What class?

Mediation: History, Theory, and Practice

Why is it cool?

In the movie “Wedding Crashers,” actors Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play mediators who make a hobby out of crashing weddings. The movie’s opening scene offers a comedic view of the mediation process. It also offers a few lessons for mediators, including keeping a positive attitude and refocusing the conversation when things turn negative.

Whether it’s an argument between neighbors over a broken fence or a divorce proceeding, court outcomes are often left to luck. Frequently, both parties fail to get what they want, and both end up losers.

Mediation is different. Parties get to meet in the middle, choosing terms they both find acceptable. Increasingly, this practice is becoming commonplace for resolving conflict in a variety of areas, including schools, businesses and non-profit organizations.

In Mediation: History, Theory, and Practice, students will study the history of mediation and contemporary applications and trends. Students will first examine the historical roots of the process, then analyze various theoretical approaches within the context of mediation case studies. The ethical duties of mediators will also be covered.

Students will learn to differentiate between mediation theories and models and become familiar with the phases of the process.

The class will leave students with a working knowledge of the mediation process from the economical, psychological, legal and educational perspectives. Students also will leave with an understanding of contemporary practices, programs, applications and trends in mediation.

Talk to your advisor to see if this class might be right for you, or see what else is offered by the College of Liberal Studies.

Tami Althoff
Tami Althoff holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is a reporter with more than 20 years’ experience working for newspapers, including The Oklahoman. She has covered everything from breaking news to local music and art. She loves sports, especially OU football and basketball games, where she often embarrasses her children by yelling too loudly.

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