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Workshop 1

Research-action-training skills: the meeting of theory and practice in the action of mediators

Organizers: Ana Maria Costa e Silva, University of Minho, Portugal & Clarisse Faria- Fortecöef, Cnam, Paris, France

The main objective of this workshop was to identify research-action-training skills in the training and action of mediators. The work was developed through a participatory methodology promoted by the authors of the Workshop from the presentation of several questions to the participants which involved intervention and dialogue between all. Twelve people participated: teacher-researchers, mediators-trainers and mediators from Belgium, Portugal, Spain and France.

Several questions were planned for the joint discussion, namely: i) How do you learn to play a mediator role? ii) What do the actions of mediators support ?; iii) What content should be included in the training of mediators? iv) How to evaluate the action of mediators ?; v) What is the place of theory in the practice of mediation ?; vi) What is your role or responsibility in the training and practice of mediators? vii) What are the difficulties encountered in terms of articulation between the theory and the practices of mediators ?; viii) What investigations are carried out in the field of mediation? ix) What are the contributions of research in terms of the quality of mediation, its deepening and development ?; x) How to develop research in action?

However, the initial question, “on what is the action of the mediators based?”, Made it possible to launch the debate and generate a dialogue over two hours integrating answers to the various questions initially planned.

The main dimensions mentioned underline the importance and the need to integrate theory and practice in the training and action of mediators. Both are essential for the action and integral training of mediators, and the systematic “back and forth” between theory-practice-theory, theory confronted with reality and practice, which supposes a permanent feedback. and updated according to permanent changes in social reality.

The theoretical level includes the specific methodology of mediation - specific models, methods, techniques and instruments - as well as the principles, values ​​and professional ethics. Communication is a central content of mediation training as well as the action research method.

The relationship, the articulation of theory with practice is ensured by the development of research-action-training skills which suppose capacities of observation and analysis (of contexts: social, organizational, territorial, interpersonal ...) and self-analysis; recording, reflection, awareness and explanation.

The competence of research-action-training of mediators is worked / developed in the meeting between theory and practice, between students, professionals and trainers, in the process of training in the field with professional mediators, through communication and reflection among all and the construction and dissemination of knowledge by the mediators themselves.

This skill also involves the ability to ask questions about one's own practices and about oneself, including a process of supervision and self-monitoring that develops through reflection and recording / explanation in portfolios, logbooks, reports, life stories among other instruments.

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