For information about my workplace mediation service please visit www. I first meet with the parties individually and listen to the issues and concerns they want to bring to mediation. I explain and answer any questions about the mediation process. If those in conflict choose to proceed, I will arrange for them to meet together.
I work with people to create a safe and confidential setting. I then help them communicate as they explore their differences and seek to develop ways to constructively and realistically manage their conflict. Through this process the parties may transform their relationship. Directive mediators will control meetings and coax or lead parties towards agreements.
They may also aim to deal with the issues of a dispute and ignore or skim over any emotional or relational aspects of a conflict. At the less directive end of this spectrum are mediators who seek to facilitate engagement by the parties in a minimally intrusive fashion, although they may still view their work as that of a manager of a negotiation between those in conflict. Some facilitative mediators describe themselves as neutral third parties. Their role is to be impartial, non-judgemental and they do not proffer solutions. If the parties genuinely find their own resolutions, agreements made will be all the stronger.
As a mediator or facilitator I seek to serve my clients without overtly or inadvertently imposing my own preferences upon them. Such inadvertent persuasion can occur if the mediator is unaware of how personal assessments may inform spoken interventions. Hence, it is important for a mediator to endeavour to listen to their own internal, emotional and political responses to what is said. Undue influence can also be contained by allowing the parties to manage their own meeting process, rather than reserving this task as a right of the mediator.
Even the individuals and their relations are guided by instability in a world of convulsion. The schools are micro-societies that "reflect" those tensions and that complexity, where the need for change confronts the resistance to change. Also, it is there that old patterns are questioned and multiple models shock, brought by their protagonists.
The school, established in a different community of itself and different in itself, is in confluence with multiple systems and it cannot be alienated, needing to find structures of interaction and figures that facilitate this interaction. The performance of this role will be formative for every participant, who perform it, permitting the development of socio-affective and communicative competences, so necessary to the assumption of individual reponsability and to the co-paticipation in a society that pretends to be democratic.
The growing worth of human rights and the democratic development of societies and organizations has been reflected in many European countries and also in the USA, and is appointed by some as a boom in mediation Jares, X. The introduction of mediation has been slower in the area of education in a formal context.
This can be due to a certain persistence of a conservative perception of the pedagogical relationship and to the power relations that have been established, side by side with a slight increase in worth of teachers trainning on human relationships and a very divided perception about educational intervention and school while organization. However, society in general entrust the school and the professionals who are part of it, namely the teachers with the role of a strong contribution for democratic education and for the citizenship education of the new generations.
The general principles and orientations, which derive from there, gain a particular expression in the guiding lines of the courses of the various subjects and trans-disciplinary areas and, in particular, in the recent creation of the subject of Civic Education in the different years of basic school. Mediation in education tends to facilitate interactions by solving and preventing problems and conflicts either by offering formal structures that develop negotiation and school conflicts resolution processes or by preparing several protagonists that in their daily life will apply and use these concepts and competences of apprenticeship in the cognitive and social domain.
We understand mediation in a very wide sense, but in the first place it constitutes a preventive process. The majority of the school mediation experiences are made in the field of mediation between pairs between students and their research reveals the tremendously positive impact that those experiences have on the disciplinary and social school climate.
The research also reveals the importance of teaching the conflict mediation not only to find the solutions to solve the emerging conflicts, but also to prevent them, by providing the students with a wide training following the principles of conflict resolution in a negotiated and pacific way, which contributes to the education of citizens with power, critical thoughts and sense of responsability Cangelosi, The mediation processes can have very different forms, depending not only on the nature of the conflict, but also on the role of the mediator and the mediation style.
Six, J. While the first is imposed by the organisation, usually to solve or prevent a special kind of problems and, therefore, possesses a position of power, the mediator-citizen emerges out of the group or the community, without any kind of formal power. In the first case, if the mediator is not sufficiently well prepared to complete a real process of mediation, the mediation could easily slide into an arbitrage process, in which a third person usually someone with a strong institutional relation imposes a solution to solve the problems or the conflicts.
Affirms, in the introduction of his previously quoted reference work, that it is necessary that mediation "becomes a space of personal and social creativity, a practice of citizenship" p. The mediation processes are also associated to the concept of conflict, which tacitly underlies it. Traditionally, the conflict in education has been considered something very negative and something everyone should avoid.
However, other conflict approaching perspectives have shown some positive aspects, considering the conflicts a part of social life fundamental for the development and the change of organizations and individuals. Jares, X.
Background to mediation
In the technographical-positivistic model, the conflict should be avoided by everyone, because it indicates disagreement and personal dissatisfaction, that could lower the productivity and efficiency of the organizations. With the intention of keeping the status quo and the efficiency of the organizations, the administration of the conflict constitutes a way of maintaining the control.
The author says by quoting Carr and Kemmis that the hermeneutic-interpretative model replaces "the cientific notions of explication, prediction and control with the interpretative notions of comprehension, meaning and action", because "each situation is special and not repeatable and also conditioned by the personal interpretations of each member of the organization". In this perspective, the conflict may be considered the beginning of the improvement of human relationships in groups, by stimulating interpersonal communication processes.
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Finally, in the critical model "the conflict is not only considered something natural, inherent in any kind of organization and even in own life, but also it is considered an necessary element for social change". The conflict resolution occurs not only through the improvement of communication and the interpersonal relations in smaller groups, but also by taking in consideration the characteristics of the contexts in which they are inserted, namely the power relations between the members of the organisations.
