Comprehending how human behavior initiate is the key stepping stone to resolving and managing conflict behavior between humans. We will examine what the concept of conflict is and what shape of from it occurs in everyday life. A brief history of what psychologists have founded in their study of conflict, and human behavior will lead this examination into conflict in educational settings and how they can arise.
It is crucial to look at approaches that can be taken towards conflict in an educational setting in order to resolve and manage them effectively to reduce and minimize all forms of conflict. Introduction There are many different theories used when defining conflict. Morton Deutsche is renowned social psychologists (recognizable through research of this review) who has studied and researched conflict within human relations. According to Deutsche, conflict exists whenever incompatible activities occur (Deutsche, 1 969, 125:pa) which is a simple and precise way of grasping the concept of conflict.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
A definition which is more flitting for this review centering conflict in an educational setting is one composed from Hockey and Willow : “Conflict is an expressed struggle between at least two interdependent arties who perceive incompatible goals, scare resources, and interference from others in achieving their goals. ” (Hockey, Willow; 1995). All definitions focus on the concept of ‘conflict’ being a disagreement, which can occur on different levels. Conflict can occur within an individual alone, and have no effects from others; this is known as interpersonal.
Interpersonal is conflict between two individuals only. Integrator conflict occurs in a specific group of people where all or some of the members are unable to meet an agreement or fail to communicate correctly. The group or members usually share moon social ideologies in order to be a part of such a group. Intercrop conflict occurs “between groups and combinations of groups, small or large” (Sheriff, 1966, Pl). Conflict can arise over the tension caused by an individual’s struggle to agree with an Opposite opinion to that Of their own; or even with internal difficulties.
It can be the result of a defense mechanism; individuals or groups defending their opinions and ways of thinking – there are a variety of differences between people that flares up and leads to conflicting situations. Conflict is a natural feature of life. It is something everyone experiences, but not all conflict experiences are the same. Brief History of Social Psychology’: Conflict Theories. “Psychology is the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. Psychologists observe and record how people… Elate to one another and to the environment’ (World Book Encyclopedia, 1993). Psychology has many different fields of study, which are all centered on the functions Of the human mind and characteristics of individuals or collective groups. The field of psychology in which is most related to this review is social psychology: “That branch of psychology that concentrates on any and all aspects of human behavior that involve persons and their relationships with other persons, groups, social institutions and society as a whole”. Penguin Dictionary Of Psychology, 2009, IPPP). When studying individual or inter relationships of humans, it is important to consider the social environment of each individual in order to understand their interaction. Social psychology examines and researches all behavioral aspects of human relations, but early psychologists ignored the study of conflict and human behavior. According to Plop, it did not appear in psychological works and literature until 1958, “and even there it s important to notice it arrives on stage timidly’ (Plop, 1974, IPPP).
The study of conflict within human relations became popular after the second world war and the “last moments of the cold war” (Plop, 1974, IPPP), possibly due to psychologists attempting to study the cause of such wars and how humans can behave in such conflicts against others. Darwin, Marx and Freud dominated the study of human behavior in the early years of psychology, including some work which may link slightly to causations of conflict (Deutsche et al. , 2006 Pl 3).
The main feature of their studies in relation to human behavior and conflict was based on competitive struggle” (Deutsche et al. , 2006). Darwin believed all humans struggle in order to exist, and those who are the strongest – survive: “survival of the fittest” (Deutsche et al. , 2006, pop). Social Darwinism denotes early theories compiled together and attempted to provide reason behind conflicts such as racism, war, sexism and class superiority (Deutsche et al. , 2006, pop. ).
Again their studies were based on the concepts of human struggles, not solely on conflict as we know have it defined in this review. Marx work on struggle stressed that there are different divisions in society according to classes and his creates conflict. Freud is known as being the founding father of psychoanalytic theory and his competitive struggle was the conflict between the Id and the super ego which are two parts of the human personality. Fraud’s work is based more on the individual and their experiences with conflict rather than conflicts in society.
