Conflict Resoluton in the Classroom

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Incorporating Conflict Resolution

Melinda McCray

Concordia University


As an educator, it is important that I not only know how to effectively deliver the curriculum to my students, but to also be able to effectively manage my classroom. Managing the classroom is not just writing disciplinary referrals or assigning detentions, but also includes making the proactive decision to prevent and mitigate conflicts as they arise in the classroom. While all conflicts obviously cannot be prevented, teachers must be instrumental in guiding students to resolving their conflicts. Thomas Lickona (1991) touches on guiding students through conflicts. He writes, “even if students have the benefit of a conflict curriculum, social skill training… many will still have trouble applying these learnings… In these situations the teacher usually has three tasks: (1) Helping students understand… (2) Helping students work out a fair solution… and (3) Helping children practice the behavioral skills…. (294-295). While some of these suggestions may not be applicable to high school students in some instances, I think that Lickona’s suggestions have merit. In my classroom, I could certainly incorporate helping my students practice good behavioral skills. I would definitely focus on the moral aspects of discipline and behavior, because students can relate to how they would like to be treated, using the “what if” scenario. Morality of mind is always an incentive to encourage a child to behave in the proper way. Community involvement is not always that easy at my school, but using our parent liaison could be a step in that direction. Maybe the liaison could reach out to the parents when teachers cannot. Lickona(1991) suggests that observant teachers know the situations that trigger situations, (295) as one such teacher, using effective conflict resolution strategies such, one-on-one...
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