In this sense, the decision-taking processes are very important for the administration of conflicts, being the negotiation the preferential method. Besides the fact that schools are organizations in which conflicts are part of the daily life, and therefore they do not distinguish from other organisations, they have the social responsability to educate the new generations, and in this sense, they could perform a unique role in the construction of a more and more necessary peace culture.
The first case is a mediation device one between teachers of a Nursing College, the supervisors on the field, the nursing staff of the health institution where the internship takes place and the students who are probationers at this internship. This is an institutional mediation which is organized in a wider sense, being not restricted to the mediation of conflicts. In a technocratical perspective, conflicts are considered phenomena that should be avoided and it is necessary to have them under control. The study of this case include interviews with the mediator and the supervisors on the ground.
In the second case the mediation is done by the collective of a class of the primary school, organized in an assembly. This assembly, besides other functions, supports the conflicting parts by understanding their problems and by searching for solutions. This mechanism is not only useful for mediation, because in many situation it acts as well as an arbitrator who has the power of decision.
The teacher acts like a member of the group. Mediation has therefore interpersonal characteristics and the model which underlies it tacitly is of an interpretative kind. Knowing that, the conflict is considered an interpersonal phenomenon, depending on the personal perspectives of the people involved and offers an opportunity for the expression of disagreements and adjustments of negotiated solutions in order to transform and improve the relationships.
This pedagogical practice fits in the pedagogical models of Freinet and Vygotsky, who explain that the development of a child depends a lot on the interpersonal relationships which are established in the midst of the pedagogical groups. In methodological terms the study that has been carried out is the first step of an action-research process, seen that one of the female researchers was simultaneously the teacher of the class and intended to obtain a bigger comprehension and an improvement of the functioning of the device.
The mediation is of a tutorial kind and is developed by the organization of a supporting network. Those adults-tutors offer an active listening and personalized support to the students who have problems and they are at the same time an important link to the qualified professionals for each case. The underlaid model is also of an interpretative kind, so that conflicts are seen as opportunities of regulation and personal and interpersonal transformation, but it can also be considered as a critical approach to the problem, because this kind of systhemic device can bring some important changes to the school organuization.
The study, of an ethnographical type, includes interviews, made with the project coordinator, the tutor and a student, who were involved in the project, as well as a participating observation of one of the researchers, a teacher of the school who was not directly involved in the project. In the comparative analysis of the cases we will focus on the mediation processes, their aims, conflicts and problems in relation to which they operate and their effects.
The role of the mediator, the mediation concepts and the associated principles, as well as the omissions detected in the studied cases will be the aspects considered in combination with the above mentioned analysis axes. Although there were several aspects in common in the different case studies, we could also find some specificities that will be referred.
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These originated partly from the differences in context, aim and mechanism applied in the cases. In what concerns the Mediation in Nursing Education we should, first of all, point out that the mechanism is characterized by the performance of a mediator to decode the expectations of the school to the supervisors and the probationers-students, to support and evaluate the these in their internship and to guide and support the nurse-supervisors in their supervision work in the field.
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Thus, the main concern is to foster the communication between the school, the supervisors and the probstudents. It is often the case that the communication problems are precisely the ones that originate some of the institutional, interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts detected, the most frequent being the ones that involve the superv.
In a perspective of legitimising the power of the school supervisors and controlling the students in a conflict situation, they favour an individualised support with each of the parties separately and a joint work without a direct confrontation of the conflicting parties, like the intervieweds displaied at their discourse:.
Direct confrontation situations, in the presence of the mediator, seem to be rare, because in the conflicts described to us the student seldom has an opportunity to present his arguments. On the contrary, the mediator often appears like someone who argues in favour of the supervisor and sometimes uses his decision-making power to impose solutions not agreed on by the student.
However, in the majority of the conflicts described there is a reference to the positive effects of the process, with an improvement in the behaviour and attitude of the student and in the relationship between the supervisors and the students. In the case of the Class Assemblies , one of the main functions of the device is to analyse and manage conflicts, with a view to solving and preventing them and regulating interpersonal relationships.
The conflicts refer mainly to the deficient functioning of the group and to specific conflicts between a complaining student and other colleagues. Less frequent are the situations in which a student complains about a certain behaviour of colleagues towards other colleagues, in which he is not directly involved. Even rarer are the conflicts that refer to the relationship with the teacher. Thus, the assemblies seem to work as conflict management mechanisms, firstly, working for the good functioning of the class and, secondly, in the mediation of specific conflicts in which the student is involved but is unable to solve alone.
Through the analysis of the assemblies records, we find that the assemblies play a more relevant role in the regulation of specific behaviours, individual or not, but also in the definition of rules that support the class-group. By analysing the videos one can see that there are many decisions that refer to a sanction, to be applied in a particular situation or to work as a rule to be applied in similar situations.
There are only a few situations that refer to the prescription of a behaviour considered more adequate, without the presence of a sanction. Thus, the assemblies work mainly to sanction and punish behaviours, even though they also have the function to prescribe more adequate behaviours without the presence of a sanction and to self-regulate the class-group and its students individually. In what regards the conflict management processes, the majority are non-mediation processes, the group works more like a referee who makes decisions and sanctions behaviours, without remaining neutral.
The processes that come nearer to mediation are those in which there is a collective work, within the group, of analysing the conflict in its various contextual, emotional and processual dimensions and of searching for alternative solutions.
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Sometimes, the solutions are also referred to the parties, in another time and another place and to the intervention of a third party. However, these processes are not very frequent.
The teacher decentralises her power in the group, referring to the group consensus, to former decisions and to a third party, in a way, working as a mediator between the complaining student and the group.