Children's LiteratureStudies have shown that applying the process of getting students to agree on a solution to their conflicts is effective. As a result, many schools have adopted a mediation program. All of those involved benefit. The students involved are empowered because they become aware that they have the skills to resolve the dispute and avoid violence. The mediators learn problem solving and communication skills as they increase their feelings of self-esteem. Self-assessment tools covering peer mediation, communication skills and mentor skills are available for teens to determine if they have what is required to become a peer mediator. The seven steps for an effective peer mediation process are outlined and explained. To further clarify, an example of a peer mediation process between two students at school is presented in detail. For those teens who do not have peer mediation training specific guidelines are given by the author for a teen to follow. It is pointed out that teens my also identify someone who can become a mentor to them to assist them in developing their mediation skills. The peer mediation process covered in this book goes a long way in preparing and educating teens in handling conflict throughout life. This book is part of the "Life Skills" series. 2002, Capstone Press, $23.95. Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer:Leila Toledo
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 6 Up-Graphically well organized, these series titles present simple, persuasive texts broken into easily digestible chunks. The design features good captioning, charts, overviews, discussion questions, appealing photographs of teens, well-placed splashes of color, and highlighted sections. Wandberg's other books within this series make up a significant portion of each list of suggested further readings. Equally useful as both a recruiting and training tool or for individual inquiry, Peer Mediation is a solid addition. It explains that conflict is best abated by finding workable solutions rather than passing judgment and assigning punishment. Readers are encouraged to assess their own skills and follow sample processes. There is some discussion of graduating into mentorship. Tolerance probes ageism, sexism, racism, and heterosexism. In a chapter designed to inquire about the limits of tolerance, hate groups, animal rights, abortion, and weapons in school are explored. Suggestions are included for promoting tolerance at school and ways to strengthen it among younger children. However, a surprising digression occurs in a detailed listing of proper diet for promoting immune system health and the comparisons between physical tolerance and social tolerance are a stretch. Kevin Osborn's Everything You Need to Know about Bias Incidents (Rosen, 1997) offers a more detailed and unified text.-Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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