Lesson Plan Conflict resolution
Author: Lect.univ. Elena-Ancuța Santi
Valahia University of Targoviste
Activity / lesson title
Understanding and resolving conflicts in the educational environment
Students of upper secondary level
- to define the conflict and its sources, in different contexts; - to identify strategies to resolve conflict situations; - to identify the consequences of conflicts on interpersonal relationships, on the group climate, on productivity and efficiency in activity and at individual level (self-esteem, negative emotions, mental well-being); - to recognize specific emotions and feelings in conflict situations.
Subjects and topics covered
- Counselling and guidance, Intercultural education, Civic education, Education for democracy, Psychology, Sociology - Conflict resolution Method description
conversation, explanation, exercises, demonstration, case-study, debate
Tools / Materials / Resources
laptop, post-it, flipchart sheets, marker, a roll of duct tape, box, pens, an orange, "leaves" cut from thick paper in the colors of the rainbow
Detailed description of the step-by-step description of the activity / sequences of the units
Briefly describe the approach. To "break the ice" and get to know us better, use the game: "Word of surprise" (Annex 1): Each member of the group receives a note, on which he will write a word he is thinking about at that moment. The tickets will be folded and placed in a box. Each participant will draw a note from the box and must present himself/herself using the word on the note, in each sentence. After this moment, participants are asked to express, in one word, what their expectations are for the next activity. All words will be written on a flipchart. The title of the activity is announced - Understanding and resolving conflicts in the educational environment - and the proposed objectives, specifying, at the same time, some rules necessary for the good development of the meeting: we respect others, we get involved, we do not criticize the opinions of others. Participants are asked to give a personal definition of the term “conflict”, after which they are invited to follow a theoretical material referring to “conflict resolution” (ppt - 20 min.). The material will present aspects related to the definition of conflict, causes underlying conflicts, types of conflicts, stages of escalation of a conflict, resolving strategies and ways to achieve the "positivity" of a conflict, i.e. its transformation into a development opportunity. It is also stated that sometimes both parties involved in the conflict may be right, depending on the perspective from which they look at things, and to prove this, 2 participants are asked to sit face to face, while sitting between them, the number 6 or the letter M. Emphasis is placed on the importance of communication in the conflict resolution process, as well as active listening and empathy. Then, a role-playing game is proposed: "The orange negotiation" (Annex 2). The group is divided into two teams, "A" and "B". Each team receive a scenario that explain why they need to buy this special fruit (the last existing of a very rare species). They will negotiate, bringing arguments in favour of their cause, until they collaborate (find the "win-win" solution) and each group will receive the resource it needs. At the end they will be asked how they felt during the game, if they experienced negative emotions and why, if there was a conflict, if they would act differently now, what they learned during this exercise, etc. A case study from the educational environment is proposed for debate. The participants are asked to resolve the conflict situation, applying the information acquired during the activity. Proceed as follows: the group is divided into smaller subgroups, meanwhile the facilitator writes on the board the words: CONFLICT and RESOLUTION, leaving a large space between the two words. Participants are asked to identify the steps needed to move from conflict to resolution. Place the sheets on the board and discuss the solutions they identified. Feedback & assessment
At the end of the activity, they will be asked to provide feedback in the form of an idea they remain with, at the end of this activity ("Rainbow-tree" - Annex 3). They will tick, one by one, in the list of words mentioned at the beginning as "expectations" those words which are expectations that come true. They will be able to complete the list adding new words or to "cut" those words that designate expectations unfulfilled during this activity.
Evaluation (for purposes of grading)
Intellectual property rights (IPR) / Origin of the activity
This activity may be copied, distributed, modified, and used for non-commercial purposes, specifying the source.
Annex 1 – Ice breaking game & getting to know each other - „Surprise word”
Purpose: reduction / elimination of barriers generated by the new environment and unknown partners; knowledge of participants' names (inter-knowledge); relaxing the atmosphere and creating an emotionally secure climate.
Description: Each member of the group receives a note, on which they must write a word. The notes will be folded and placed in a box. Each participant draws a note and must present himself using, in each sentence, the word on the note.
Necessary materials: notes, pens, box.
Annex 2 - "The Orange Negotiation"
Purpose: retention of new information / knowledge regarding negotiation, as a conflict resolution technique; identification of "win-win" solutions; managing emotions and exploring the feelings felt during the "conflict" played.
Description: The group is divided into two teams, "A" and "B". The teacher plays the role of Mandez, the only owner of an orange of a very rare species (Mandezina Orange). Each team will receive a scenario explaining why they need to get the special fruit. They will appoint a representative / spokesperson, who will negotiate with Mandez. From the instructions received, group "A" finds that they need the orange peel to extract a substance needed to create an important nuclear component; group "B" learns that they need orange pulp to create a serum to protect pregnant mothers from a deadly disease. After negotiating with Mandez, the teams have the opportunity to negotiate with each other. During the negotiation, they will realize that each team needs another component of the orange and, working together, they will solve the problem satisfactorily.
Materials needed: an orange.
Annex 3 - "Rainbow-tree"
Purpose: evaluation of the activity, providing feedback.
Description: The teacher displays on the flipchart, a sheet with a tree, with its components: roots, trunk, branches, leaves, fruits, etc. Players placed in a circle, around the sheet, receive a "leaf" and a pen with which they will write on the "leaf" a thought or a teaching with which they leave the lesson. Everyone will then stick their leaf with a piece of adhesive tape on the tree, in a place that seems more appropriate: at the root, on the trunk, on a branch, like a leaf, etc. The teacher closes the activity by commenting on both the thoughts written on the "leaves" and the places where they were placed, emphasizing the symbolism and importance of each part (root, trunk, etc.) for the whole tree (group).
Necessary materials: a large sheet of paper with a drawn tree (the crown of the tree has the colors of the rainbow), pens, a marker, a roll of duct tape, "leaves" cut from thick paper.