According to ERIC Digest’s Morton Inger, conflict resolution is becoming a major learning system across the U.S. Conflict is especially widespread in urban schools, due to their size, limited resources, and very diverse student body. To deal with the institutional problems caused by school conflict, and to help students and staff handle conflict in a more productive way, more conflict resolution programs are being implemented. Educators like Teachers College’s Morton Deutsch have laid the theoretical groundwork for many conflict resolution learning systems, arguing that schools shouldn’t try to eliminate or prevent conflict. Conflict, after all, is not only inevitable but a healthy part of life.
The key to effective conflict resolution learning systems is to encourage and promote lively, effective controversy. Conflict prevents stagnation, as well as the potential for anger to be withheld and ultimately explode. It stimulates interest and curiosity, allows problems to be addressed, and is the catalyst for personal and social change.
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