Conflict resolution and education

Abstract We are living in a generation where the morality of children; or people as a matter of fact is constantly being degraded as the time passes. Conflict and violence are not only naturally increasing issues but are also promoted by media such as television, radios and news papers.

The parents and teachers of the current generation must realize the seriousness of the issue and should know the ways to stop violence and conflict, if not stop then at least to control it. The behavior of parents and teachers in their own professional and personal lives affects the psychology of children and their views towards violence. According to many renowned psychologists the environment around the children is the most major factor that promotes conflicts and violence within the growing stages of their mental abilities and then the violent nature gets worse and worse as they grow.

So, it is very necessary to stop conducting violent activities that may be bound to spoil your child’s life - style when he/she grows up. To do that the parents and teachers or just about anyone connected with children must have the psychological knowledge pertaining to what affects their children’s way of thinking and behaving. All of the afore-mentioned entities should set up a good example for all the children that are bound to run the next generation.

Here in this report the complete information for the above mentioned facts will be provided and there will be solutions for a better tomorrow where the children will learn to resolve a problem peacefully and not being a part of a problem, instead they will be taught to be an ingredient of the solution.

Introduction We are in a cruel world where conflicts and violence are a part of the daily schedule for kids in junior schools, senior schools and colleges. To eradicate this mess the parents of the children should work as a team with the school psychologists and teachers to fight all the day to day violence activities and teach the children that violence does not solve a problem but ‘negotiation’ does. (Besharov, Douglas J, 1990)

The children must be taught to handle things in a proper and mature way, which is to negotiate their way out of just about any kind of mess (and not knuckle sandwiches :). To do this the parents and teachers must not give them examples of people such as Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa because under most circumstances the children will not listen and consider their ways of negotiation or resolving a conflict as ‘sissy’ (speaking in general currently used terms). Instead the parents and teachers should set up an example for their children by doing good deeds and not being short tempered, this will affect the children psychologically and it is a much better choice then providing examples of ‘great’ people.

“Being short – tempered is hereditary”… this statement had been stated by many philosophers from time to time and this has been proved true and verified by psychologists all around the world and the psychologists have examples to prove the afore-mentioned fact.

Here we discuss the major problems of the youth and try to resolve these problems and try to teach the next generation the same: to resolve a problem or to come up with a solution rather than the use of violent methods which are bound to create further problems.

There are many solutions to create a peaceful and happy life for the next generation, some have been discussed here. Once we begin to initiate our thinking process to discover a solution for this problem we will find many techniques for teachers, schools and colleges then we will try and apply one of the good techniques to oppose the constantly growing violent environment is to open up an additional subject that will teach the children how to resolve petty matters without violence by creating virtual or impractical situations and residing them as a drama…

For starters this is a good option we have further discussed the same technique further in this report and along with this we have managed to come up with even more techniques that will help the kids of today to stop violence.

Literature Review Introduction The most important piece of literature that was use in this assignment was the book by Donna Crawford titled ‘Conflict resolution education: A guide to implementing programs in Schools’, and published in the year 1996. Some other material had also been used to study for this project. The summaries of all of them are mentioned below:

 The Review of the Literature Used The book by Donna Crawford titled ‘Conflict resolution education: A guide to implementing programs in Schools’, published in the year 1996: This book tells us about better ways for peaceable classroom approaches and Conflict resolution evaluation and research. The techniques to attain a peaceful environment used in that book have been modified according to the present circumstances and judged.

This is because of the fact that the book is very old (published in the year 1996) and the circumstances at that time differ very much from the present circumstances. Another helpful book was the New York Times best seller “You can negotiate anything: How to get what you want?” by Herb Cohen: This book provides us with many examples of conflicts and solutions based on several negotiation techniques by the world famous negotiator, Mr. herb Cohen.

Mr. Cohen is also one of my personal favorite negotiators. This book also discusses the many factors that affect the weight of negotiation. These factors have been described into three categories: Time, Power and Information. For this assignment we have used the Power factor to provide an example.

The Importance of Non – violence class in an educational institute It is truly stated that Violence and conflicts are unavoidable aspects of life and since the principles of life that the students learn in a school, college or an educational institute are the principles that they follow, non – violence principles should be taught in a school, college or an educational institute; and since in many schools there is no class or teaching techniques related to not promoting violence and conflicts, this report will explain how to start a new non – violence training classes in your own school.

