Mediation in education

In English

VERSO-programme

VERSO-programme offers training in restorative mediation to children and professionals working with children in early childhood education, schools and other learning institutions.

Restorative practices and mediation are used as an alternative and child friendly justice processes in many level of society. Mediation is understood as a fundamental right to every citizen in every age and state. The aim is teach children to understand their rights as well as learn social skills by mediation. Looking at Child Friendly Justice, one basic focus is to give children information and experience of restorative practices and mediation even in kindergartens and schools.

Every conflict can be seen as a learning situation, which works both reactively as well as proactively. Individuals are seen as experts of their own living circumstances and therefore the important focus is to empower them for their lives and future just there where they live. School mediation is seen as learning situation where children learn not only to manage conflicts but also to use their right of participating and being heard. Main purpose of mediation is that conflict parties can meet in safe situation, that they are heard and that they can influence to process and commit to the solutions. This is proactive work for children to be active citizens and aware of their rights. The understanding of the access of justice should have roots in the daily life of schools.

The Finnish Basic Education Act and Core Curriculum are giving strong support for increasing participation of children in their schools, as well as for children to have opportunities to practice mediation and negotiation skills.

Read more in the article Gellin M. 2018: Mediation in Finnish schools: From conflicts to restoration

Read more about VERSO programme in Finland

Ongoing evaluation is an important part of the VERSO-programme.

  • over 800 schools trained by 2020: primary, secondary, high schools, and vocational schools
  • over 10 000 trained peer mediator pupils active every year
  • over 50 000 trained staff members
  • over 1300 adult mediators trained with advanced training
  • over 10 000 cases mediated yearly
  • over 25 000 pupils have solved their conflict succefully in mediation every year
  • over 1600 day care units trained to use mediation by the end of 2019

Read article of research results from years 2001-2010:  Learning in mediation M_GELLIN 2011

Our programme director Maija Gellin’s PhD dissertation ”Restoratiivinen lähestymistapa ja sovittelu peruskoulukontekstissa Kohti eheyttävän kohtaamisen toimintakulttuuria.” (2019) (in English ”Restorative approach and mediation in context of basic education. Towards culture of restorative encounters” is available online at University of Lapland’s database (in Finnish). Read the abstract in English here.

Trainings

Our trainings for restrotive approaches are:

  1. Peer mediation, where pupil mediators help parties of a conflict to find a solution to their conflict by themselves
  2. Circles and adult-led mediation, where trained staff members guide the parties (can also be conflict between pupil and teacher) to find a common agreement to the conflict
  3. Conferencing led by trained staff members – pupils and their parents are participating
  4. Advanced trainings of whole school restorative approach for education professionals In this training teachers learn not only to use restorative practice reactively in the case of conflict but also proactively when teaching. This means that after the training the head and teachers of a school can implement the restorative thinking as a whole school approach and use the restorative tool in daily work in school communities. Experiences of using restorative approach in teaching are very promising and followed up in an academic research, of which the results will be published during next years.
  5. Trainings for volunteer mentors to strengten and develop restorative methods and mediation skills in their school or day care centre
  6. Trainings for parents to learn restorative methods and mediation skills to use in family life
  7. National and local seminars

Please note! To enable English subtitles on the video, click on the captions -button at the bottom right of the screen.

University level RA (Restorative approach) trainings by Maija Gellin in Finland:

1. Mediation and restorative approach in daycare / Sovittelu ja restoratiivinen toimintakulttuuri kasvatus- ja varhaiskasvatusyhteisöissä

University and department: University of Helsinki, Centre for Continuing Education (HY+)

Country and city: Helsinki, Finland

For: professional staff members in the field of education and day care
Level: continuing advanced training, 10 op (credits)
Language: Finnish
Dates: 21th Jan – 21th April 2020
Link:  http://kauppa.hyplus.helsinki.fi/Sovittelu-ja-restoratiivinen-toimintakulttuuri-kasvatus-ja-varhaiskasvatusyhteisiss-kevt-2020

Trainers: PhD Maija Gellin as a head trainer, visiting lecturers: professor Tuija Turunen (Univ. Lapland), Licentiate in education Paula Mattila (Finnish National Agency for Education), docent Henrik Elonheimo (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare) and visiting experts from the field of RJ and practitioners of restorative approach in education.

Keywords of the content: Theory of RJ, restorative approach and practices in education, mediation in theory and practice, restorative mediation as a process, role of restorative mediator and fasilitator, child’s rights and participation, children and young people in conflict management, implementing restorative approach to profession

2. Mediation and restorative approach – methods for srtenghtening restorative environment and encounters in school culture / Sovitteleva ja restoratiivinen toimintakulttuuri – menetelmiä koulun työrauhan ja kohtaamisen kulttuurin edistämiseen

University and department: University of Lapland, Centre for Continuing Education

Country and city: Rovaniemi, Finland

For: professional staff members in the field of education and day care
Level: continuing advanced training, 12 op (credits)
Language: Finnish
Dates: 26th Nov 2019 – 16th April 2020
Link:  https://www.ulapland.fi/events/Sovitteleva-ja-restoratiivinen-toimintakulttuuri—menetelmia-koulun-tyorauhan-ja-kohtaamisen-kulttuuriin-edistamiseen-(12-op)/38339/0e017375-0704-4acb-8b57-5681a501f1fb

Trainers: PhD Maija Gellin as a head trainer, visiting lecturers: professor Tuija Turunen (Univ. Lapland), and visiting experts from the field of RJ and practitioners of restorative approach in education.

Keywords of the content: Theory of RJ, restorative approach and practices in education, mediation in theory and practice, restorative mediation as a process, role of restorative mediator and fasilitator, child’s rights and participation, children and young people in conflict management, implementing restorative approach to profession

3. Introductory course for Mediation and Reconciliation / Sovittelun johdantokurssi

University and department: University of Georg Mason, School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) in cooperation of Deaconess Institute of Helsinki

Country and city: Helsinki, Finland

For: professional staff members in the field deaconess
Level: continuing advanced training, 3 op (credits)
Language: Finnish
Dates: 28th Jan – 27th Feb 2020

Trainers: Antti Pentikäinen, Research Professor, George Mason University School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR), Director in Mary Hoch Center for Reconciliation, and PhD Maija Gellin, Finnish Forum for Mediation (FFM)

Keywords of the content: Reconciliation and peace processes, polarized societies and depolarization, theory of RJ, mediation in theory and practice, restorative mediation as a process, role of a restorative mediator and fasilitator, restorative participation and encounter, implementing restorative approach to a profession

4. Mediation and restorative approach in education and day care / Sovittelu ja restoratiivinen toimintakulttuuri kasvatus- ja varhaiskasvatusyhteisöissä

University and department: University of Helsinki, Centre for Continuing Education (HY+) 

Country and city: Helsinki, Finland

For: professional staff members in the field of education and day care
Level: continuing advanced training, 10 op (credits)
Dates: Autumn period 2020
Link: Not open yet

Trainers: PhD Maija Gellin as a head trainer, visiting lecturers: professor Tuija Turunen (Univ. Lapland), and visiting experts from the field of RJ and practitioners of restorative approach in education.Keywords of the content: Theory of RJ, restorative approach and practices in education, mediation in theory and practice, restorative mediation as a process, role of a restorative mediator and fasilitator, child’s rights and participation, children and young people in conflict management, implementing restorative approach to profession

Interested to learn more about us or our trainings? Contact Maija Gellin at maija.gellin@sovittelu.com or our trainers at verso@sovittelu.com