Alabama is Doing it Right

Select fifth-grade students from Montgomery Public Schools participated in peer mediator training this week. About 30 students from three elementary schools gathered at the Auburn Montgomery Center for Technology on Monday and Tuesday to complete the training, which is done in partnership with CrimeStoppers.

Students learned how to handle conflict. They will go back to their schools, where they will attempt to resolve disputes among their classmates. But with any luck, the skills they gleaned will serve them long after their years in school.

The beauty of the program is not just that it acknowledges the importance of social skills; it also makes use of the large amount of peer-to-peer learning that occurs in schools.  When there’s a fight and one student mediates an acceptable resolution, the other students who observe the situation may pickup those skills. Seed a school with a few highly functional social experts and their skills could spread like a wildfire.

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