Although the fact still remains that the students also get violent in nature because of the negligence of parents or elders in their own personal or homely environment. So therefore during any Parents – teachers meetings the parents of the child should also be explained in detail to what they should do and what not should they do to avoid their child from becoming a violent one.

To intimate or rather teach the parent to what points should they be careful of, I have repaired a list in this report further ahead. This list includes the points like:

1.       The parents or elders at home shouldn’t get angry or shout in front of their children.

2.       The parents or elders shouldn’t talk about racism or any relating matter.

3.       Do not invite vulgar relatives or friends at home.

4.       The parents should prove themselves kind and generous by doing kind deeds and letting the kids ‘know’ about them.

5.       Don’t treat the teenage kids like children.

The points of this list have been explained in detail further in this report. This list should be explained or provided to parents ‘privately’ without the knowledge of their children, and then all that will remain is to hope that the parents try and follow these aspects and apply them to the real and practical life. This ill enable the university or college to be sure that their students are not learning any violence from their personal environment and even if after that the student condemns any violent activity, it will be solely the fault of the educational institute.

Please consider the fact here that we can not tell other people to correct their own mistakes, because even if we do chances are that they will not listen to your ‘helpful advice’ and just try to sort out matters on their own. But since we are talking about our own mistake, we can be sure to correct those, after all, even the word ‘Impossible’ says ‘I’m Possible’. So now that the mistake is our own we will try to correct that and to do that we will need the help of counselors.

But for so many students it will be really very hard to counsel each one of them individually and that is the reason to why classes to promote non – violence are most important, in this class a large group of students could be taught to learn to negotiate their way out of any trouble or conflict rather than create violence and then create further more problems which will then create more violence. Yes… it’s a chain.

Although this is a very simple chain, I have created a simple chart to explain my point:

The problem and conflict chart clearly shows my concept on using non – violent methodologies to solve any problem faced by the students.

The techniques that might be used in the class have been mentioned below in the other segment of this report: The Advantages of Non – Violent Classes and successful techniques to implement and run the class.

This segment of the report will show us the techniques that are to be used to make the class a success.

The Advantages of the study of conflict and the techniques used to imply the class successfully Violence and Conflicts are not just a problem for under developed or developing countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Pakistan, etc. but violence is a big problem for even the developed countries like the U.S.A. and the U.K., (Gilligan, James, 1996) where ever we peek or sneak we seem to face violence or see violence that may be on the way to the office or at the office itself or even at home, violence is spreading at a rate which is far more than the rate of measures being taken to stop violence. Violence is hereditary, and it spreads from generation to generation just like a disease like diabetes.

But violence doesn’t just spread from parents and neighborhood; it has also become a major problem in schools and educational institutions. Violence is growing at a much faster speed than the people’s capacity to stop them. Violence is a major problem with the students of the current generation. The students should be taught to stop violence and face any problems like adults with better means to solve the problem, such as negotiation. (Gilligan, James, 1997)

To be able to stop conflicts and violence all of people in the world will have to stand together and fight this menace. We will have to teach the kids of the present generation and the future generations to be non – violent and to handle matters smartly and in an elderly fashion rather than the present childish ways of tackling problems which is violence and which is bound to create further more problems which will again lead to more violence. (Freedheim, Donald K., 2003)

Our Schools and educational institutions should have ‘negotiation’ as a subject. I am particularly using ‘negotiation’ and not ‘non – violence’ because, speaking psychologically, the subject name ‘non – violence’ will not be able to motivate children to attend classes, whereas the term ‘negotiation’ has a much better chance of getting the children to attend the classes.

This subject may be added as an extra curricular activity which may be taught to children on certain days of the week or even better this could be added as a whole new subject where the children will be learning daily to how to negotiate their ways out of any sort of mess. This subject is bound to work only if the faculty chosen for the project is proper and completely understands the fact pertaining to how to teach the children to negotiate rather than teaching them ‘what is negotiation?’ or the facts of negotiation.

To be able to teach tem how to negotiate the teachers will require not only books and study material but the teaching on the subject of negotiation will be more and more effective if other material are used such as novels and movies. Many novels (such as Paranoia, The last testament and the broker) and movies (such as ‘Catch me if you can’) may be able to teach the kids about the concepts of negotiation much better than any books.

