I've sorted it out. I told them what to do!" The Role of the Teacher in Student Conflict.

Year: 2000


Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The issue of aggressive behaviour and bullying in schools is receiving much media attention. Schools are continually being called upon to take action in conflict management. The teacher's role in conflict management is important for modelling and skilling children. Constructive uses of conflict as a tool for learning fosters positive interpersonal relationships and importantly encourages students to be critical and active members of the school and society.

However, the results of this study suggest that although teachers may believe that skill development is important and possible, teacher actions rely on more traditional and familiar tactics for managing student conflict rather than more constructive conflict management techniques. Not surprisingly, when students encounter conflicts they regularly seek their teachers' assistance. When students attempted to solve conflicts themselves they lacked the necessary skills.

This paper discusses findings from a study of teachers' and students' perceptions about the management of conflicts and considers the role teachers have in student conflict. The study involved semi-structured interviews and observations of teachers and year four students within a primary school setting. The data from the research suggests that conflict is not effectively managed. The details provided by this study could assist educators in planning effective conflict resolution programs.