School conflict management program as a tool to improve school social climate: lessons for Lithuania

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Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Anglų kalba / English
School conflict management program as a tool to improve school social climate: lessons for Lithuania
In the Journal:
Socialinis darbas [Social Work]. 2020, t. 18, Nr. 1, p. 38-53
Conflict management; Education; Teacher-student relationship
Summary / Abstract:

ENSchool administrators and teachers aim to create a safe, caring, respectful, and productive learning environment. However, collaboration goes hand-in-hand with conflict. The more group members care about achieving the group‘s goals, and the more they care about each other, the more conflicts they suppose to experience. Moreover, development of children social, emotional, intellectual, and moral skills occurs by working through disagreements (Sandy, 2001, p. 244). Thus, in order to achieve more effective interactions in educational setting, there is a need to pay more attention to conflict management. Conflict management is considered to be a particularly helpful classroom management strategy to teachers as it is based on understanding of the student’s point of view and willing to sympathize with students expressing anxiety or distress in school situations (Jones, Ling, and Charlton, 1999). The survey of Lithuania’s students evidently confirms the fact of conflicts presence in schools. The results of rare qualitative and quantative studies of conflict interaction (ex., Ciuladiene and Raudeliūnaite, 2016; Ciuladiene and Kairiene, 2017) have revealed insufficient competency to manage conflicts of teachers and students in Lithuania‘s schools. It is indicated that school staff tends to implement forcing strategy, resulting in adult-imposed solution. The aim of the article is to review of the practice of implementation of CRE programs in Ohio State of the United States of America. There is main research question: What are the peculiarities of effective CRE curricula and implementation? The dissemination of the Ohio CRE model might encourage efforts to implement conflict-management systems in school (or/and universities) in Lithuania. The description of the Ohio CRE model is taken to illustrate efforts needed to establish conflict resolution as a permanent fixture in the education system.The choice of the Ohio Experience in implementing CRE model is reasoned by several arguments. First, the efforts introducing CRE in the schools in order to improve school social climate has their thirties years long history in Ohio where in the early 1990s the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management together with the Ohio Department of Education exerted to create a state wide model based on perception of conflict resolution as a fundamental component of the state‘s multifaceted approach to creating safe and conducive to teaching and learning school environments (Batton, 2002). Second, there are clear and well developed procedures in implementing state wide CRE program. Third, there a rich training material has been created in order to effectively implement state wide CRE program in Ohio State. The case study is based on CRE instructional material analyses (Resource Guide, Administrator Guide, Evaluation Guide), research review, field visits, meetings with university faculty and people involved in CRE (for example, Jennifer Batton, the former director of education programs for the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management). The main research method in order to answer the research question was the review of resource materials. [...] The study presents the practice of implementing School conflict management programs at Ohio State (USA). The practice is considered as a good one and a challenging one (Batton, 2002). The case study also inspires some insights to be considered taking in mind the Lithuanian school education system. There are at least two „lessons“ to be taken into consideration. First. School conflicts are to be managed constructively in order to create safe, orderly and constructive learning environments. The school setting offers many experiences of managing conflict. However, it is not easy to disclose and resolve conflicts.For the Lithuanian administrators, educators and students becoming comfortable with conflict as an opportunity might be a quite challengeable procedure. Second. Conflict resolution education is to be addressed not only students, but as well as administrators, teachers, and parents. Ideal, all students, school personnel and parents would receive CRE training (Sandy, 2007). Incorporation of CRE fosters instructional improvement capable of confronting uncomfortable situations openly (Hargreaves and Elhawary, 2019). The argument for teachers‘ training is that schools of education in Lithuania do not provide specific training in conflict management. As a result, managing conflict is difficult for educators because they have not been taught how to resolve differences in cooperative, non-hurtful ways. When one does not have conflict management training, one tends to use the techniques, which are often inadequate. Denied, suppressed, or avoided conflicts become destructive. Additionally, adults provide powerful dealing with conflict models for students. When adults model effective behaviours in conflict situations, they present powerful teaching examples to students. Students‘ success in developing an awareness of the positive potential of conflict resolution is a consequence of the attempts exhibited by the adults in the school. School Conflict Management Program developed in Ohio cannot be transferred without considering the cultural differences between America and Lithuania, without modifying it to address the context of local school actual need. However, the practice of Ohio where the program has been taught and examined on a state wide basis for several decades communicates the clear messages: Lithuanian school may also benefit from implementing CRE based on comprehensive approach including the learning of administrators, teachers, students and parents. [From the publication]

1648-4789, 2029-2775
Related Publications:
The Resolution of conflict between teacher and student : teachers’ narratives / Grazina Ciuladiene, Brigita Kairiene. Society. Integration. Education. 2018, vol. 3, p. 235-245.
2020-07-28 20:31:06
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