Restorative practice is a strategy that seeks to repair relationships that have been damaged, including those damaged through bullying. It does this by bringing about a sense of remorse and restorative action on the part of the offender and forgiveness by the victim.
What is Restorative Practice?
It is an explicit framework of practices that develops and builds relationships and social connections promoting accountability and responsibility and to repair harm when relationships breakdown through wrongdoing, mistakes and misunderstanding.
Restorative practice encourages a consistent approachto the management of student behaviour in classrooms through the use of routines and procedures and the provision of a predictable teaching and learning environment for both students and teachers. When teachers respond with processes and rules that are fair and just they give life to those values and beliefs enshrined in school mission statements.
The social science of promoting and sustaining social capital, social discipline, self-regulation, emotional well-being and civic participation through participatory classroom, and whole-school management and decision-making in a proactive setting rather than a reactive culture.
What is a Restorative Teacher?
Their practice is, respectful, fair and explicit.
Relationally they are supportive, positively challenging (high demand) and skilled in a wide range of processes (circles, mediation, conferencing and counselling).
They focus on: establishing trust with and between people to build positive relationships; explicit classroom practice (routines, procedures and pedagogy (teaching and learning); developing empathy, insight and learning; and repairing harm that may have been done.
They provide: responsibility; accountability; engagement and ownership; and possibility of positive behavioural change and reintegration.
What is a Restorative Classroom?
A restorative classroom is one that values dialogue through an inclusive approach where everyone expects to be heard, and through this participatory process students develop the capacity to learn in a practical way that emotions are an important and legitimate expression of healthy classroom conversations and dialogue.
This helps students to resolve and understand conflict and tensions and difference in respectful ways that engenders trust, empathy, responsibility and fosters healthy relationships.
The curriculum is engaging and students take an active role in the content and review of what is taught through participatory pedagogy including circles and cooperative learning approaches that engender ownership and maximises learning outcomes.