This would not only help to arouse interest in students but will also help the students or participants in this kind of subject interpret things much more clearly. There are although other ideas that may be applied in class, and one of my most favorite ideas amongst all of these great ideas is to organize drama based on conflicts and try to provide a solution based on several negotiation tactics to prove to the students that negotiation is always a better option then any kind of violence.

This technique can also be used on practical examples. I’ll show you what I mean to say with an example:

Suppose two students in the school or any educational institute gets involved in a conflict and try to fight. Not just consider the fact that the psychologist assigned to teach the students the advantages of negotiation gets to know about this fact through the fast spreading rumors…

What can the teacher or psychologist do to prove his point that negotiation is always a better option than fighting and creating violence. Well… for starters as I mentioned earlier we will try to resolve the issue between these two, three or what ever number of students using the ‘drama’ technique.

Actually this is a technique provided by one of the teachers I interviewed earlier (as a part of the assignment, teacher interviewed: Ms. Rouslan Ecrivez), what this technique requires for us to do is to simply organize a drama for the whole class to see and negotiate with the students involved in the conflict (the conflict that we had talked about earlier a couple of paragraphs ago) the teacher or the play organizer will be required to negotiate with the students involved in the conflict to make them play major roles in the play using their own selves as the main characters.

Although their will be other students involved in the play the students involved in the conflict will be playing a main role. They will have to deal with the situation on their own during the play in front of all the teachers and school or university’s chiefs, so that they are not able to create any kind of violence during the play.

Then each of the students will be guided by the teacher conducting the play individually and the teacher will be listening to each of their stories and then provide them with options to what would be an better option as for their own demands (after all, all the conflicts are based on a certain demand factor). After that the teacher will keep each of their data confidential and try to explain each of the students involved in the conflict on how to win their demand with the help of negotiation rather than violence. This will not only help the chief roles in the play realize the importance of negotiation but will also help the students watching the play (because of the rumor).

Now I hope you are wondering “what about the script? If the teacher is providing the students with the script then there is no worth or value of the play as it is pre - decided and the losing students will consider that the teacher did this on purpose!” Well… guess what, no script provided by the teacher! Instead what the teacher will do is to provide the scripts as assignments to the students involved in the conflict.

Although there is a fact that since the students involved in the conflict don’t know what the other student will say, so they can’t prepare a solid and un changeable script. So what the teacher needs to do here is to ask the students to create the questions that they are going to ask the other students involved in the play and the answers to the questions which have a good chance of hitting the script of the other student or students involved in the play. The students will also be asked to create a debate in their own favor to prove their point and to prove themselves innocent in the conflict.

The Judge to ‘who wins the conflict?’ will not be the teachers or anyone involved from the board of education but instead it will be the students involved in the play themselves. A voting option was also discussed with the teacher I interviewed, by a voting option I mean to say that the students watching the play or the neutral viewers will be asked to vote for their choice of winner and these votes will be kept confidential in the expectation of the case that no further conflicts may be created due to the voting process or the unfairly advantages. Then we decided to leave the voting process out because a general fact will remain standing that who so ever has the most friends will win in the negotiation process.

But them we were bound by the general fact as mentioned in a book that “POWER” may lead to the victory of an entity ion a negotiation process. (Cohen, Herb, 2003) That is, the person with the most source and power usually attains victory under many circumstances.

Thus taking all of the above facts in mind we will let the players or ‘actors’ of the play to decide for them as to who will attain victory. But before the play the students will also be taught many negotiation facts and techniques like win – win and we will try to get all of the students to apply a win – win technique rather than a win – lose technique.

By doing this not only will the students try to negotiate peacefully but they will also be able to be friends (the students involved in the conflict) and once their friendship starts to sprout they will never want to get into a conflict again because they will have realized the importance of negotiation and peaceful talks.

With the help of the above points I am not trying to state that negotiation is always peaceful. Of course, I am aware of the fact that negotiation may sometimes be harsh and noisy, and that is why we will promote out students to deal in a win – win situation.

But that will not be so at all times. If one of the students has a strong and valid point to get what he / she demands, then it could also be a win – lose situation, but for this the students in the play will have to be taught to accept defeat. Because after all, that’s what generally happens in real life, some win and some lose; therefore it is very necessary to send all the students prepared to lose in such a way that they don’t lose their morale. That is the sole reason why we have recommended a qualified psychologist to be a part of the non – violence training class.

So now we would compress our findings into points below. This will include the above mentioned techniques and other techniques that could be used to make the non – violence class a success.