Freud believed humans were born aggressive and in order to relieve such aggression, humans seek an outlet to displace their aggression. Causing conflict and rivalry with others is one way, or through a more artistic way such as through sport or art. These early psychologists collectively are known as ‘Social Darwinism’. “Social Darwinism and the mode of explaining behavior in terms of innate, evolutionary, derived instincts were in retreat by the mid-sass”, but according to Deutsche were the “… Precursors to the empirical, social psychological study of conflict” (Deutsche teal. , 2006, 5).
Modern social psychology then evolved from these foundations, and in this new saga many psychologists studied the aspects of conflict more specifically. Modern mid-20th century psychologists studied the field of human behaviors: human intelligence and development (Lenin’), how humans elate to each other through social influences (Dutch’s’), carrying out scientific research on the human genetic discipline; research in pro – social behavior and anti -?? social behavior (disdain’s – LATA and Dearly’) and in depth research of understanding children and adolescent behavior within groups (Sheriff 1966).
Kurt Linen’s had a significant interest towards social conflict; how conflict may be created and the search for scientific methods to prevent and resolve them. (Lenin, 200, publishers note, p v). Linen’s work on theories and scientific research “profoundly affected later work in many areas of social psychology’ Deutsche et al. , 2006, Pl 5). Morton Deutsche is a psychologist, who was a student of Lenin (Deutsche et al. , 2006, pop) and is well known for research In the field of conflict resolution. In this review, we will explore his work when dealing with conflict resolution in an educational setting.
Richard Adkins is known for his famous writing ‘The Selfish Gene’, which is based on evolution but correlates with social behavior in humans. From the time of Social Darwinian, the study of social behavior has adapted and new theories formed. In the Selfish Gene, Adkins “… Takes up the major themes of the new ark in social theory: the concepts of altruistic and selfish behavior, the genetically definition of self – interest, the evolution of aggressive behavior, kinship theory, sex ratio theory, reciprocal altruism, deceit, and the natural selection of sex 1 979, Foreword, vii).
Adkins work in the Selfish Gene focuses on the “biology of selfishness and altruism” (Adkins, 1 979, Pl) which is key in studying behavior in the individual under the hypotheses of selfishness and altruism, a fundamental law which Adkins termed “gene selfishness” (Adkins, 1 979, pa). Adkins also studied group behaviors, and similarly to the Social Darwinian theory’- (Marx) believed humans behaved in order of social grouping. Humans are divided into classes according to beliefs, values or through social resources and favor their own group versus rival groups.
This theory can illustrate reason behind conflict within a staff room in an educational setting, as when resource are few – staff will compete for the most resources or even what is merited to them. Equally if beliefs and values vary in an educational setting, conflict can arise. Altruism is another aspect of pro social behavior in Adkins work, because we are Ron with the selfish gene, humans must be taught or develop altruism. People can only develop altruism through their experience and understanding of different social environments.
Fifth feeling of empathy is gained through these experiences and understanding, then a person can be altruistic – they can become unselfish and want to help others without thinking of their own benefits. This is where it can be difficult for one to manage conflict correctly between themselves and others – an individual’s behavior derives from their best interest for themselves (goals’, ‘needs’) but or humans to be altruistic they need to behave according to social norms (equality, ‘rules of an organization’).
We will look at this theory in more detail when discussing how people manage conflict situations and how they can resolve them. Sources of Conflict in Educational Settings. Conflict is a great concern in many educational settings in Ireland. Conflict is a characteristic of being human; it is inedible that all humans will experience conflict in their lives. Consequently there will always be conflict in schools, but the types of conflict that occur can be reduced and controlled in the educational settings.
Conflict occurs interpersonally and in a inter group setting. Within an educational setting, conflict can be experienced through both of these social circumstances. There are many different conflict situations in education, ranging from interpersonal conflict of any staff member or student. Inter group conflict between staff and staff, staff and pupils, pupils and pupils and even staff and parents or other outside bodies connected to the schooling. It is later we will review how best to resolves such conflicts and manage them in an educational environment.
