Creative Conflict Resolution: Teaching Children Critical and Creative Thinking Skills and Dispositions

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Delores B. Gallo


It is amazing how quickly a simple misunderstanding or disagreement can turn in to an unresolvable fight. American high schools are often plagued by violence and are searching for a means to curb incidents. I believe it is important to start with the youngest of students. Elementary students should be provided with the skills necessary to creatively problem solve, through negotiation, solutions which are non-violent. These "skills" can then assist them in any conflictual situation, which they face in the future. The aim of this original curriculum is to teach forth and fifth grade students the skills necessary to think critically and creatively when dealing with a conflictual situation. These skills will allow the students to negotiate fair solutions that are unique and satisfying to everyone involved. The focus of this unit is the cultivation of conflict resolution skills through the development of the underlying skills of critical and creative thinking and problem solving. The lessons facilitate the development of the needed attitudes and dispositions of open-mindedness, flexibility, tolerance for ambiguity and empathy, along with the specific skills of active listening, problem sensitivity, predicting consequences and evaluation of options.


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