The techniques that might be used in the classes for non – violence as a subject 1.       Use of Movies / novels to prove the point of the class: Students will be more interested in a class if the teachers use movies and novels with interesting examples and stories to keep the children motivated and try to apply the positive aspects of the movies in their own personal lives. Some good novels for this purpose might be :

a.       The Broker, by John Grisham

b.      Paranoia, by Joseph Finder

c.       The Last testament, by Sam Bourne

And movies might be extra help to teach the students the values of negotiation and non – violent ways.

Based on these movies or novels the teacher will provide the students with research papers to find out the important negotiation tactics and non – violent methods used in these novels and movies. This method is effective because of the fact that the students will consider it much more interesting than the books.

2.       The ‘drama technique’: The drama technique is a unique technique (please refer to explanation provided above) that will allow the students to resolve their own personal conflicts during a play in front of people by using various negotiation tactics that are created by the participants (students) themselves but with a slight guidance and permission of the responsible faculty. During a drama it will be more helpful if the arrangement of the set is made comparable to an office of some kind and the students are dressed as professional executives, with a tie. This will help them in getting into the act and acting as if they were professional executives.

3.       Treat students like adults: If the faculty treats the teens like adults and not ‘problem creating children’, it is more likely that the children will feel guilty when they are caught during any childish conflict and try to improve themselves by not repeating the same habit again and the students will also try to solve personal issues like adults. Statements like “this was not expected from a mature student like you Mr. X” or “If they are acting childishly, that doesn’t mean that you should be doing the same, you are more mature than them, I did not expect this kind of a behavior from the most mature student of my class”, etc. It is statements like this that will help the student realize his / her own mistake and then he / she will try to attain back the lost ‘mature’ respect that the teacher ‘ had’ for him.

Conflict resolution and education – A Solution for parents Conflict and violence have become comparable to a widely spread disease. The synonym disease has been because the situation of violence amongst the children and even the elders is constantly increasing. The situation in schools and even homes is getting worse day by day due to the increasing violent nature of the human being.

This situation can not be easily put to an end because of the fact that violence is spreading at a speed that is much faster than the cure of this curse. To stop this from spreading any further or rather to slow down the development of violence all of us should work together as equal and fight the factors that cause violence amongst students. There are many factors that relate to the development of violence and conflicts these may be related to racism, family feuds, culture, the living environment of children, etc. (Barnett, Ola, 2005)

It is the parents and elders that create havoc out of petty situations and then force the children to follow the same. Yes… the parents and elders are the ones that start it all. After all, who teaches our children what is racism, or differentiate in ethnicities like blacks or whites or Asians or Islamic or Jews. Where do the children learn all of this at their growing stage? Absolutely correct, they learn it from the parents or elders at their home.

Oh right, some of you must be wondering “When did ‘I’ talk about racism?” or “I have never told my children any of these things! So where did they learn this”. Well, the answer to this is simple… from other children or seniors at school or the history books or some military retired cranky school teacher that differentiates amongst the race of his / her students.

So here we would consider the fact that ‘you’ are innocent and your child has learned this from other students at school or neighborhood. So here we go, “you are finally free of all the charges… or are you?” No, still you will be held responsible if your child creates violence based on the above principles.

This is due to the fact that although you have not created the problem, but still you are not even trying to end it. It is also your responsibility towards the society to try to stop this violence; after all, it is ‘your’ kid that has been affected by these factors based on impractical and petty matters, so it is your responsibility. As a matter of fact even if it is not your kid that is involved in this mess and one of your friend’s or relative’s kid, then too as I stated before “It’s your responsibility towards the society”. Not to mention the fact that if you are doing a kind deed such as this and you achieve success by doing this you be amongst the most respected people for the person that you have done this.

To be able to do this (stop violence and conflicts from spreading any further), you must know how it’s done other wise you are bound to mess things up. Sometimes it happens, when we go to straighten things up we end up creating a mass that is thousand times bigger than the previous one. So to be able to do this we must ensure that we have completely understood the requirements to ‘what to say?’ and ‘what not to say?’ We should be very careful to what we speak in front of our children or how we behave in front of them!

Because this is what affects the most to the children, telling your children about great people in history like Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa will not do your children any good instead it will mess things up and the children will lose value for such great people. The right thing to do here is for you to set a good example for your children and to let them judge your decisions by looking at you chances are that they will end up becoming a much greater and hearty person then what you have tried to become for their own sake.

