Date of Award

7-1-1997

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Department of Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Null Tucker

Abstract

This study compared administrators' and counselors' perceptions of peer mediation effectiveness in secondary schools in a large suburban school system in Georgia where peer mediation is being implemented daily. The study sought to determine whether schools in this system reported a reduction in suspensions and whether there was an increase in the number of peer mediated cases as a result of implementing peer mediation. A questionnaire, the Peer Mediation Inventory (PMI), was mailed to 107 administrators and counselors in 20 selected secondary schools in this suburban school system. The data were obtained from responses of 84 respondents. Analysis of variance was used to determine significant differences in the administrators' and counselors' perception of peer mediation effectiveness. Findings indicated that administrators and counselors perceived peer mediation as effective in their schools. It was determined that respondents' perception of peer mediation and the actual number of cases reported were not significant. Schools reported having more peer mediated cases each year, which indicated that students are using peer mediation to solve conflict. Administrators' and counselors' responses to suspensions were positive when compared with the actual number of suspensions reported by the schools to the Office of Student Relations. Based on enrollment, the number of suspensions decreased from 1993 to 1996 in high schools and somewhat increased in middle schools. The open-ended questions on the survey produced valuable data for further study and implementation of peer mediation. The most effective aspects of the program were that it empowers students, reduces violence, deters fights, and teaches conflict resolution skills. The least effective aspects were time and space, scheduling mediations, getting students involved, lack of student training, and staffing. Implications and recommendations emerged from the study and should be considered by schools contemplating implementing a peer mediation program. Recommendations addressed training of students, teachers, and staff, implementing the program at the beginning of the school year, publicizing the program, and monitoring mediated cases closely.

Share

COinS