CAIN Web Service
EMU Promoting School
- Visits and Conferences
[EMU Promoting School Project - Home Page]
Text: Lorraine Heffernan
Visits and Conferences
The Human Rights and Education Summer
School from 20th to 21st June 1996 at the University of Ulster,
Magee College. "Education for Mutual Understanding and Democratic
The workshops facilitated by Seamus Farrell
and Brendan Hartop at the above conferences promoted the
following:a sense of self-esteem both personal
a respect and tolerance for others
a sense of belonging
a sense of social, political, cultural
and environmental responsibility
an appreciation of the importance
The aims and objectives of the Education
for Mutual Understanding theme in Northern Ireland Schools, and
of the EMU Promoting School Project, are commensurate with the
universally agreed values and attitudes on which social harmony
(UNESCO/CIDREE. A Sense of Belonging
for values for the humanistic and international dimension of education,
It can be anticipated that the new curriculum
in Northern Ireland will advocate convergence of the current range
of disparate initiatives in the field of human rights, values
and conflict resolution skills training in schools. Furthermore
a consensus is emerging among those engaged in these initiatives
that the long-term viability of all such programmes hinges on
a school ethos which reflects the democratic values and quality
of relationships onwhich the programmes are based. This is
reflected in such terms as "The Human Rights School",
"The Pluralist School"
and in Northern Ireland" the EMU Promoting School".
The Pluralism in Education Conference,
Cavan from the 19th to 21st of March 1997.Project Staff supported peer mediators in a
leading workshop for participants.
Visits and Conferences in which the project has participated
are a reflection of its' place in this broad field of education.
The Human Rights Education Conference,
Dublin from 10th to 11th May 1997. "The Human Rights School".
Seamus Farrell also attended the above conference and participated
greatly in the proceedings.
Brendan Hartop attended a two session
conference on Mediation in Scotland which was organised by Mediation
UK in conjunction with SACRO. The aim of the conference was to
introduce mediation through workshop approaches on the various
dynamics of mediation within society. The EMU Promoting School
Project offered a workshop on Peer Mediation. The second session
on the 29th April 1997 in the City of Edinburgh Council's Education
Department indicated that there was a need among educators to
hear more in detail about peer mediation. The EMP Promoting School
Project offered two workshops which placed an emphasis on work
with adult school communities and infant children as a prerequisite
to peer mediation.
On the 30th November 1996, Mediation
UK organised a day conference on Peer Mediation entitled "It's
good to talk". Jerry Tyrrell was a keynote speaker, the
other being Richard Cohen, Director of School Mediation Associates
in the USA.
Jerry stressed that peer mediation in
Northern Ireland as elsewhere develops within a context of the
troughs and peaks of the worlds outside, and in a sense has to
carry on regardless. He stresses the assumptions with which the
EMU Promoting School Project works:
He acknowledged the difficulties of
dealing with the need for "quick fixes". He underlined
that mediation was more about the future than applying blame and
punishment. He concluded by saying that "more than one commentator
has compared the effectiveness of peer mediators, with the ineffectiveness
of their political elders. But it is not sufficient to do this
work vicariously through the children. To adapt the famous saying
- the skills of our sons and daughters have to be visited on their
parents, we can't wait for the next generation to do it for us.
- Enhanced self worth leads to better
behaviour and improved learning skills.
- Children are capable of helping
each other resolve conflicts.
- Peer Mediation does improve the
quality of relationships and behaviour.
- The involvement of the whole school
community is vital to a successful partnership.
In June 1996 Fordham Law School, Fordham
University New York orgainsed a two week training programme in
conflict resolution and mediation for a group of twenty three
people from Northern Ireland. This diverse group from the educational,
social work, community relations, criminal justice and community
work sectors in Northern Ireland experienced a high standard of
input from practitioners/academics. Subsequently this "Fordham
Ulster Group" chaired by Jerry Tyrrell has met regularly
to "promote alternative approaches to the resolution of disputes
and conflicts through the exploration, exchange and evaluation
of ideas, information and the provision of mutual support.
EMU Promoting School Project - Home Page
© 1997 EMU Promoting School Project
Last Modified by Dr Martin Melaugh :
Back to the top of this page