We first need to research the most common conflicts which occur in educational settings before we attempt to reduce or manage such conflicts. To help analyses such conflicts: “Conflict amongst individuals must be analyses in terms of the needs, beliefs, and attitudes of the specific individuals involved…. Paying attention to the specific social context in which individual’s behave” (Creche and Crucified 1948, p 531/532). Conflict in most working departments is customary among staff as inter group setting.
There are many different causes of staff on staff conflict in an educational setting. School staff bodies are made up of individual people, which every individual having a efferent personality and preferred ways of doing things. The fact that everyone is different can cause a certain amount of disagreement and conflict amongst the staff. Misunderstandings are quite a common factor of conflict within large educational settings, but can escalate through prejudice aspects.
Sometimes staff maybe biased towards others in a different department in their school and this causes conflict. Signs of conflict in a staff room or even in the corridors of a school can be hard to identify. Most conflict amongst staff lies submerged and may not be very visible to all. The visibility of such conflict an be seen through arguments, temper or rows or even through politics of the staff room seating arrangements. Staff being members of different work unions can also create conflicts, as they are represented differently in some aspects of the work force.
Even through the limitation of school resources, we can see conflicts arising. Certain resources in education settings can be limited and often staff will fight for the resources they need to do their job. According to Creche and Crucified (1948) people’s behavior “is not initiated by habit or imitation or incorporated social norms; it is initiated through deeds and guided goals”(pop). Teachers are in need of vital resources in order to teach adequately, their goals are based around instructing the students correctly in order that they learn.
These aspects are what create conflict amongst teachers, more so than incorporated social norms conflict such as different work unions. Bullying amongst staff members can also be a very common source of conflict. Bullying maybe defined as repeated intimidation of a victim that is intentionally given out by a more powerful person of group in order to cause physical and / or emotional hurt. It is force of abuse and visitation towards he victim. It can start off as submissive, and creep up before one or anyone outside the conflict are able to appreciate what it is that is making the ill effects.
Bullying at work in educational settings is emerging as an alarming widespread phenomenon, according to an ASSIST survey in 1 999, 68% of teachers reported to have experienced verbal abuse at some point in their careers and also revealed a survey of the effects bullying in their schools had on them, 50% admitting to be tearful and 40% effected with stress. (ASSIST, Advice on Bullying at Work). Bullying is also another source of conflict between pupils. It is also can be err hard to recognize bullying in students as it can be hidden and only infrequently reported to teachers or parents.
Bullying is a huge problem of conflict in schools, according to a Nationwide Study on Bullying Behavior in Irish Schools carried out in 1997 by Mona Memory 31% of primary and 16% Of secondary students have experienced being bullied. There are three main types of bullying amongst students: Physical aggression, Verbal bullying and Psychological bullying. Conflict between students and teachers in the classroom can be a daily recurrence. In most Irish educational settings, the students move from efferent classrooms to different teachers as their daily routines and with this irregularity of personality conflict is bound to arise.
Both teachers and students can be victimized by classroom conflict, depending on the situation the conflict sources form. Classroom conflict can occur from a student being late for class, or even a teacher being late to arrive at their class. If a student or teacher is having a bad day conflict can occur. The misunderstanding of directions giving for students by teachers is very common, causing the student to feel isolated and create conflict within the class.
Teachers also may singletree students actions or expressions and create conflict in order to establish what they may feel their right in ultimate position of power and control over the class. Reducing Conflict- in the classroom settings. Conflict can be either productive of destructive: not all conflicts are bad, and some conflicts are essential for a healthy social environment. Conflict can be useful for clearing a destructive atmosphere in the educational setting giving a chance for those to channel their complaints or feelings of injustice treatment.
Conflict when productive can lead to a great deal of discussion amongst the individuals or group involved ensuring that things are adequately analyses and not ignored. Everyone has different views on conflict, and views change depending on experience with conflict situations. Those that view conflict negatively, have issues in dealing with it. If conflict can be viewed in more positive terms, people can be better prepared in dealing with conflict and bring it to a positive resolution. The issue is reaching a positive outcome through resolution which suits both participants.
