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Abstract

Strategies in Dealing with Violence in Schools: Perceived Effectiveness of Conflict Management Strategies Used by Education Leaders in Reducing Students’ Disagreements

Paul Andrew Bourne, Janet Clarke-Christian, Charlene Sharpe-Pryce, Angela Hudson-Davis and Cynthia Francis

Introduction: Conflicts are normal, natural, and necessary in human relations and the problem is not the existence of conflict but how it is managed by the involved parties. With crime being the leading national problem in Jamaica and evidence showing that acts of violence retard the quality of education in schools, conflict management is important in resolving many conflicts before they digress to the stage of serious crimes.

Objectives: This study sought to 1) identify conflict management style and strategies that educational leaders use to manage conflicts in two Primary and Junior High schools in St. Andrew, Jamaica, 2) elucidate classroom teachers perception of conflict management styles and strategies used in their educational institution, and 3) examine students’perception conflict management styles and strategies used in their educational institution.

Materials and Methods: Mixed methodology was employed for this research. The sample was selected based on two criteria. These were 1) persons who employed in or attending a Primary and-or Junior High school, and 2) the schools were located in Upper St. Andrew, Jamaica. Seventy-seven participants were selected based on two aforementioned criteria. Ten conflict management style and strategies emerged in this study, including avoidance, compromise, teaching social skills, dispute resolution foundation, counseling, and accommodation.

Results: The school’s educational leaders opined that the Conflict Management Strategies that they employ is based on the nature, severity and frequency of the social deviant behaviour exhibited by the students. Conclusion: The findings are pertinent as they can be used to formulate policy interventions and aid in the development of conflict management approaches that are geared towards effectively addressing conflicts in schools.