Many psychologists believe the above stated paragraph and state that for any child his biggest idol is always his dad or mom (one of the parents or sometimes both) and thus providing examples would be worthless if the habits of parents are not comparable to those examples. So the first and foremost thing to do is to straighten up your own lives if you want the life of your children to be the same.

By straightening things up I mean to clear your personal environment of all ‘natural evils’ such as short – temper, racism, fights at home (especially in front of children), respecting your children’s views, etc. We have here a list that could help the parents to help keep the violence away from your home. You must follow all the points mentioned in this list to help avoid the violence from spreading to your house:

1.       The parents or elders at home shouldn’t get angry or shout in front of their children: The parents should learn to preserve their temper and not to create havoc in the house in front of the children. If you are shouting at somebody in your house… chances are that the kid will also consider the person being shouted at as weak and he himself will shout at that person in the future.

This is specially true in the case of fathers shouting at mothers, if your child shouts at his mother due to any reason (doesn’t want to eat his vegetables or doesn’t like his clothes or just anything of that matter) do consider the fact that he is doing so because he has seen his father or another elder do the same. And this is true not only in this case but just about any family feud that occurs in the family.

So it is very necessary for the elder’s or parents of the children to not shout or get angry at petty matters, it doesn’t matter if the issue is big or small the elders should learn to suppress the temper. If you are thinking that my child is already spoiled and nothing can be done now to stop this. You are totally wrong; it’s never too late to take an initiative. You could still start and not only hope but you can be sure of the fact that your child will improve in time (well… much sooner than you expect). (Crawford, Donna, 1996)

2.       The parents or elders shouldn’t talk about racism or any relating matter:

The parents or elders of the house should be very careful to what they are talking about and that too specially in front of your children, if at any moment of time you feel that your child is not listening to your conversation although he is in the same room or the next and he / she is peacefully playing with his toys or friends or computers or what so ever, you are totally wrong, one of the proved nature of kids is that they always listen to the conversations of their parents very closely, So be very careful… have you ever considered the fact that your child likes to play in a room or a room nearby the room where you always have a family conversation or get angry and shout like crazy or drink or smoke or do anything that you should NOT be doing in front of your children. Some psychologists refer to this behavior as ‘habit transfers’.

Since you are always your child’s idol and are always loved by your child, the child would definitely want to be like you, so be very sure to try to avoid transferring your bad habits to your next generation, these bad habits do include violence, smoking, drinking, believing in racism or just about any habit that you feel that’s wrong and still can’t refrain from talking about or doing it.

3.       Do not invite vulgar relatives or friends at home: Even though you like the people with a kind of vulgar way of talking and behaving, do not invite them home or meet them in front of your children. I am in any case not recommending you to quit meeting these people or just brushing them off, I being an adult (well… not by the age but by the character) do understand the urge top not being able to quit friendship and especially if you know that although these people have a kind of a strange sense of talking and behaving (and mostly these are the kind of people that like to be funny after drinking… a lot) most of the times they are good at heart.

So I am not in any way trying to put in the picture for you to quit meeting these people, instead what I mean to say is to not to invite them in front of your children, but if he / she is a good friend and will understand your problem and promise to be nice in front of your children you may still give him / her a chance, but no drinking (except for wine and château in case of a celebration), absolutely no beers. If such friends do come to your house, just note that your children like these sort of people or like to be with them because then they are freed of any rules and regulations, and also because of the fact that they get to do and listen what they are not supposed to do… after all… that’s what ‘Reverse psychology’ means.

4.       The parents should prove themselves kind and generous by doing kind deeds and letting the kids ‘know’ about them: This is a sure shot factor to teach your kids to be kind to people and proud of their parents. Not only that, if the parents or the elders do kind deeds and then get respect for it, it will motivate the kids to do the same in order to attain the respect of elders and other people. And not to mention the fact that once your kids attain the respect of other people you will be ten times more respectable in front of those people than your kids because after all you are the one that have taught your kid to do good deeds.

5.       Don’t treat the teenage kids like children: What I mean to say here is that your kids should be allowed to participate in elderly decisions, this will not only enhance their negotiation abilities but it will make them confident enough to handle their own childish problems like adults. The kids will feel like adults and then they will themselves feel embarrassed if they act childishly or stupidly. I have particularly used this method for teens because to indulge smaller children in homely decisions will do nothing but ruin your plans and it is not the small kids that are affected by violence that much as the teenage kids. You should be extra careful with teens in these sorts of matters.

