Conflict management in school
We have heard a lot about aggression in the school environment in recent years, as it is a serious problem in many schools around the world. Conflicts are present at all levels of education - from primary to higher education - and represent a multifaceted problem.
Why are there more and more conflicts in schools?
In fact, we may not have more, we just talk about it more - but we need to talk about it. Conflict is inherent in human interaction. Therefore, the way we manage these conflicts is key. Unmanaged conflicts can lead to aggression. School aggression and bullying have been shown to have a detrimental impact on young people's physical, mental and social well-being, to play a role in early school leaving and even to contribute to delinquency.
Why don't the old methods, the admonition, the punishment, work?
Difficult social situations can be learning opportunities. Learning can take place in a safe and positive environment. Punishment isolates and destroys relationships, and promises made out of fear only work for a while. Taking a cooperative-restorative approach rather than a punitive-disciplinary approach strengthens relationships within the community and prevents conflicts from escalating into aggression. Developing social-emotional skills and managing and preventing aggression is essential in schools, and there are appropriate and modern methods - which, fortunately, can be learned.
As a parent or teacher, what can I do if I get stuck with conflicts at school?
First of all, don't be alone with the problem, look for allies: another parent, a fellow teacher, someone who also takes the problem seriously and is open to finding solutions together. It is worth bringing in an external professional who can help to ensure that all parties' views are heard and that they can work together to find a solution. It may be worthwhile to first consult a school psychologist or a pre-school social worker, or a teacher with good communication skills who is not involved in the case. And if you are stuck, contact us!
Why should you involve specialist help in managing conflicts at school?
Partners Hungary Foundation has been working on school conflicts since 2009. Using mediation, facilitated discussion and restorative practices, we have successfully managed a number of school conflicts. Over the years, we have trained more than 250 educational professionals (teachers, principals, school psychologists, social workers) and students as mediators. In addition, the organisation's trainers, as practitioners, are involved as mediators and restorative facilitators in the peaceful resolution of conflicts in schools.
Methods to work successfully in school conflicts:
- Facilitated discussions in parent and staff meetings
- Class teacher lessons on conflict and aggression management, bullying
- Restorative practices
- Parents in school sessions
- Teacher training and workshops