Posts Tagged ‘Sabona’

School mediation – problems and solutions

By Johan Galtung

The world wave of mediation has reached school systems all over; in some countries less, in others more. Like in Spain, as evidenced by this heavily oversubscribed seminar on school mediation. When asked to express what they want to see happen in schools, the most frequent answer was convivencia, living togetherness. In one word, not as a composite concept. Like in Japanese, the one word is kyosei.

What does it mean, concretely? I would interpret it as positive peace at school. Something behavioral: cooperation for mutual and equal benefit. Equity. Something attitudinal, emotional resonance, I enjoy your joy, I suffer your suffering: Empathy. Harmony.

But the school is a big, holistic place. Not only children, but also adults, teachers and staff. And parents. Positive togetherness within and between all these four groups? A huge order.

Many simplify this to togetherness among children, and not positive, only less negative. Less bullying, to protect victims – parents demand that – and to use teacher time for teaching, not keeping discipline–the staff demands that. However, it all hangs together.

In addition, simplification runs against another big world wave of two values: diversity and equality, against homogeneity-verticality. Read the rest of this entry »


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