What are Restorative Practices?
Restorative practices focuses on strengthening relationships between individuals and social connections within communities. It inclusiveness, relationship-building and problem-solving. It champions such restorative methods as circles for teaching social and emotional competencies and conflict resolution conferences that bring victims, offenders and their supporters together handle wrongdoing. Rather than punishment, students are led to reflect on and take responsibility for their actions and develop plans to repair harm. In addition to conflict resolution, restorative practices offer guidance for day-to-day interactions by focusing on strengthening and mending relationships.
A group of researchers evaluated the impact of Restorative Practices on Pittsburg Public Schools in 2018 and found that:
- Implementation of restorative practices through PERC improved overall school climates, as rated by teachers.
- Implementation of restorative practices reduced the average suspension rate: During the study period, average suspension rates decreased in both PERC and non-PERC schools, but rates decreased more in PERC schools.
- Suspension rates of African American students and of those from low-income families also went down in PERC schools, shrinking the disparities in suspension rates between African American and white students and between low- and higher-income students.
Augustine, Catherine H., John Engberg, Geoffrey E. Grimm, Emma Lee, Elaine Lin Wang, Karen Christianson, and Andrea A. Joseph, Can Restorative Practices Improve School Climate and Curb Suspensions? An Evaluation of the Impact of Restorative Practices in a Mid-Sized Urban School District, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, RR-2840-DOJ, 2018. As of February 06, 2020: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2840.html
LINK TO THE STUDY CAN BE FOUND HERE HTTPS://WWW.RAND.ORG/PUBS/RESEARCH_REPORTS/RR2840.HTML
- International Institute for Restorative Practices https://www.iirp.edu/
- Restorative Justice Education https://www.restorativejustice.com/
IIRP2020 White Paper Review of Restorative Practice Implementation
IIRPThis print resource helps educators understand how Restorative Practices helps to support the basic human development and cognitive needs of children.
Mindfulness In SchoolsThis is a teacher resource that provides free sample lessons on building mindfulness and social-emotional competencies.
Restorative SolutionsThis is a step-by-step guide that can be used to begin and/or improve the implementation of Restorative Practices at the school-level.
Restorative SolutionsThis is an administration-level resource use to track the training and/or implementation of Restorative Practice within-the school building.