Quaker Practice: Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution


Mary McDowell Friends School values the development of effective strategies for conflict resolution, within our own social interactions and with respect to current conflicts in our local and global communities. We directly teach students to recognize that resolving conflict requires communication. A sense of self-awareness, empathy, and personal responsibility shape the way we approach teaching students to understand and resolve conflict. We encourage students to reflect upon their own opinions, feelings, and needs, while also recognizing the perspective of others. Lower school students learn to recognize, name, and take responsibility for their own feelings. They reflect on their reactions to their own feelings and the actions/interactions that can lead to conflict. Middle school students examine conflict between individuals and groups apart from themselves in classes such as history and current events. Upper school students can look more frankly at the violence and intolerance in our world in order to create a developmentally appropriate sense of urgency.

Within the MMFS community, we recognize that while difference of opinion, perspective, and experience are often at the root of conflict, we value this diversity and maintain a commitment to peaceful resolution through effective communication strategies.

Conflict is the beginning of consciousness.

Mary Esther Harding

Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

Martin Luther King Jr.


  • Why does conflict occur?
  • What are examples of effective conflict resolution?
  • How can conflict be viewed as an opportunity for positive change?
  • How do we respond to the challenge of dealing with families and students who might value a different model for resolving conflict?
  • How does looking at past conflicts help us to understand current conflicts/situations?

Next: Learning