Role-Play Exercises for Conflict Resolution

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Learning to resolve conflicts is not easy, and it can take a long time. The role play exercises in this lesson will help your class work toward good conflict resolution skills.

Why Use Conflict Resolution Role Plays?

Have you ever tried to teach conflict resolution to a group of students? If you have, then you understand that it is no simple feat! Everyone approaches conflict differently, and within one class, you are likely to have students with many different styles for handling conflicts.

One great way to help students work on conflict resolution and understand each other's styles is by incorporating role plays into your work. When students engage in role plays, they have to get into the mindset of people who might be very different from themselves. Role plays can also be useful because they require students to enact stressful situations but with the capacity for intellectual reflection.

When you use role plays for conflict resolution, it is important to make the scenes you work with realistic and relevant to your students' experiences. At the same time, you want to make sure that you are not just repeating a real situation, because this might be too intimate and tense for some students.

The role play exercises in this lesson are designed to get your students thinking about conflict and conflict resolution. You can modify the specifics to meet the needs and interests of students in your class.

Reflection Role Plays

When doing these role play exercises, have one group act out the entire conflict and its resolution first. Then, ask other students to answer the following reflection questions:

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