With open dialog and communication, a positive approach to problem solving, and the proper focus, a formal conflict resolution process should rarely be necessary.
When conflicts between parents/students and facilitators do arise, however, the following protocol is followed to efficiently and professionally reach a solution to the problem.
Conflict Resolution Mindset
- Embrace the fact that PBL was conceived, born, and continues to develop out of passion, vision, and dedication for the education, personal growth, and well-being of our youth.
- Acknowledge that PBL is a pioneering model of education in Pakistan (although much more popular in several countries) with some concepts that possibly challenge our ideas about learning, or about what school should look like. While each family here has been attracted to the model, we may find ourselves uncomfortable with some aspects of it. This is normal, and the facilitators encourage open dialogue about the model and philosophy to increase each family’s comfort level.
- Recognize that while it is the desire of PBL facilitators to serve the students and families of the learning club, they must be permitted to do so within their philosophy of education and their vision of how learning takes place. This means that they cannot, and must not, always agree with and take action based on any and every suggestion, request, or complaint issued.
- Be careful to gather all the facts involved in a situation, and weigh all perspectives of the parties involved prior to deciding to initiate the Conflict Resolution process.
- Refrain from initiating rumors, generating discontent, or sparking emotions among other students or parents when concerns arise.
- Be willing to listen and understand as much as be listened to and understood.
- Agree that for the well-being of the Learning Club and its learners, who benefit from a unique and exciting educational approach as well as passionate and dedicated facilitators, every possible effort to resolve differences of opinion must be pursued and conducted.
Conflict Resolution Process for Students
- Examine the conflict at hand by filling out the Conflict Resolution Preparation Form.
- Think about your answers, and determine whether you would like to start the Conflict Resolution Process. In completing the form, you may have brainstormed an acceptable solution to the problem that does not involve a formal procedure.
- The next step, although often the hardest, is to approach the person/people with whom you have a conflict.
- If the conflict is between you and another student… Set a time to discuss the problem, and ask that he/she fill out the Conflict Resolution Preparation Form before you meet. Attempt to resolve the issue between the two of you.
- If the issue impacts your facilitator… Bring up the issue during counseling session. If you would like help with this, set a time to discuss the problem with your facilitator. Your facilitator will help you determine how best to approach the group.
- If the issue impacts many or all students at L2L… Bring up the issue during Meeting with the Director. If you would like help with this, set a time to discuss the problem with your facilitator. Your facilitator will help you determine how best to approach the group.
- If the conflict is between you and your facilitator… Set a time to discuss the problem. Ask that he/she fill out the Conflict Resolution Preparation Form before you meet. If necessary, consult another facilitator about how to best approach your facilitator about the problem.
- If the conflict is between you and a facilitator other than your own… Set a time to discuss the problem, and ask that he/she fill out the Conflict Resolution Preparation form prior to meeting. If necessary, consult your own facilitator about how best to approach the facilitator about the problem.
- If the conflict involves you and a parent… Consult your advisor regarding the conflict, and set a meeting to discuss the problem with the parent. Ask that he/she fill out the Conflict Resolution Preparation Form before you meet.
- If the issue impacts students, facilitators, and parents… Bring up the issue at the next L2L Governance Board (LGB) meeting. If necessary, consult your facilitator about how to best present the issue to the group.
- Meet with the other party. Share your issue, and listen to the other party’s side. Discuss possible resolutions.
- If a resolution is not possible, schedule a meeting with the other party and an advisor. Both parties should reexamine their Conflict Resolution Preparation Form answers prior to the meeting. Meet and work toward a resolution.
- If a resolution is yet unattained, schedule “Meeting #1 with Facilitators,” as listed under “Conflict Resolution Process for Parents.” Follow guidelines until resolution has been reached.
Conflict Resolution Process for Parents
- Read “Conflict Resolution Mindset” and fill out Conflict Resolution Preparation Form.
- Schedule face-to-face meeting with the facilitator.
- If issue is yet unresolved, establish realistic time-line for future meetings.
- Meeting #1 with facilitators … Become informed; share facts and information. (Additional meetings may be scheduled to continue discussion.)
- Meeting #2 with Advisors… Decision/Resolution
- Mediation… Mediation from Director
Conflict Resolution Preparation Form
This form should be completed by party who is raising the issue before initial meeting. If no resolution is attained after initial meeting, both/all parties should complete the form again before the next meetings. Answer as completely as possible, using the other side of the form if necessary.
- Describe the issue in detail from your point of view.
- Who is affected by this problem?
- How does this issue make you feel (angry, sad, hurt, rejected, powerless, concerned, uncertain, confused, etc.)?
- When you feel this way, how do you react?
- Please state a positive incentive for this meeting. What is your big picture desire—how do you think the resolution of this issue will impact the L2L community (e.g., a safer learning environment, a better working relationship, etc.)?
- What could you do to help positively change this issue/situation?
- List at least three possible solutions to this issue.
- What do you think the other party’s point of view is?
- What feelings can you imagine on the other side of this issue?
- What do you imagine the response will be to this issue at the meeting?