The development and evaluation of a conflict resolution programme : the school as context.
The research entailed the development, implementation and evaluation of a conflict resolution programme. Using the ecological perspective as the theoretical framework, the study highlighted the school as an appropriate context within which to promote non-violent strategies for conflict resolution. A conflict resolution programme for adolescents was developed by adapting specific modules of existing programmes. The researcher trained a group of social work students in the implementation of the programme. Using the groupwork method, the programme was subsequently implemented with standard five pupils at primary schools in Durban. The researcher supervised four pairs of students who implemented the programme with four groups of pupils at three schools. The thirty-nine pupils who collectively made up these groups, constituted the sample in the study. The pupils ranged in age from eleven to fifteen. The programme was implemented over eight one-hourly sessions, held once weekly, over eight consecutive weeks. Several data collection instruments were developed. The programme was evaluated in terms of its content, methods of implementation and outcome. The incorporation of qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis enabled the researcher to validate information derived from different sources. The study discusses the processes used in programme development, the training of the facilitators, the selection of the sample, programme implementation and programme evaluation. The study found that the conflict resolution programme was effective in creating awareness of the advantages of adopting non-violent strategies of conflict resolution and in contributing to the development of effective problem-solving skills. The research data and the literature reviewed, reflected the need for school-based conflict resolution programmes. Based on the outcome of the evaluation, recommendations were made with regard to the further adaptation of the programme, the inclusion of conflict resolution programmes into school curricula, appropriate training for programme implementation and the social work role in conflict resolution skills training. Policy recommendations regarding conflict resolution skills training and the need for further research in the area of conflict resolution and programme evaluation, were also provided.