Restorative practices are a new way of correcting student behaviour that is helping schools to improve their relationship with students. Rather than ignoring, punishing or enabling bad behavior, restorative practices use both informal and formal approaches to deal with problems.
This means that teachers and students are learning to work together to solve problems and make positive changes. This mindset change can lead to fewer incidents of disruptive behaviour, better relationships and a more positive school environment.
Restorative practices aim to build relationships based on trust and empathy. They can help educators cultivate a positive school environment and promote good behavior.
The goal is to create a safe and supportive school community, which can be achieved through building strong relationships between teachers, students and administrators. This involves fostering an inclusive and respectful school climate that allows students to develop self-control and learn healthy coping skills.
To improve relationships, schools and programs can implement both proactive (building community) and reactive (repairing harm) restorative practices. These approaches can help school leaders manage conflict, address inappropriate behaviors and prevent repeat offenses.
Restorative practices can also foster positive classroom relationships by encouraging students to share their feelings without judgment or guilt. They can also teach students how to solve problems and repair harm. These strategies are especially helpful for classrooms that have been negatively affected by bullying or other issues.
When people are able to resolve their conflicts, they often feel more at ease and less stressed. But when they cannot, their relationships and feelings can suffer, leaving them with a lot to think about.
The field of restorative practices is a social science that focuses on building and maintaining healthy, positive relationships between individuals and communities. It builds social and emotional skills to increase trust, understanding, and community buy-in.
Conflicts can arise in all areas of life, including the workplace and school. Whether it is a dispute between coworkers about a work task or a difference in values, conflict can cause tension and lead to stress.
Schools and classrooms can implement restorative practices to prevent bullying and disciplinary incidents, build healthy relationships and improve learning. These strategies include circle processes, peer-led practices and tribunals.
Punishment can be an effective deterrent to behavior, but it’s important to consider whether punishment is the right response. Often, positive punishments are more effective than negative ones.
When a student misbehaves, it’s crucial to understand the context and why they are misbehaving. If you can determine this, you’ll be better able to use restorative practices in your classroom and school.
The underlying principle of restorative practices is that all students are worthy and deserving (a fundamental equity assumption). Instead of simply labeling and shaming individuals for their behavior, restorative practices seek to understand the harms and needs of the victims and offenders.
Using restorative practices in your school can help reduce conflict and build students’ communication, empathy, and problem-solving skills. It can also strengthen relationships between students and educators. Schools that have implemented restorative practices often report fewer suspensions and improved student attendance and culture.
Restorative practices are rooted in ancient traditions that support community building and maintaining relationships. They promote accountability and high levels of support and empathy among all members of a community.
The International Institute for Restorative Practices defines restorative practices as an emerging social science that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals as well as social connections within communities.
One of the key principles is that relationships should be maintained through positive outcomes such as fulfillment of needs, interpersonal relatedness, and shared emotional connection (McMillan & Chavis, 1986).
These outcomes have been shown to increase people’s personal and collective efficacy and to contribute to their sense of community.
When implemented in schools, restorative practices can help reduce the need for disciplinary action, such as suspension. This is an important prevention strategy that improves the social determinants of health. These determinants include social and community context; education; health care; neighborhood and built environment; and economic stability.