Dispute Resolution Studies in the Institutions of Higher Learning: an Initial Investigative Study of Professors' Attitudes
Description: Conflict is present in all human relationships and societies. Throughout history, fighting has been more notable than peacemaking. Only recently have conflict resolution studies entered the mainstream of academia. Since peace is no longer an option, but a necessity, educators must become actively engaged in promoting the importance of peacemaking skills among their students. In 1986, the National Institute for Dispute Resolution funded a study of conflict resolution in higher education. Results disclosed a proliferation of courses but little about their quality. The present study evaluates the status of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the curricula of three major universities in North Texas and compares it with results from four other universities which were reported to have the heaviest concentration of ADR courses. A questionnaire was constructed to collect data in the following areas: place, significance of ADR in contemporary curricula, important factors determining attitudes toward ADR, and expectations/aspirations of faculty concerning teaching of ADR. Using a Likert scale, attitudes toward ADR were measured through regression analysis. Four of seven independent variables (age, sex, political orientation, and ADR training) were significant at jd = .05. Forty ADR-related courses were identified in seven universities. The concentration of ADR courses was management (35%), law (28%), sociology (23%), business (8%), and political science (8%). No courses were identified by anthropology departments. Results also reveal that the older, liberal, female, and ADR-ski lied individuals exhibit more favorable attitudes towards ADR. The study concludes that (a) concentrated efforts should be increased to teach and train educators in ADR, (b) mediation centers should be created on university campuses, and (c) an ADR communications network and data bank should be established among universities in order to allow faculty, students, practitioners, and administrators to share information. A partial list of organizations involved in peace issues and resources for ...
Date: December 1987
Creator: Ghadrshenass, Delavar