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Kids Working It Out: Stories and Strategies for Making Peace in Our Schools

Tricia S. Jones (Editor), Randy Compton (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-7879-6379-8
384 pages
December 2002, Jossey-Bass
Kids Working It Out: Stories and Strategies for Making Peace in Our Schools (0787963798) cover image


Kids who understand how to manage conflict successfully can transform their schools into safer and kinder places to learn. Kids Working It Out offers educators and parents a guide to the most current and effective school-based conflict resolution programs and shows how these programs can make a positive difference in our schools. Throughout the book, students and teachers share their stories of what it's really like in today's schools and reveal how Conflict Resolution Education, has shaped their experiences. Kids Working It Out covers a wide range of topics-- curriculum integration, peer mediation, restorative justice, and others-- and shows what it takes to implement an effective program in any school, and any community.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Mark Gerzon xi

Introduction xv


1 Kids and Conflict in Schools: What’s It Really Like? 3
Randy Compton, School Mediation Center

2 An Introduction to Conflict Resolution Education 17
Tricia S. Jones, Temple University

3 The Building Blocks of Conflict Resolution Education: Direct Instruction, Adult Modeling, and Core Practices 35
Carol Miller Lieber, Educators for Social Responsibility


4 The Heart of the Matter: Social and Emotional Learning as a Foundation for Conflict Resolution Education 63
Rachael Kessler, PassageWays Institute

In Their Own Words: “I Know That I Have Grown a Lot Emotionally” 76

5 “We Can Handle This Ourselves”: Learning to Negotiate Conflicts 89
Jennifer K. Druliner and Heather E. Prichard, Association for Conflict Resolution

In Their Own Words: “I’ve Changed After the PYN Training” 98

6 Students Helping Students: Peer Mediation 109
Richard Cohen, School Mediation Associates

In Their Own Words: “Peer Mediation Makes the World Better” 120

7 “We Can Do It Too!”: Peer Mediation for Special Education Students 129
Paul I. Kaplan, Hannah More School

In Their Own Words: “Every School Should Have It” 139

8 Express Yourself! Expressive Arts and Conflict Discovery 147
Sarah Pirtle, Discovery Center

In Their Own Words: “A Powerful Healing Tool and a Powerful Communication Tool” 162

9 Making Meaningful Connections: Curriculum Infusion 173
Rachel A. Poliner, Educational Consultant

In Their Own Words: “Infusion Lets You Do Lots More with Less Time” 188

10 Making Things Right: Restorative Justice for School Communities 199
Alice Ierley and David Claassen-Wilson, School Mediation Center

In Their Own Words: “People Actually Learn to Be Better People” 210

11 School Bullying: Prevention and Intervention 221
Beverly B. Title, Teaching Peace

In Their Own Words: “It Has Really Helped How Safe We Feel” 236

12 R.E.S.P.E.C.T.: Appreciating and Welcoming Differences 251
Priscilla Prutzman, Creative Response to Conflict

In Their Own Words: “It Made Me Speak Up for Myself and My Culture” 265

13 School’s Out: Time for Fun, Relaxation, and Peaceful Conflict Resolution Education 275
Sandy Tsubokawa Whittall, Educators for Social Responsibility

In Their Own Words: “When the Kids Are Playing, They Are Working as a Team” 282

14 Reflections on Stories of Success 291
Tricia S. Jones, Temple University, and Randy Compton, School Mediation Center

Postscript: The Importance of Supporting Conflict Resolution Education 309
Amalia G. Cuervo

Notes 311

Appendix A: Books, Publications, and Websites 319

Appendix B: Organizations and Programs 325

About the Editors 349

About the Contributors 351

Name Index 355

Subject Index 359

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Author Information

Tricia S. Jones is professor, Department of Psychological Studies, Temple University and editor-in-chief of Conflict Resolution Quarterly (formerly Mediation Quarterly), published by Jossey-Bass.

Randy Compton is executive director of the School Mediation Center in Boulder, Colorado and project coordinator for the National Curriculum Integration Project.

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"Engaging book." (Dispute Resolution Journal, April 2003)

"Highly Recommend." (CHOICE, September 1, 2003)

"Given the current social climate, Kids Working It Out is an important and engaging tool that helps students, parents, teachers, and administrators deal seriously and creatively with violence, conflict, anger, alienation. Unlike most books of this nature, I was happy to see that the voices and the visions of young people are at the very heart of the dialogue and the resolutions. If implemented, the strategies outlined in Kids Working It Out would make our world, not just our schools, a better and safer place."
— Danny Glover, actor and parent

"An extraordinary book on students managing their own conflicts. . . . The book gives a stunning view of the conflicts present in schools and the ways they can be constructively managed. . . . both deeply interesting and informative."
— David W. Johnson, professor of educational psychology, University of Minnesota

"A comprehensive, must-read volume on Conflict Resolution Education. Teachers will be inspired by the innovative work of their peers, while parents will be motivated to make sure these important life skills are available in every school."— Ellen Raider, cofounder, International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, Teachers College, Columbia University

"From smart strategies to quality resources, the authors provide many excellent examples of the current best practices. Most impressive are the powerful actions and words of youth who demonstrate their understanding of peacemaking."
— Donna Crawford, executive director, National Center for Conflict Resolution Education

"Students deserve to be in environments in which they are safe— physically, social-emotionally, and intellectually. This book explains to educators, policymakers, and parents how this can happen in a wide range of schools and communities."
— Maurice J. Elias, professor, Rutgers University and vice chair, Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning and author, Raising Emotional Intelligent Teenagers

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