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The Heart of the Matter: Social and Emotional Learning as a Foundation for Conflict Resolution Education

Kessler, Rachael
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) In Tricia S. Jones and Randy Compton, eds., Kids Working It Out: Stories and Strategies for Making Peace in Our Schools. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Pp. 63-75.

Conflict and how we deal with conflict are clearly enmeshed with feelings. Conflict often involves anger, frustration, yearning, hurt, and sadness. Resolution of conflict with others can yield peace, joy, relief, excitement, and tenderness. Hence, argues Rachael Kessler, teaching and learning about conflict must engage its emotional dimensions. Managing one’s own feelings (intrapersonal intelligence) and dealing with another’s feelings (interpersonal intelligence) are crucial to the ability to employ constructive problem-solving behavior that is a primary goal of conflict resolution education (CRE). Hence in this chapter Kessler introduces the framework of emotional intelligence, explores its implications for CRE, and suggests strategies from the field of social and emotional learning to help students understand and use conflict resolution.


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