We have looked at sources of conflict within educational settings; here we will look at says in which we can apply ways to resolve such conflicts. Since conflict is a natural part of a school setting, reducing conflicts is an important approach. Reducing conflict can be carried out in adopting a few techniques instantly. These techniques are not to fully resolve conflict but can help as a short term measure. Majority of conflicts in the daily setting of school life, occur in the classroom between student on student or teacher on student.
These conflicts can hold up the lesson objectives of the class, and need to be dealt with sufficiently and quickly in order for the group to progress. Let’s take for example student on student conflict, if two or more students begin to show aggression towards each other within the classroom setting, the teacher can use persuasion in order to reduce the matter. This could be done by showing them the negative effects their arguing is having on the work of the other students, and use positive examples of what can be achieved if they cease.
The teacher could also guide the students towards a goal they would be interested in reaching which may persuade them to stop their disruptive behavior. This could be a school trip that may be coming up or any incentive n which the student has being aiming for in order to persuade their behavior momentarily in order to continue the lesson. As Creche and Crucified (1948) examined, people’s behavior can be instructed by intended goals and what they fell is the greater good for them to accomplish.
If persuasion does not work to reduce the conflict in the classroom, the teacher will have to apply some short term penalty action in order to be able to continue the lesson but deal with the conflict instantly. The teacher could ask the students to do out extra homework for the next day or penalty sheet depending on the discipline of the school. In hope the ways to reduce the conflict within the classroom work, the conflict has to be addressed after the lesson in order to reduce it from going any further and in hope to resolve it completely.
There are two techniques we can look at here that apply to this conflict resolution: Arbitration and Mediation. If at the end of the class, the teacher can get the individuals involved in the conflict together to present their sides of the argument and then decide which side is in the right. The teacher here is acting as an arbitrator, though they have to be very careful they understand both of the Tories really well before making the decision of who is in the wrong.
When all accounts are correctly perceived, the teacher decides upon an appropriate resolution for them (Barky, 2000, plop). The teacher also may be able to act as a mediator, and listen to the arguments of both students and try to get them to understand each other’s point Of view. This is also an act Of positive resolution, if the students reach an understanding of each other’s point of view, then they may be able to work towards some solution which would benefit both of them.
This is a very positive way of reducing or resolving inflict because the students can mutually benefit from the technique and it helps them to be able to become more confident in solving their own conflicts as the teacher does not impact on the process (Barky, 2000, pa). This is an example for how conflict can be constructive, as long as the desirable outcome can be achieved. We will look at mediation further down the review in different conflict situations.
Reducing conflict is beneficial in situations like this one where the conflict needs to be dealt with immediately – but the potential of the conflict happening again is still there. Conflict resolution is more favorable in working towards prevention of conflict. Conflict resolution -?? in educational settings. In relation to Barky work, conflict resolution refers to the numerous ways in which people deal with social conflict (Barky, 2000, pa). When looking at conflict resolution in an educational setting, the first aspect to be aware of is that all people respond to conflict very differently.
There is a five stage model which one can use when attempting to resolve conflict (Dry. Into, 1 1/1 2 PDP, Lecture 4). The first stage of conflict resolution is Identification: who is involved in the conflict, what are the causes for concern within the conflict on those involved. Assessment: The second stage is to assess what is the problem that the people involved have, the issues of the conflict must be acknowledged here in order to resolve why it happened in the next stage. Formulation: The third stage is to figure out the cause of the conflict, why it commenced.
It is important by this stage that those involved in the conflict have stressed their opinions and views of their side of the conflict. Intervention: The fourth stage is finding ways to deal with the problem, how it ay be solved. Here it is vital that the best solutions are looked at for all involved, and that they are brought together in deciding the best outcome for the problem to be resolved. Evaluation: The final stage is to evaluate the conflict, how do the people involved feel they have being treated, did the intervention help come to a solution for the conflict.
Resolving conflict is considered a short term approach. There are five styles in which people retort to when solving conflict (Loafs, Can,2000, IPPP) : Competition, Avoidance, Accommodation, Compromise and Collaboration. It is important to try and understand these styles when trying to resolve differences among individuals in a group setting, as consequently they relate to the five stage model of resolution. An individual who approaches conflict through the competition style attempts to satisfy their own needs at the expense of others.
