An Innovative Method for Teaching Negotiation at Harvard. Could It Work for Teaching Mediation and Peer Mediation As Well?

Dr. Joshua N. Weiss is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Negotiation Project and the co-founder of the Global Negotiation Initiative at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School - http://goo.gl/P0yYEh

On November 6, 2015 he posted an interesting article titled "On Its Head: Teaching Negotiation in a Flipped Classroom" http://goo.gl/nSFUmS

Many mediators (I am one of them) believe that in some cases mediation can indeed be considered an “assisted negotiation”. In addition, I’m currently working on an Online Peer Mediation project, and one of its four goals is to teach peer mediation skills online to high-school students across the USA - http://goo.gl/gK45Vd

After I read about Dr. Weiss’ innovative method for teaching negotiation at Harvard, I wondered if that method could also be used for teaching mediation and peer mediation online.

On November 15, 2015 Dr. Weiss and I had a video conference. We discussed at length his method and our respective experiences (his in negotiation, mine in mediation and online mediation). And we came to the same conclusion: Yes, that new method should work well also for mediation and peer mediation.

The main challenge, of course, is not so much how to make that method work, but rather to be prepared to deal with the natural resistance to change of many classroom trainers who can’t see how today’s technology can significantly improve their students’ learning, by making it easier and more effective.

If you are an experienced mediation or peer mediator trainer, I’d like to hear your thoughts about this topic.

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