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Title: Relational transformation through dialogue : conflict mediation in a secondary school in the UK
Author: Tsuruhara, Toshiyasu
ISNI:       0000 0004 7426 5474
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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This paper examines dialogue between disputing students and the teacher/facilitator in conflict mediation meetings, and discusses what kind of teacher/facilitator’s actions help disputing students find a constructive solution, or even relational transformation. Key theories that inform my research are taken from Martin Buber and Carl Rogers. Buber argues that a human needs to set him/herself at a distance to see the other as an independent existence, and that humans enter relationship through self-becoming, and confirmation of the other’s existence. This is very difficult to achieve in a conflict situation, but Rogers’ core conditions of Person Centred Therapy: Unconditional positive regard; Empathy; Genuineness, fill this gap. The conflict mediator can help this process. Data for the study is taken from twenty video recordings in a secondary school in England, where diversified students, including those who were born abroad, learn together. I examine the outcomes of twenty video-recorded meetings, grouped into three categories: Relational Transformation; Resolution Only; Conflict not transformed. I describe how I have selected three meetings each (nine in total) for thematic coding and conversation analysis. Elicitive and empathetic facilitation appeared most frequently in Relational-Transformation cases, whereas judgmental and directive facilitation were observed most frequently in Conflict-not-transformed cases. As for student’s actions, openness and expansiveness appeared most frequently in Relational-Transformation cases, and attacking and defiance appeared most frequently in Conflict-not-transformed cases. Resolution-Only cases lie between these two categories. These findings suggest that conflict mediation favours elicitive and empathetic facilitation, and leads to the transformation of students’ relationships. When the facilitator/teacher shows judgment and directiveness, students respond with attacking and defiance, which impairs transformative process. It was also revealed that students were only able to acknowledge the other student’s feelings and experiences after their own feeling had been acknowledged.
Supervisor: Cremin, Hilary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Conflict ; Mediation ; Dialogue ; Restorative ; Martin Buber ; Carl Rogers ; Conversation Analysis ; Relational ; Transformation ; Disciplinary