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Conflict Management in Higher Ed Report
Volume 4, Number 1, Oct. 2003

Preparing Pre-Service Educators to Break Up Fights . . . Before they Happen

DJJDP – Center has also recognized the need to expose current teachers, administrators, School Resource Officers, juvenile justice professionals, and other youth-serving professionals to effective conflict management skills. Conflict occurs daily and in various settings in the school and community. All youth-serving professionals need to be prepared to effectively manage conflict in school and community settings. To address the needs of current educators and other youth-serving professionals, DJJDP – Center has created the “Reach to Teach” initiative. This initiative is derived from the pre-service educator project and provides training and technical assistance for both adults and youth. Similar to the pre-service educator curriculum, the “Reach to Teach” initiative offers youth-serving professionals beneficial practices and approaches for school and community settings to deal effectively with conflict. Specific benefits include:

  • increasing and empowering youth-serving professionals to model and teach effective conflict management;
  • encouraging individuals to self assess to identify strengths and weaknesses for dealing with conflict according to personal beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors;
  • identifying and strengthening skills used in effective communication to better manage conflicts;
  • providing an approach that requires individuals to develop intra-and inter-personal skills, particularly during conflict situations; and
  • assisting in the use of problem solving, decision making, mediation, and negotiation strategies.

Benefits such as these give youth-serving professionals a background and knowledge base to change personal ideologies and teach youth strategies as well as to model the appropriate behaviors associated with the management of conflict.

The pre-service educator curriculum and “Reach to Teach” initiative are giving North Carolina universities / colleges, public schools, and communities an opportunity to build upon existing skills and increase awareness of the need to effectively manage conflict. DJJDP – Center is also continuing project efforts by assisting other states as they move forward with similar efforts. Creating caring and safe learning environments is a priority for many schools and communities. With continued efforts to “break up fights” before they happen, eventually the chants that once chilled many educators will be replaced with students that are doing what’s “Right!” “Right!” “Right!”

To access the curriculum, please visit the DJJDP – Center’s website at and select “What’s New.” The curriculums and other related components are under “Reach In, Reach Out, Reach Over: A Conflict Management Pilot Program in North Carolina.” For a notebook or CD copy, please contact Danya Perry at or (919) 733-3388 ext. 336.

Joanne McDaniel is the Director of the Center for the Prevention of School Violence and Danya Perry is a Youth Development Specialist at the Center.

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