Mediation as a Leadership Strategy to Deal with Conflict in Schools

Maitumeleng Albertina Ntho-Ntho, Frederik Jan Nieuwenhuis


The concept of mediation is a process that is frequently used in the labour field and is under-developed in a field suchas education. Mediation as a strategy to resolve conflict in an amicable way has gained support in various other fieldsbut seems not to be seen as a mainstream solution to resolving conflict in education. This article reports on a qualitativestudy whose aim was to explore how the South African school principals deal with religious interest conflicts in theirschools. The study employed narrative interviews as a means of data collection. Stories of twelve school principalspursuing postgraduate studies at the University of Pretoria, all of whom had been in education for at least fifteen yearsat the time of the study, were collected, transcribed, analyzed and interpreted. The study revealed that none of theprincipals in the study saw mediation as a conducive strategy for conflict resolution, instead; they resisted and ignoredthe new religion policy. We therefore suggest that for effective implementation of new policies, certain strategies mustbe popularised within schools. We further recommend possible application of the concept of mediation as a leadershipstrategy in dealing with conflict in schools.

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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