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Conflict Resolution: A Mini Unit

This is a timely subject in today’s society. These activities, while geared toward the understanding of an older child, can still be easily modified to use with younger children.

1. Keep a journal for two weeks and record all of your conflicts with other people. Note how you handled each conflict and whether or not it was resolved. Do you see a pattern? For example, did you use confrontation, avoidance, or compromise? What other techniques might you try in the future?

2. In the world of competitive sports, fair play is the ideal. Yet cursing at, shoving, and bullying opponents often occur. Attend or watch on television several different sports events. Note the athletes’ behavior. After the events answering the following questions:

§ Did you witness fair or unfair conduct? What kind?

§ Were certain sports more likely than others to have athletes engage in foul play?

§ What methods of conflict resolution did the referees, umpires, and other sports officials use?

3. Watch or play several video or computer games. Which ones seem too violent? Think of ways to make them less violent and still interesting. Write a plan to change one of the video games that you reviewed.

4. Watch the evening news or read a daily newspaper for three days in a row, paying particular attention to opinions about global, social, and political conflicts. How do the opinions of influential people alter our perceptions of conflict? How do inflammatory headlines and round-the-clock broadcast coverage of conflicts affect our viewpoints?

5. Make a list of professionals who jobs require skills in conflict resolution. Pick one profession or occupation to learn more about by arrange to speak to someone in that field.

6. Professional mediators help settle disputes between different parties. Interview a professional mediator in your community. Find out what skills they use to help opposing parties find mutually satisfying solutions.

7. Obtain information about the role that the United Nations delegates, ambassadors, and diplomats play solving international conflicts.

8. Interview people in three different jobs to find out how they resolve conflicts in the workplace.

9. Study the five steps to conflict resolution. What do you think each step means and who would you, personally, implement it:

-- (1) Identify the Problem
-- (2) Listen to Each Side of the Conflict
-- (3) Identify Possible Solutions
-- (4) Respond to Suggestions
-- (5) Reach a Compromise

10. Learn about a process called peer mediation. After you understand what this process is, write a plan for beginning a peer mediate program in your community.

11. Respecting the values of other people improves relationships and communication. How do you think this respect affects conflict resolution?

12. Take what you’ve learned in this unit and apply it to your daily life. What affect does your new knowledge have on your relationships and your ability to handle conflict effectively?

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