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 new 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: primary, secondary, high schools, and vocational schools
over 10 000 trained peer mediator pupils active every year
over 3500 trained staff members as mentors active
over 600 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 1100 day care units trained to use mediation by the end of 2017
Peer mediation, where pupil mediators help parties of a conflict to find a solution to their conflict by themselves
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
Conferencing led by trained staff members – pupils and their parents are participating
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.
Trainings for parents to learn restorative methods and mediation skills to use in family life
National and local seminars
Notice! To have english subtitles on find from the right corner of videoscreen first Settings (Asetukset = mutterin kuva) then Subtitles (Tekstitys) and then choose Suomi. Subtitles in english should now start running.
For more detailed information, please contact to Programme Director Ms. Maija Gellin, (PhD researcher, MA in Education, BA in youth work) email: firstname.lastname@example.org