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Conflict Resolution Education: The

Challenge of Institutionalization

Persistently Safe Schools Conference

Hamilton Fish Institute
September 19th, 2006
Presented by
Tricia S. Jones, Ph.D.
Dept. of Psychological Studies in Education
Temple University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
tel/fax: 215-204-7261/6013
Three Critical Questions for
What Is Conflict Resolution
Is It Effective?
What are the Challenges of
Conflict Resolution Education:
An Introduction
Defining CRE
Conflict Resolution Education (CRE)
“models and teaches, in culturally
meaningful ways, processes,
practices and skills that help
individuals understand conflict
processes and empower them to use
communication and creative thinking
to build relationships and manage
and resolve conflicts fairly and
peacefully” (Association for Conflict
Resolution, 2002).
The World of CRE
Expressive Arts
After School And CRE Dialogue
Programs Processes

Negotiation Bullying
Skills Peer Mediation Prevention

Conflict Classes Curriculum Infusion

Social and Emotional Learning

Emotional Awareness
Perspective taking
Strategic expression
Cultural Sensitivity
USDE On-line CRE Course

Managing and Resolving Conflicts

Effectively in Schools and Classrooms
was developed through the National
Training and Technical Assistance Center
for Drug Prevention and School Safety
Coordinators, through a contract with the
U.S. Department of Education’s Safe and
Drug Free Schools Office. The course can
be found at and
Is CRE Effective?

Enhance Students’ Social and
Emotional Development?
Create a Safe Learning
Create a Constructive Learning
CRE Enhances Students’ Social and
Emotional Development
increases perspective-taking
increases empathy
improves emotional
awareness and management
reduces aggressive
orientations and hostile
increases use of constructive
conflict behaviors at school
and at home
CRE Creates a Safe Learning
decreases conflicts
between groups of
absenteeism, and
drop out rates
decreases incidents
of violence
CRE Creates a Constructive
Learning Environment
improves school
Improves classroom
promotes a respectful
and caring
Increases academic
Supports for Institutionalization

Excellent Programs and Curricula

History of Implementation in In-
Service Delivery
Solid Research
Legislative/Policy Advances
More on Legislation/Policy
CRE-related legislation in nearly all 50 states and at the
federal level on topics including, but not limited to:
school safety; violence prevention; character
education; mediation; conflict resolution
Legislation, mandates and requirements range in
implementation from:
Integration into curriculum standards
Integration into school mission and discipline policy
Integration into teacher training
Legislative Database:
Challenges of Institutionalization

Insufficient Pre-service
Teacher Education
Inadequate Administrator
Ineffective Parent Education
Insufficient Pre-Service Teacher
Currently only two Colleges of Education
have Pre-Service CRE Initiatives – CRETE
Program funded by USDE’s FIPSE
Temple University
Cleveland State University
North Carolina has 3 credit hour
requirement; training offered externally
Wisconsin has 6 credit hour requirement
with training offered externally and
internally; varied approaches for fulfilling
the requirement
Possible Consequences of Lack of
Pre-Service CRE Education
Unsafe Learning Environments
NCES survey indicates 40.5% of teachers feel
student disruptive behavior prevents learning
CDC survey indicate 9-10% of students regularly
miss school because of fear from unsafe learning
10% of students drop out of school because of
persistent bullying
90% of 4-8 graders report experiencing serious
Possible Consequences of Lack of
Pre-Service CRE Education
Teacher Attrition
1/3 of new teachers leave in five years
1/2 of new teachers in urban
environments leave within 5 years
One of main reasons cited is inability to
manage chaotic and conflict-ridden
Inadequate Administrator
Graduate Programs in Educational
Leadership and Policy Studies lack
Courses Addressing CRE
Exception: MA in Conflict Resolution
in Education at Lesley College
Exception: Certificate in Social and
Emotional Learning at Hunter
College, CUNY (Dr. Janet Patti)
Ineffective Parent Training and
Difficult to establish and sustain parent
training and involvement – especially in
urban education environments
Some programs (e.g., RCCP – Responding
to Conflict Creatively Program) have parent
training initiatives
Some organizations moving in this
direction (Words Works project, ABADR)
Vast majority of CRE efforts do not include
parent training
Call to Action

Explore partnerships with Colleges of

Ask about their current course content
and coverage of CRE and related fields
Identify faculty who may be interested in
expanding their pre-service offerings
Explore partnerships with regional and
local funders who may support such
Interested in CRETE (Conflict
Resolution Education in Teacher
The mission of the CRETE project is to
provide pre-service teachers with critical
skills and knowledge of conflict education
and classroom management necessary for
cultivating constructive learning
environments for children, enhancing
student learning and bolstering teacher
Infusion in Pre-Service Coursework
External CRE Training for Pre-Service Majors
Training for Mentor Teachers to Support New In-Service