This can create hostility but can be used effectively where there is no apparent resolution to the conflict. For example if a student is constantly disregarding the school rules and misbehaving continuously in all classes, class teachers could report the student to the principle and board of management in hope f a more direct action to be taken to resolve the conflict. The avoidance style can neglect the interests of both individuals involved by postponing a decision on resolving the conflict. This may be common in the classroom setting when a teacher is trying to complete and get through their lesson.
If a conflict within two students in the class arises, the teacher may not be well prepared to deal in responding as they are concentrating on their lesson and choose to avoid trying to resolve the situation. It can cause frustration to the students involved if it is a serious matter, though if it’s just a matter of the dents needing to cool down it can work effectively. Accommodation style of handling conflict is a style used more so between two individuals. This could be student on student or staff on staff or even student on staff member.
It is most likely a style used between adults, so in an educational setting it could be used between staff on staff. The accommodate satisfies the other persons’ concerns while neglecting their own. It is in an attempt to preserve harmony and avoid conflict. This is often present in the educational setting when a new staff member begins and is being dominated by a senior member of staff. The new member becomes an accommodate as they wish not to make a Scene, but there is fear they become taking advantaged off. When both individuals compromise as a resolution to solve their problem, they achieve a short term solution.
Both sacrifice what they may feel strongly about in order to be able to work together. This solution on the surface works well as neither individual really inns’, both can walk away feeling unsatisfied (Loafs, Can,. 2000, Pl 02). This can be used well if in a classroom setting and time is limited in order to resolve a conflict between students through mediation, as it requires a short – term solution. Collaborating is probably the most beneficial conflict style as it aims to satisfy the needs and concerns of all those involved. This is best suited in resolving a classroom conflict if the teacher has time to become the collaborator.
The teacher can create goals for the students to focus on in order to receive an outcome of settlement. This involves both students being active and equally involved as they both put forward their interests in how the conflict can be settled and how they can reach this. The teacher can provide objective criteria for the students to mutually reach for, for example if they play sports they may miss the next am game if they both don’t try and work out their issues. Both students will want to reach their goal so will work harder in solving their issues and can result in a win – win situation.
Such styles of managing and dealing with conflict (five styles aforementioned) can be observed by examining Figure 1, which was received from an online website (www. District. Com) cited from the Handbook of Industrial & Organization Psychology (Dinette, 1 983, A figure dealing with Conflict by Ken Thomas IPPP). Figure 1 Conflict Management. The following techniques can be beneficial in facilitating staff members on leaning with conflict management in educational settings: Setting ground rules and gathering facts, facilitating the expression of feelings, using effective language and taking charge of negative emotions.
We will look at each technique in detail in order to see how they can be applied in the educational setting. From a conflict resolution situation, rules or agreements are put in place to act as a basis to manage the conflict effectively, in hope of reducing a recurrence of the matter again. (Dry. Into, 1 1/12 PDP, Lecture 4 slides). This depends on the people involved in the setting and how well they articulate towards the new set of rules. To reach a compromise on most conflict situations is very difficult.
The staff or students should meet to discuss exactly what rules or goals they feel are needed and generate a list of objectives which they think they should fulfill. A complete list of these objectives that are put forward by all should be compiled. The staff or students then should decide what they feel they can all do to achieve their goals. Standards can be established to enable to assess whether all members are following the rules. This technique can be used in trying to combat lulling amongst students or reduce general conflicts in the classroom and on school grounds.
If all students can put together an anti-bullying campaign and all agree they wish to achieve a school free of bullying, they can all work together in designing ground rules for students to obey and hopefully will achieve their goal. It can also help towards reaching a good staff moral in the school setting. To help manage conflict effectively, the person managing the issue needs to consider the expression of feelings from the conflicting parties. Attending to the individual/s needs is a priority and to do so active listening is squired. (Dry. Into, 11/1 2, PDP, Lecture 4).