November 2013 • Vol. 33 No. 11 | An E-Publication of the Los Angeles County Bar Association

Peer Mediators Brush Up Skills at Fall Refresher Training

Professional mediators, judges, and lawyers led students through interactive role-playing activities and shared their professional experiences as mediators when more than 75 middle- and high-school peer mediators gathered for the 8th Annual “Peer Mediation Refresher Training,” presented by the Center for Civic Mediation at the beautiful Malibu campus of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law.

Students were divided into small groups and given a conflict scenario they might encounter at school, then asked to conduct an actual mediation based on the specific dispute and roles the scenario contained.

In “Foul Play,” a scenario developed by past peer mediators, a teacher refers two boys (one popular and one not) to peer mediation because they fought over a girl during gym class. Mediators facilitated a dialogue between the disputants and listened to each side of the story. Using techniques taught by the Center’s Peer Mediation Program, the peer mediators helped both parties reach an agreement to resolve the dispute. The students "agreed" to abide by the results of the mediation and bring any further grievances back to mediation.

After the exercise was completed, role-players debriefed with staff and other student observers, which provided an opportunity to critique the mediation process and share best practices they could incorporate into their mediations at school.

Students were later quizzed on their knowledge of mediation process and conflict resolution theory, which allows the Center to establish yearly baselines for monitoring the skill development of the youth it serves as well as the effectiveness of its peer mediation training.

Peer mediators from Andrew Carnegie Middle School, Carson High School, John Adams Middle School, and Lincoln Middle School participated in the refresher training.

To learn more about the Center for Civic Mediation, please click HERE.




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