Conflict Resolution in Early Childhood Helping Children Understand, Manage, and Resolve Conflicts

Conflict Resolution in Early Childhood Helping Children Understand, Manage, and Resolve Conflicts
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  • ISBN-13: 9780130874016
  • ISBN: 0130874019
  • Edition: 1
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall


Wheeler, Edyth J.

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As young children face increasing violence in their world, interest in conflict resolution continues to grow in schools and communities across the nation. Conflicts are part of everyday life in our work with young children. Conflict resolution is also part of a larger context of violence prevention, response to national crisis, character or moral education, and peace education. Conflict Resolution in Early Childhood: Helping Children Understand, Manage, and Resolve Conflictsexamines the nature of young children's conflicts, the role of peer conflict in children's development, and ways for practitioners and families to foster children's prosocial interactions and conflict resolution. With its primary focus on children and their conflicts with their peers, this book also explores the idea of adults as positive models for children in conflicts, and it incorporates the roles of family, community, and culture. An additional consideration is the evaluation, selection, adaptation, and development of curriculum program models for conflict resolution. In order to support children's developing conflict resolution ability, adults need to understand what is happening in children's conflicts. Using real-life examples of children's interactions, this book explains conflicts through several theoretical perspectives and provides a practitioner focus on supporting child-centered resolutions in programs and classrooms for young children from ages two to eight. Constructivist and ecological contexts support an understanding of conflict resolution and peacemaking for all children. Beginning in the early years, conflict resolution is an area of vital concern worthy of an in-depth study beyond the single chapter or few pages in books of a broader scope. This book presents children's ability to understand and resolve their disputes as a process of learning and development with implications for curriculum, behavior guidance, and child development. The growth of both children and teachers is a focus of this book. The chapters resonate with the idea of collaboration in support of young children's conflict resolution across a broad spectrum of participants. We will look closely at children themselves, and also at classrooms, schools, families, and communities. Our approach is consistent with recommendations included in a list of 14 proposed solutions for preventing and reducing violence, from a 1994 symposium on violence at Brown University (Lipsett, 1994, p. 91): Take a collective moral responsibility for violence and make a long-term, national commitment to its eradication. Shift from a reactive to a proactive stance. Focus on tasks such as teaching conflict resolution and guaranteeing day care, instead of installing metal detectors and building bigger prisons. Practice prevention. Teach kids as early as possible. Teach non-violent conflict resolution to everyone. Restrict media violence and promote responsible children's television programming. Coordinate communication among kids, parents, schools, police, and communities. ORGANIZATION This book is presented in four parts. Part I offers a close look at definitions of children's conflicts, and at the broader context of the violence and peace surrounding children in their world. Part II presents ways to look at and understand children's conflicts and conflict resolution: first with the tools of observing and listening to children, then with characteristics of children's conflicts, and finally with theoretical perspectives to help make sense of what we observe. Part III takes us into the everyday world of classroom decision-making, from creating a caring community to supporting conflict resolution and peacemaking, to curriculum approaches and materials, to guidelines and strategies for intervening in children's conflicts. Part III includes chapters that focus on specific age groups, from young preschWheeler, Edyth J. is the author of 'Conflict Resolution in Early Childhood Helping Children Understand, Manage, and Resolve Conflicts', published 2003 under ISBN 9780130874016 and ISBN 0130874019.

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