actions come into opposition. Conflict can occur within an individual, group, organization, institution, or nation. Conflicts can cross boundaries. They can occur between individuals and institutions, and across cultures.  How we manage or resolve conflicts is the central issue. Today, underlying the violence that surrounds our schools, neighborhoods and communities are conflicts which have never been addressed or have been improperly resolved. Indeed in a diverse and complex society, Conflict Resolution Programs are much needed and an  important component of all schools. In the 60's and 70's this need was understood by the Quakers and peace activists. In the early 1980's, Educators for Social Responsibility examined alternative strategies of dealing with violence. The Children's Creative Response to Conflict, the Community Board's Program, and the Peace Education Foundation were in the forefront of the  movement. In 1984 the National Association of Mediation (NAME) was formed which served as a clearinghouse for information and training for school- based conflict resolution programs. In 1983 the National Institute of Dispute Resolution (NIDR) was formed to promote the development of conflict resolution tools and processes. Several types of programs have now emerged in schools of a collaborative and cooperative  problem-solving approach involving processes such as negotiation, conciliation, mediation, fact finding, and arbitration. The Gandhian method of conflict resolution, called "satyagraha", or truth force, is concerned with human needs and  recognizes the importance of resolving the "conflict triangle": the attitude, the behavior, and the goal incompatability itself. For Gandhi the desired outcome of a conflict is in the creation of a better social structure, and a greater degree of human unity.

Needless to say, conflict resolution is a creative process, and may use several of the above strategies. These strategies have been found to be more effective than aggresive adversarial confrontation, which produces "winners" and "losers." Today, peer mediation, classroom mediation skill building programs, and violence prevention programs are gaining momentum in our schools.

It is our obligation to address conflicts. It is our obligation to prevent and transform violent conflicts. Let's create CIRCLES OF PEACE to break the cycle of violence.

 

 

Family Pledge of Nonviolence

Center for Conflict Resolution

A Conflict Resolution Role-Play Site

Conflict Resolution and Cultural Diversity

Conflict Resolution Resources                                                   

 

 

Please note this site addresses Conflict Resolution in educational settings only. Please connect to other sites for other applications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library          C.W. Post Campus, Long Island University

                                                                                       Links accessed on July 10, 2010