Once you follow these steps, violence and conflicts will be a mile away form your child and you can be assured of a successful future for your child, because if your kid is not violent in nature, he / she would try to solve any matter as adults and try to negotiate in any conflict rather than create violence.

So it is very necessary for just about any parent to follow ALL of the above mentioned steps very carefully and attentively.

Questionnaire for Students with regards to the implication of conflict resolution as a subject 1.       Have you ever been involved in a conflict in the institute?                                      Yes         No

2.       Did you solve the conflict peacefully?                                                                               Yes         No

3.       Did that conflict lead to any sort of violent activity?                                                    Yes         No

4.       If yes to any of the above questions please write in brief about the conflict, what it was about, etc.

5.       Was there any way that you could have solved this problem in such a way so that the solution might have been a win – win situation                                                                                      Yes         No

6.       If you would ever get involved in a conflict would you like to make it a win – win situation even if the mistake was not yours                                                                                                          Yes         No

7.       Would you like to attend non – violence classes, even though you have never been involved in a fight and just going to the classes to learn how to negotiate your way out of the toughest situations                                                                                                                                          Yes         No

8.       What is your view about conflict resolution in a peaceful manner

9.       If you see a fight going on in which you notice that  a friend of yours is involved, will you try and reason with both of them equally and not on the side of your friend                      Yes         No

10.   Would you like conflict resolution and peaceful ways of negotiation as a part of your curriculum?

YES / NO

Questionnaire for Teachers with regards to the implication of conflict resolution as a subject 1.       Do you believe that the educational institutes are ‘also’ responsible for the spreading of conflicts and violence amongst students and children?                                                                           Yes         No

2.       Have you ever experienced or saw conflicts and violence amongst the students at your institute?                                                                                                                                                      Yes         No

3.       If you did see violence amongst students, did you try to teach them negotiation techniques?

Yes     No

4.       Did any student ever talked or behaved in a vulgar or unethical manner with you?

Yes     No

5.       What’s your view towards violence at an educational institute?

6.       Do you believe that once taught about non – violence, the students will be more peaceful and less violent?                                                                                                                                             Yes         No

7.       Will you be willing to teach any of your students about non – violence, even though it has nothing related to your subject?                                                                                                            Yes         No

8.       Do you think that a class on non – violence would be effective for the children?          Yes         No

The Interviews I interviewed 2 teachers that I personally know to find out their views about conflict and violence in educational institutions. The result was some great views and very bright ideas. The two teachers that were interviewed were:

1.       Mr. Jason Robinson: Teaches Geography in Junior School.

2.       Ms. Rouslan Ecrivez: Teaches French in Junior School.

Please note that the interview had been recorded on my mobile phone in audio format also, so that I could provide the exact conversation in the report.

Interview with Mr. Jason Robinson Me: Hello Jason!

Jason Robinson: Hey!

Me: Mr. Jason I am here to talk about an assignment that I got from college and I need to interview you on your personal opinion about the topic of Conflict Resolution and Education, and especially about violence amongst children or students.

Jason Robinson: Good assignment! Kids today should have complete knowledge about that kind of stuff; this kind of knowledge should be provided in every university looking at the present circumstances like in Iraq, Israel and Pakistan. Go ahead with you questions…

Me: OK, First of all I need to know your general view towards the current situation of the increasing violence amongst the children?

Jason Robinson: Well I can say that violence amongst kids is constantly increasing in times. And I am not surprised by this because looking at the present environment where racism and inequality has taken over the world, this is bound to happen.

Me: Ok. What do you think is the chief factor to promote this increase in violence? Or rather who do you think is responsible?

Jason Robinson: In my opinion, the parents and the elders of the child are responsible because they seem to neglect the basic fact that their kid is around when they are in the privacy of their own home. What I mean to say is that a child’s prime idol is always their parents and therefore they will like to behave as their parents or elderly idols do. That means if the parent smokes, it is more likely that the child will grow up to be a smoker too, if the father drinks then the child is likely to follow his own dad’s foot steps.

This is especially true in the case if the parent is a violent natured person and this rule specifically implies on the father, if the father keeps shouting all the time, the kid will do the same. Like if the father of the child scolds the mother, then not only will the child grow up with an aggressive nature towards his future wife but he would get angry at his mom also realizing that she is helpless and the fact that the child is screaming at his mom exaggerates his power.

