Teaching Students to Be Peacemakers

An Effective Practice


The Teaching Students to Be Peacemakers (TSP) is a 12-year conflict resolution program in which students learn increasingly sophisticated negotiation and mediation procedures each year. It concentrates on teaching students how to value constructive conflict, engage in problem-solving and integrative negotiations, and mediate classmates' conflicts. There are seven phases in implementing the program:

1. Create a cooperative context.
2. Teach students the desirability of conflicts when they are managed constructively.
3. Teach students the problem-solving, integrative negotiation procedure.
4. Teach students the mediation procedure.
5. Implement the peer mediation program.
6. Continue the training in negotiation and mediation procedures throughout the school year to refine and upgrade students' skills.
7. Reteach the negotiation and mediation procedures the next year at a higher level of complexity and sophistication. This results in a spiral curriculum from kindergarten (or before) through the 12th grade.

Goal / Mission

The intent of this program is to provide each student with at least 12 years of training in how to manage conflicts constructively and thereby significantly change the way they manage their conflicts for the rest of their lives.

Results / Accomplishments

The TSP program has been evaluated in 18 separate studies over the past 14 years under many variables, such as the degree to which the negotiation and mediation procedures were learned, retained, and applied; the attitudes toward conflict; and academic achievement and retention. The most recent study evaluates the results of the previous studies through the use of meta-analytic techniques. The results of the meta-analysis indicate that students do tend to learn the problem-solving negotiation and peer mediation procedures, apply them in actual conflict situations, and transfer their use to nonclassroom and nonschool situations. When integrated into academic units, the negotiation and mediation training seems to increase academic achievement, thus creating the possibility that the training will be institutionalized within schools and be continuous throughout a person's schooling. Finally, the studies show that the number of discipline problems the teacher had to deal with decreased by about 60 percent, and referrals to the principal dropped about 95 percent.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
David W. Johnson or Roger T. Johnson
Interaction Book Company
7208 Cornelia Drive
Edina, MN 55435
(952) 831-7060
Social Environment / Social Tolerance
Social Environment / Children's Social Environment
Education / School Environment
Interaction Book Company
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide (MPG)
Date of publication
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Teens