Addressing Ethnic Conflicts

  1. A Review of Selected School-Based Conflict Resolution and Peer Mediation Projects. Powell, Kenneth E. , Muir-McClain, Lois , Halasyamani, Lakshmi 426-431 page s . December 1, 1995. English .

    This paper examines nine school-based peer mediation and conflict resolution projects supported by four state health departments, describing differences in targeted students, project consultants, teacher and student training, teaching methods, curriculum content, mediation format, complementary strategies, project cost, and project evaluation. (SM)

  2. A World of Difference Institute. Anti-Defamation League . .

    A World of Difference Institute provides peer training using a unique combination of instructional and peer influence strategies to combat name-calling, bullying and harassment, and create safe and inclusive school communities.

  3. Challenge Day (Website). St. John Dutra, Rich , Dutra St. John, Yvonne . 2002. .

    This organization provides one-day programs for students in middle, junior, and high schools to help create connections between students and to build empathy. The program is 6 1/2-hours and is designed for 100 students.

  4. Faces and Voices of Refugee Youth A Curriculum Guide for Secondary School Teachers and Counselors. Kelen, Joyce 57 page s . n.d.. English .

    Guides middle school and high school teachers through curricula highlighting the experiences and issues surrounding refugees and immigrants using an award-winning documentary photography and oral history exhibition called Faces and Voices of Refugee Youth. This exhibit, originally displayed as part of the 2002 Cultural Olympiad in conjunction with the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, recounts the struggles of over 1,800 youth refugee who resettled in Utah. The exhibit will reopen in 2009 at the Leonardo Museum's Center for Documentary Arts (CDA) in Salt Lake City. The curriculum guide's four sections offer: (1) an integrated guide for middle school teachers; (2) a culture, citizenship, and conflict resolution guide; (3) an analysis for ninth grade geography/social studies classes; and (4) activities for high school English classes. Exercises enhance awareness and empathy for refugees and require students to develop a definition of a refugee, to determine the organizations and personal responsibility for assisting refugees, to compare and contrast the experiences and emotions of a young newcomer, to locate native countries on a map using the grid system, to analyze conflicts, and to articulate the concepts of human rights, citizenship, asylum, racism, and culture. The curriculum guide can be used in support of a visit to the exhibition or on its own, without ever personally viewing the exhibit. (IP)

  5. Fostering a Positive Climate in Our Schools. Vengadasalam, Maya 3 page s . 2005. English .

    Fostering a Positive Climate in Our Schools, by Maya Vengadasalam, highlights her work with various Washington State School Districts and the Kent School District Alliance for Diversity and Equity in surveying parents, caregivers, students, and school personnel. Although focused on the experiences of South Asian students, the descriptions will resonate with those who are refugees or who work with refugees. In response to the question, "What is your biggest problem at school?", most students noted bullying and harassment as their #1 problem, and the division of students along ethnic/racial lines. The article provides student recommendations to school officials for improving the school climate with regard to ethnic diversity.

  6. Improving Ethnic and Racial Relations in the Schools. Romo, Harriett 4 page s . October 1997. English .

    Many patterns of racial and ethnic group relations in our schools are based on how members of a given group have been included or excluded in U.S. society. Understanding such patterns requires consideration of slavery, the discrimination faced by Southern European immigrants, the conquests of American Indians and Mexicans, the relocations of Japanese citizens during WWII, and the experiences of Cuban and Vietnamese refugees and other recent immigrants. Conflicts also exist within ethnic groups. Schools have historically helped include newcomers in American society and continue to do so. However, concerns about intergroup relations in schools have typically focused on improving relations between Whites and African Americans. Today, racial and ethnic relations are more complicated. In school, social bias and fear of "acting White" can detract from the academic achievement of minority group students. Students in multiethnic schools tend to resegregate themselves, and group segregation and stereotyping may be encouraged by certain school policies. Intergroup conflicts may be related to ethnic or racial identity, group unity, or increased peer status for group leaders. School interventions to reduce prejudice and discrimination include educational approaches that teach about group similarities and differences, draw attention to the processes of discrimination, and promote team building; a vicarious experience approach using books and films that emphasizes the commonalities of all groups; and intergroup contacts during cooperative joint activities. Structural changes include systematic integration, small class size, and use of cooperative learning techniques. (Contains 13 references.) (SV) ERIC (Order No. ED414113)

  7. Made In America: Immigrant Students in Our Public Schools. Olsen, Laurie 288 page s . 1998. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Made in America describes Madison High, a prototypical public high school, where more than 20 percent of students were born in another country and more than a third speak limited English or come from homes in which English is not spoken. Through interviews with teachers, administrators, students, and parents, Olsen explores such issues as the complexities of becoming bicultural, social integration, the racialization process, interethnic conflicts, bilingual education, and more. 

  8. Teaching Tolerance (Website). Southern Poverty Law Center . 1991. .

    Teaching Tolerance is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation's children.  Their Web site provides free educational materials to teachers and other school practitioners in the U.S. and abroad. 

  9. This Isn't the America I Thought I'd Find: African Students in the Urban U.S. High School. Traore, Rosemary , Lukens, Robert J. 258 page s . 2006. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This book is about African immigrant students in a primarily African-American high school in Philadelphia.  The book discusses the serious disconnect between the African immigrant and African American students and the resulting bullying and harassment.  The authors discuss their work to bridge the gap between the two groups and offer advice for teachers seeking to do the same.

  10. Unity. Phillips Community Television . 2003. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This 15 minute video explores an amazing transformation in a Minnesota high school where African American students and Somali refugee students turned from resentments to conflict resolution using a combined group called Unity. (IP)

    Recommended for ages 12 and up.

  11. Welcoming and Orienting Newcomer Students to U.S. Schools. Bridging Refugee Youth and Children Services (BRYCS) 8 page s . 2008 Spring. English .

    This Spotlight focuses primarily on students' cultural and social adjustment, while recognizing the positive academic impact of successful socio-cultural adjustment. It examines the steps that teachers and administrators can take to integrate refugee children and youth into their schools, first looking at newcomer programs and other means of welcoming and accommodating foreign-born students, then discussing means of facilitating the social integration of newcomer students by teaching American-born students about refugee and immigrant populations, openly discussing racism, and preventing bullying.