Me: So you don’t think that the education system is responsible for the growing violence?

Jason Robinson: Of course the education system is also responsible, but not as much as the child’s personal environment.

Me: Do you agree to the fact that the educational institutions should play a major part in trying to oppress violence or conflicts?

Jason Robinson: Yes, the educational institutions should try to control the growth of violence, because any person is always known by the quality of education that he / she has been provided, so if the student turns out to be a bad person it directly spoils the reputation of the educational institution through which he graduated.

Me: What do you think the educational institute should do to stop this violence?

Jason Robinson: For starters, they will need to create a ‘be – careful – in – front – of – your - kids’ list and provide this list to the parents of the child during a Parents – teachers meeting or when ever an opportunity is provided. This list should include the following points:

1.       The parents or elders at home shouldn’t get angry or shout in front of their children.

2.       The parents or elders shouldn’t talk about racism or any relating matter.

3.       Do not invite vulgar relatives or friends at home.

4.       The parents should prove themselves kind and generous by doing kind deeds and letting the kids ‘know’ about them.

5.       Don’t treat the teenage kids like children.

(Based on the exact discussion with Mr. Jason Robinson these have been more clearly explained in the earlier part of the report. Please refer to the topic “Conflict resolution and education – A Solution for parents”)

Me: OK Mr. Jason, thank you for your support, you were a really big help; I hope the outcome of this project will lead to a successful decision making to imply conflict resolution and education as a permanent course in the curriculum.

Mr. Jason Robinson: I hope so too, best of luck.

End of Conversation

Interview with Ms. Rouslan Ecrivez Me: Good afternoon madam.

Ms. Rouslan Ecrivez: Good Afternoon.

Me: As for starters, I would like to know your personal view on the increasing conflict and violence amongst the students and children these days.

Ms. Rouslan Ecrivez: The new generation of kids is much more rude and angrier than what we used to be. It’s like the kids today are just looking for a reason to start a fight. The words conflict has a totally new meaning now days, it is like, where ever there is conflict, violence is bound to follow. When we used to be kids, we used to have a much more Unity than the current generation of students, if the group felt a decision mad by the superior authorities is wrong we used to oppose it by writing letters and negotiating. But today, the kids have no respect for their own teachers or elders.

Something seriously needs to be done in this matter or within a short time the words like peace and negotiation will have completely lost their meaning. The kids today will have to learn to respect the principles that had been provided to us by our fore fathers and to be able to do that the first thing that they should do is to keep calm.

Me: Ma’am you have constantly referred to the kids today as the ‘preset generation’, it almost sounded like you kind of hate the kids?

Ms. Rouslan Ecrivez: No... I don’t hate the kids, I hate the way they present themselves (rudely), I hate the fact that they create a lot of violence even on minute childish matters, I just… hate their way of life, the way they carry themselves.

The children are no longer considerate about anyone’s feelings. They don’t know how to behave properly in front of elders and teachers. And have you seen the new trends nowadays, rappers, Goths, what a load of freaks!

I am not saying that there is no hope and the children will remain like this for ever and the coming generations will be even worse. But what I am mostly concerned about is the fact that no one cares, not the teachers, parents or the children themselves. The world is just getting shallower and shallower as the days pass by.

Violence and conflicts is a major menace of our society. Not only the children are affected by violence but even professional and senior people, just consider the situation in Israel as an example. That is what the world is becoming. If nothing is done to stop the violence and conflicts, then we might not be that far away from the third world war. After all what would you expect from the next generation leader who has dealt with most of the problems of his life with a knuckle sandwich.

All of the people will have to stand together as a single unit to fight against this cancer.

Me: OK ma’am your views are pretty strong and sound very motivating. What do you think is the chief factor to promote increase in violence? Or rather who do you think is responsible?

Ms. Rouslan Ecrivez: Just about everything and everybody. The growing stages of a child are very crucial stages of his / her life. And if by any chance the child looks at his parents scolding and fighting all the time, chances are the child will also turn out to be grumpy. The same case applies with teachers and relatives of the child, if the teachers treat the child harshly; studies have proved that the student will turn out to be short - tempered. If the relatives are foul – mouthed, the kid will grasp this bad habit eventually and not only will that kid be affected but his friends also.

Me: Do you agree to the fact that the educational institutions should play a major part in trying to oppress violence or conflicts?

Ms. Rouslan Ecrivez: Of course the educational institutions should try and stop violent activities, if we as educators don’t do it, then who will?

