Lisa Hershman, J.D., M.S.W. is a mediator with training in community, parent-child, and custody-visitation mediation. She is a Conflict Resolution Specialist with the Morningside Center Teaching Social Responsibility in New York City. She teaches conflict resolution skills to children in grades 1-5 and manages a peer mediation program for elementary-age students. Lisa is also an adjunct professor at Purchase College, where she teaches Conflict Resolution and Family and the Law.
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Articles and Video:
Elements of Style: The What, Why & How of Transformative Peer Mediation
The recently released, second edition of “Recommended Standards for School-Based Peer Mediation Programs” (Standards) is a notable accomplishment. It compiles years of research, developments, and practical knowledge into a comprehensive, easy to read document that is certain to stimulate further development in the field. This is important to note because there is still much work to be done. Over the next decade, it is my guess that the dialogue over mediation style, currently simmering in the adult mediation community, will extend into the peer mediation field. While the Standards acknowledge that styles other than problem-solving mediation exist, “problem-solving/facilitative” mediation is the touchstone of the entire document. Problem-solving has become the gold standard by default. This article is intended for program coordinators, trainers, and funders who are interested in exploring different approaches to peer mediation.
From Lisa Hershman
Mediate.com captures what mediation is all about -- it's a place for practitioners to connect with each other, gain new perspectives, and get clear on we can do to help people get more out of their conflicts. I am proud to be a part of this community of thoughtful, helpful, and committed professionals. Bravo, Mediate.com
Using a Transformative Approach in an Elementary School Peer Mediation Program
Peer mediation programs traditionally work within a problem-solving framework: Conflict is viewed as a “problem” that can and must be solved. But what happens when there is no solution? Or, better yet, when the conflict isn’t really a problem? Faced with these dilemmas, the problem-solving approach can become frustrating and demoralizing – especially for young children. This article looks to the experience of an elementary school peer mediation program to demonstrate how incorporating elements of transformative mediation can address some of the pitfalls of the problem-solving approach.