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TITLE OF GOOD PRACTICE:

University of Peace, non-profit association

KEYWORDS:

Violence, conflict, mediation, training, coaching, peer support, school project, toolbox

GOOD PRACTICE TYPOLOGY:

School project

TARGET GROUPS:

School actors & out of school actors

WORKING GROUP COORDINATING THE INITIATIVE:

University of Peace.
Non-profit association founded in 1960 by Dominique Pire, laureate of the Nobel Prize of Peace.

COUNTRY WHERE IT TOOK PLACE:

Belgium - Namur

LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW:

English

DEFINITION OF TARGET GROUP:

Parents, Teachers, Young People, School Directors, educators, animators, trainers, out of school counsellors, coordinators of holiday camps, homework assistants, … .

DESCRIPTION OF THE GOOD PRACTICE:

The University of Peace is a reflexion and training centre.
His work is currently centered on the topic : from the prevention to the positive management of conflicts. The University of Peace wants to prevent the increase of violence by a humanistic management of the conflicts, for example : by a practice of mediation by the peers.
“The University of Peace is a kind of school that builds up bridges, bridges that are built between two banks that, up to now, were indifferent or hostile”.


The University of Peace proposes different pedagogical tools for people with practical experience confronted with the management of conflicts.

1. A pedagogical kit made of 4 elements :

- A pedagogical book « Graines de médiateurs: Médiateurs en herbe » (Seeds of mediators: Aspiring mediators). This book proposes a reflexion on the conflict (its different forms, the reactions it causes, the possibilities of managing it better, …), as well as activities, to make the youths work on positive management of conflict in different stages and to give the adults who will lead them the best advices.

- A 30 min. length videotape, « Seeds of mediators », directly linked with the book. Presentation of the learning of a group of pupils (10-12 years old), of the process that will allow them to manage the conflicts: description of the facts (I see), description of the feelings (I feel), expression of the needs and formulation of the request (I ask).

- In addition, a 16 min. length videotape « Aspiring mediators ». Presentation of a mediation session led by peers. Idealized reconstitution allowing to illustrate the 7 main steps of mediation: the welcome, the facts, the feelings, the needs, the request, one solution, the agreement, the conclusion.

- A practical guidebook « Seeds of mediators II ». It proposes tracks and advices for the running of the sessions: more than 60 activity cards, more than 50 reproducible cards..., that foster the development of the children’s social skills. The approach is divided in 4 parts: living together, understanding, communicating and acting.

2. The project « Mediation by peers » (in collaboration with the Bernheim foundation, from the name of its founder who has been carrying on his ideal of opening, of humanism and of culture all his life long).

It is a project intended for the 3rd and 4th primary classes, for the schools who believe in the usefulness of working on the learning of conflict management.
It aims to make the children independent in the positive management of their everyday conflicts.
The teachers’ motivation is essential for the success of this project that, every year, concretely represents :
- 10 activities of 1 hour and 40 minutes in the 3rd and 4th primary classes,
- 10 coaching sessions after each activity with the teacher responsible of the class,
- 3 days of training for the responsible teachers of the 24 classes concerned by the project,
- 2 days of sensitization for all the education staff of the school,
- 1 conference for the parents
- reserved access to a website.

The University of Peace completes its pedagogical offer with :

3. Trainings

These short or long trainings are intended to the professionals working with early childhood, to the educators, to the teachers, to the persons in charge of the running of the activities…. to any person willing to acquire or to complete his/her knowledge in prevention and positive management of conflicts.
They broach the following themes : self affirmation, self respect, listening, communication, mediation, negotiation, emotions management...


4. Conferences, reflexion days, sporadic activities intended to different persons acting within the school and ouf of school.

RESULTS:

In the French-speaking community of Belgium, the project carried out in collaboration with the Bernheim foundation and intended to the 3rd and 4th primary classes already concerns more than 500 children in 13 schools, as well as their teachers, headmasters and parents.

INDICATORS:

Teacher training, School conferences, Information for parents, Videos, Peer support.

EVALUATION:

In a world where it becomes more and more difficult to speak to each other, to tell each other, to meet each other, it is necessary to find new ways to communicate, to negotiate, to build up common projects.

The “mediation by peers” (seeds of mediators, aspiring mediators) constitutes a new track of action in the field of conflict management.

It has been experimented in different countries, in collaboration with experts of those countries, of which French-speaking Canada. Canada has always been precursor in that field.

At the end of this process, the youths are absolutely able to acquire the needed competences to manage conflicts in a non-violent way and therefore to become responsible citizens.


pages

COMMENT:

University of peace’s website: http://www.universitedepaix.org

NAME OF COMPILER:

Martine PRIGNON

NAME OF INSTITUTION:

INFOREF

ROLE:

Project realization

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