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Learning to Live TogetherPreventing Hatred and Violence in Child and Adolescent Development$
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David A. Hamburg and Beatrix A. Hamburg

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195157796

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195157796.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2021

Education for conflict resolution

Education for conflict resolution

From Public Concern to Research to Practice

(p.131) 10 Education for conflict resolution
Learning to Live Together

David A. Hamburg

Beatrix A. Hamburg

Oxford University Press

Public interest in education for conflict resolution has increased in response to the violence of recent years. Serious articles now appear in newspapers and magazines, reporting research that might explain the background and meaning of the surge in youth violence. This widening concern suggests the real possibility of building a public constituency for education on conflict resolution and related questions. Probing educational policy issues are also being raised in the media. For example, Alina Tugend asked the question, “Do conflict-resolution programs really deliver on their promises to reduce school violence and teach conflict resolution?” in her November 2001 article in the “Education Life” supplement to the New York Times. She examined the existing conflictresolution program of Public School 217 in the Ditmas Park section of Brooklyn in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist-induced tragedies. She also looked at other conflict-resolution programs nationwide, along with studies that assess their effectiveness. Based on these data, she concludes that overly aggressive and hateful behavior among students can often be reduced, but she noted that to be effective, lessons must be frequent. Brief exposure to one or two presentations of conflict-resolution techniques will do nothing toward improving behavior. In cases of peer mediation, the greatest beneficiaries are the student mediators themselves. Disadvantaged minority students have unique needs that require specific attention. For these students, there are significant differences between the culture at school and the culture in their own homes and communities. These differences can give rise to disputes or overt aggression. The New York Times article goes on to describe the student interest in understanding the events of September 11 and some responses by teachers. For example, the teachers at Brooklyn’s Public School 217 were looking for ways to explain the tragic attacks to their students. They began by using a simple lesson from their existing conflict-resolution program. Because children were almost exclusively focused on the U.S. desire to retaliate, teachers, drawing on the conflict-resolution program, were able to give the students a basis of understanding conflict on an international scale and a framework in which they could identify and articulate their feelings related to conflict. They also offered grief and trauma counseling.

Keywords:   American Psychological Association, Columbine tragedy, September, Think Aloud, World Wide Web, adolescent development, child development, delinquency

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