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					          Behaviour Scenarios
A specially commissioned set of resources for tutors,
        school mentors and trainee teachers

        Scenario 23: Conflict resolution (A)
                               Scenario 23
Conflict resolution (A)

You are aware that, in your school, there seems
to be a lot of antagonism between staff and
pupils, between pupils and pupils and sometimes
between the staff themselves.

What are some of the general approaches that
will help reduce or resolve conflicts?       2
Key Learning Outcomes

•          An understanding of some of the features
           of conflict and some of the approaches that
           are effective in conflict resolution.

•          An opportunity to model and practise some
           of the stages in conflict resolution

Relevant QTS Standards: Q21(b), Q30 & Q31   3
    What do you do?
1. Tell the person/people that you think they
   should grow up and behave more considerately.
2. Don’t take sides but try to sort out who started
3. Listen actively to what they are saying.
4. Try to decide who is to blame so that you can
   get to the bottom of their personal problems.
5. Suggest that you should decide who is in the
6. Resolve the conflict, shake hands and agree that
   it will never happen again.   4
What may be the best choice?

3. Listen actively to what they are saying.

• In order to understand the origin of a conflict you
  first need to really understand people’s feelings and
• In any case, the skills of active listening are
  essential for effective teaching.
 For more information on active listening see the
  handout on Active Listening   5
How might you prevent a recurrence?
 An effective approach to conflict resolution involves
 seven steps:

 1.Encourage respect for the other person
 2.Confront the problem
 3.Define the conflict
 4.Communicate understanding
 5.Explore alternative solutions
 6.Agree on the most workable solution
 7.Evaluate after time

 The Notes for this slide explain each of these steps.   6
    Underlying principles

• Active listening is an essential skill involved in both
  good teaching and effective conflict resolution.
• It is necessary to clarify opinions and clarify the
  situation if the causes of conflict are to be understood.
• Being non-judgemental is essential.
• Conflict resolution involves creating empathy.
• Solution focussed approaches can be applied to good
• Long term solutions are more likely if the situation is
  revisited after a short time.   7
 Rights and Responsibilities

Conflict can easily turn into violence and bullying which
infringe the fundamental rights of children enshrined in The
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
•Article 19 requires teachers, under their duty of care
(which is a common law duty in the UK), to protect children
from violence and to prevent and treat instances of abuse.
•It is therefore an obligation on all teachers to resolve
conflict as part of their professional responsibility.
•It is the responsibility of pupils to respect the rights of
others in the school to be educated without suffering
violence or fear.   8
  Activities to try
• Practise the seven steps for conflict resolution when
  you next encounter a conflict situation amongst your
  friends. When you have finished attempting to resolve
  the conflict, discuss how the protagonists felt and which
  of the steps you took to resolve the conflict were the
  most successful.
• With another trainee, carry out the short exercise on
  active listening described in the Notes.
• When you are next in school, find a teacher colleague
  who seems to avoid conflict better than most. Ask how
  he/she reduces conflict when it occurs. What is it about
  this person that is different and what does he/she do
  differently from others who encounter more conflict?   9
Want to find out more?
References on the B4L site
• Oxfam - We work together … Can you?
• American Research Project - Managing Student Behavior
  in Today’s Schools
• Teachers TV – KS3/4 PSHE – Mediating Conflict
• Teachers TV – KS3/4 – Resolving Conflict
• DCSF – The National Strategies - Social and emotional
  aspects of learning: Improving behaviour, improving
  learning   10
     • What is the key message have you gained
       from this scenario material?

     • How might you apply this approach in your
       own practice in school.

     • Further insights and notes for tutors and
       mentors are available on the website

Updated August 2009

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