Aug 17, 2009


The Conflict Resolution Training Program is a curriculum
for kindergarten students to help them understand conflict and use strategies to
maximize mutual gain. Using a four week school-based intervention, students are
taught about conflict and the steps to resolve conflicts using a negotiation
procedure. In this evaluation, students in the experimental group were
significantly more likely to use negotiation to help resolve conflict during
free play, use negotiation steps, and use constructive strategies.


Target population: Kindergarten students

The Conflict Resolution Training Program teaches
kindergarten students conflict resolution strategies during their school day.
The curriculum lasts four weeks with one 30-minute lesson per day for a total of
nine hours. Children are taught about what is and is not conflict and a
negotiation procedure to resolve conflicts. The steps in the negotiation
procedure are: 1) recognizing a conflict and expressing a desire to resolve it,
2) stating what you want and the reasons behind it, 3) expressing your feelings,
4), communicating an understanding of the other person’s wants, 5) offering
three or more solutions that maximize mutual gain, and 6) reaching an agreement
and shaking hands. The six steps of negotiation are illustrated and presented
for the students. As a way to help the students learn the negotiation procedure,
they recite the steps, sequence cards with the steps on them, color the icons of
the steps, watch a teacher demonstration, and practice the steps themselves
using books to role play. Other activities include teaching sharing, caring,
helping, listening, working together, taking turns, and being fair. The two
teachers leading the lessons rotate between groups.


Stevahn, L., Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., Oberle, K.,
& Wahl, L. (2000). Effects of conflict resolution training integrated into a
kindergarten curriculum. Child Development, 71(3), 772-784.

Evaluated population: A total of 80 kindergarteners from four
classes in one public school in Edina, Minnesota. All of the children were
from middle-class backgrounds.

Approach: Children were randomly assigned to
experimental (N=39) and control (N=41) conditions across classes. Students in
the experimental group proceeded as described in the Description of Program
section. The control group students were taught the same friendship concepts
for the same number of sessions and hours, but there were no conflict resolution
procedures included.

Students were measured on their knowledge and understanding
of the concept of conflict, knowledge of the negotiation procedure, retention of
the negotiation procedure, willingness and ability to apply the negotiation
procedure, use of the negotiation procedure, application of the negotiation
procedure to resolve real conflicts, willingness and ability to help others by
using the negotiation procedure, and understanding of friendship concepts.

Results: At post-test, children in the experimental
group were able to describe significantly more negotiation steps than control
group children. This outcome held through the 10-week follow-up. The
experimental group also used significantly more constructive strategies in
resolving conflict than the control group. Measured through observation and
assessment, experimental group children used significantly more negotiation
steps than control group children during conflict. Experimental group children
were significantly more willing to help others resolve conflict and recalled
significantly more friendship concepts than control group children.


Laurie Stevahn

University of Minnesota

Cooperative Learning Center

60 Peik Hall

159 Pillsbury Drive

Minneapolis, MN 55455


Stevahn, L., Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., Oberle, K., &
Wahl, L. (2000). Effects of conflict resolution training integrated into a
kindergarten curriculum. Child Development, 71(3), 772-784.

KEYWORDS: Early Childhood (0-5), School-based, Kindergarten, Children
(3-11), Early Childhood, Suburban, Conflict Resolution Skills

Program information last updated on 8/17/09.

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