The aspects that influence the role of ESO student mediators in Catalonia

Imagotipo CRIEDO
Any: 2022

Coexistence in educational centers is a current issue that concerns the entire educational community, due to its effects on social relationships, on the development of the students personality, the climate of the center and even on academic results.

There are different methodologies to promote a peaceful coexistence (preventive vision) and the dialogue and peaceful management of conflicts (reactive vision). The study focuses on peer mediation as a conflict management methodology, in which students intervene directly in conflict management, acting as mediators.

Mediation is characterized by the participation of a neutral external third party who acts as a facilitator of communication. Likewise, the involvement of the parties in the process and in the final agreement is essential. In addition, due to its characteristics, it promotes the development of curricular competencies, as they are closely related.

The study aims to investigate the experiences of mediator students, how they feel, what skills they have and what they need to perform the mediator practice. Therefore, we analyze how peer mediation is performed in High Schools in Catalonia. Two general objectives are proposed, that are operationalized in 7 specific objectives: A) Analyze the aspects that influence the role of mediator students in High School and; B) Prepare guidelines to improve the operation of the school mediation service.

Under an interpretative paradigm with a descriptive and correlational character, it is pretended to understand reality and interpret it in order to subsequently propose some guidelines and proposals for improvement. A mixed methodology is used in which the quantitative part is combined (it has a greater weight because it allows contrasting the information obtained from a large sample) and a qualitative part (it allows to deepen and clarify the analyze aspects).

The instruments used are the documentary analysis, the questionnaire and the group interview. The documentary analysis is used for the design of the information collection instruments. Two questionnaires are used (one addressed to mediator students and the other to mediation coordination) and a group interview with mediator students.

The study is based on the perceptions, and experiences of the main agents. The study sample is made up of 643 subjects (456 students in the questionnaire, 110 mediation coordinators in the questionnaire and 77 students in the interviews), representing 201 educational centers in Catalonia.

The collection of information, the analysis of the information and the presentation of the results are presented based on the 4 categories established in the study: choice, training, implementation, and improvement proposals.

The results of the study analyze the variables that influence the mediating tasks done by the students, including organizational aspects, training, the selection of students, their profile, and the dissemination of the service, among others. In addition, the results allow to conclude the aspects to be developed in the educational centers to facilitate this task and promote mediation in them

The main products of the study are: to know the vision and needs of the mediator students, the essential aspects of the training that the students receive, the design of a valid and reliable questionnaire that allows to analyze the aspects that influence the identification with the mediator’s role (adapted for use in schools) and guidelines to facilitate the work of mediator students and improve the performance of the SME.

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