Me: What do you think the educational institute should do to stop this violence?

Ms. Rouslan Ecrivez: The educational institutes should appoint counselors to help the students and try to make them understand that violence is not a solution for any problem.

Me: And how would the counselors do that?

Ms. Rouslan Ecrivez: Well as for starters the counselors could take up batches of students and try to make virtual conflict environment and then turn it into a play.

Me: Please clarify…

Ms. Rouslan Ecrivez: Suppose there is a conflict going on in your college and your counselor or the teacher appointed to teach non – violence finds out about the conflict. What the counselor could do here is to make a pay out of the whole situation and present it in front of the whole class, the only reality missing from this play would be the violence and the students will be counseled by the counselor to try and negotiate their way out of the mess. This could be a great lesson for the children involved in the play and the children viewing the play. This could motivate the children to resolve their further conflicts in a mature and non – violent manner with the help of negotiation.

Note: Further was discussed on this question, and all of the data has been provided in the “The Advantages of the study of conflict and the techniques used to imply the class successfully” segment of the report.

Conclusion:

Implementing conflict resolution classes with cost effective means Since many inter – city schools will not be in a favor of spending tons of money on conflict resolution classes by hiring multiple counselors, we have created an ultimate strategy to imply conflict resolution classes’ at the most minimal costs.

Instead of adding a period of conflict resolution for every class, the schools and colleges could appoint just one counselor or promote one of the experienced teachers as the counselor and then have a conflict resolution drama everyday ion front of the whole school before starting any periods, in the school’s hall or stadium (which ever is more convenient and available easily). This will be our drama technique as explained in the previous topic with a twist. Instead of appointing a teacher for each and every grade, we will only need to appoint one counselor that will take care of all the matters. The average salary of a psychologist ranges from USD $ 66,000 - $ 86,500 (salary.com).

So we will consider the fact that your school could get a great psychologist at around $ 70,000 which is quite cheap as compared to any other techniques. This psychologist will be able to handle all your plays without the help of any other teachers; instead he would take help from students which will in turn teach them how things work in the real world.

The specialty of this idea is that each and every student of the class must play a major or semi - major role in at least one of the plays. The grades that will be conducting the plays will operate on a weekly or a half – monthly basis, i.e. Monday for 8th Grade, Tuesday for 9th Grade and so on…

DO not forget the fact that this play will be played in front of the whole school. The psychologist will guide them to create debate type scripts in the play where each of the major role players will not fight but negotiate for a larger slice of the pie. But mostly these students will be trained by the psychologists to create a win – win situation so that the players can be friends again and learn by their own examples.

If the psychologist comes to know bout any current feud between some students he could also create a play based on the exact same situation and get the students to negotiate rather than fight or create violence for their own rights.

References Besharov, Douglas J, (1990), Family Violence: Research and Public Policy Issues. Pg 106 – 174.

Gilligan, James, (1996), Violence: Our Deadly epidemic and its causes. Pg 1 – 62.

Gilligan, James, (1997), Violence: Reflections on a national epidemic. Pg 1 – 113.

Freedheim, Donald K., 2003, Handbook of Psychology. Pg. 575 – 578

Cohen, Herb, (2003), You can negotiate anything: how to get what you want?, ‘Factors: Power’.

Barnett, Ola (2005), Family violence across the lifespan.

Crawford, Donna (1996), Conflict resolution education: A guide to implementing programs in Schools.

Salary.com: Salary calculated by salary wizard software on the website of salary.com. The exact link: http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layouthtmls/swzl_compresult_national_HC07000044.html

Appendices Appendix A

The basic idea about negotiation or non – violence class had already been provided to the interviewees and therefore the material was straight to the point. This basic view had been viewed on the book Conflict resolution education: A guide to implementing programs in Schools by Donna Crawford. And therefore a couple of views were similar.

Appendix B

Both the interviewees had judged the questionnaire for teachers together and the result was 5/7 Yes’s from both sides equally.

Appendix C

The ‘drama technique’ was not found in any of the books that I referred from and the technique had been discovered during a group discussion between the interviewees and me.

Bibliography Crawford, Donna (1996), Conflict resolution education: A guide to implementing programs in Schools.

LeBoeuf, D. and Delany-Shabazz, (1997), Conflict Resolution, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Coghlan, (2000), The Teaching of Anti-Violence Strategies within the English Curriculum