MU Peace Works is a peace-building and conflict resolution program that aims to reduce violence by increasing young people's capacity to identify and resolve conflicts nonviolently. Through working directly with the principals, teachers, and students at participating schools, the MU Peace Works program trains faculty and students in peace-building skills and restorative justice strategies, and develops a sustainable peer mediation program.
The primary component of the MU Peace Works program is the Peace Works trainer-led lessons on communication skills, active listening skills, critical observation skills, mediation techniques, anger management skills, self-reflection, self-centering, and problem-solving skills. These skills and capabilities are taught utilizing games, exercises, group interaction, and reflection.
The secondary components of the program are teacher training which engages the classroom teachers with the MU Peace Works curriculum and developing a peer mediation program which enables students to apply what they are learning through the MU Peace Works curriculum.
Overall, the MU Peace Works program fosters positive youth development, the reduction of youth violence, and the transformation of students' interpersonal and group behaviors. As young people learn peer mediation and peacemaking skills, they are progressively transformed: Students identify themselves as members of a peacemaking community and, individually, they internalize the values and practices of peacemaking as a component of their lives. Through this personal transformation, the youth transform their schools and communities.
MU Peace Works incorporates curriculum developed by the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking and elements of the nationally-recognized peer mediation model developed by the Peace Education Program.
Below is a partial list of the modules contained in the MU Peace Works curriculum:
The MU Peace Works staff works with the partner schools to develop a customized program, pulling from the 30+ MU Peace Works modules to deliver the instruction and results needed to address each school's unique goals.
MU Peace Works program aims to reduce and even transform violence and other delinquent behaviors while encouraging the formation of peacemakers by training teachers and students in conflict resolution, reducing the number of disruptive behavioral incidents, transforming the individual student, and improving the qualitative climate of the community.
These goals are achieved through the following objectives:
The MU Peace Works staff, in conjunction with the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking, partners with schools to conduct a needs assessment, develop a customized curriculum using the 30+ MU Peace Works modules, and create a schedule for the Peace Works trainers to provide classroom instruction.
The life cycle of an MU Peace Works site implementation is designed to incorporate MU Peace Works as a sustainable and permanent component of those schools. To this end, it is essential for the MU Peace Works staff to work directly with the principals, teachers, and students in each school for the first two years.
After the initial year, the school takes responsibility for continuing this peacemaking initiative in the following years. At that time, the MU Peace Works Coordinator and trainer will return bi-weekly to offer technical assistance, training, and evaluation for alumni schools. Additionally, the MU Peace Works Coordinator and trainer conduct a one-day faculty training for teachers at alumni schools each August.
Marquette University has been a leader in peacemaking and conflict resolution for the last decade. Below are some recent data on the MU Peace Works program effectiveness in increasing the youth participants' capacity to identify and resolve conflict nonviolently.
If you are interested in exploring if the MU Peace Works program will be a good fit at your school, please reach out to Patrick Kennelly (414) 288-8445.