06 October, 2013

Introducing Restorative Practices to a group

Recently I received a request for suggestions regarding possible arrangements for a proposed workshop on Restorative Practices. The workshop would introduce restorative practices to a group of representative students from several schools. In response I made the following recommendations:


Use a circle and work through the restorative questions to set the scene - something along the lines of:
- What sort of things happen at your school?
- What do you think when these things happen?
- Who is affected when they happen?
- What is needed to repair the harm done?
- Who might be able/prepared to see this happen ?

Also get lots of the restorative question cards to give out to everyone. They are available from IIRP 

Perhaps the best resource for comprehensive implementation of Restorative Practices in schools is at SaferSanerSchools. And the key reference for school staff is Whole School Change - Overview

There are lots of other great school resources available from the web
 - Villanova College is a great example of a good highly successful school using Restorative Practices really well
 - West Philadephia is a great example of a highly challenged school using Restorative Practices really well. Information available from SaferSanerSchools 

If you are working with staff, they need to understand the Social Discipline Window - it will help them make better sense of what is happening. 
[Note: I often change the term 'Control' to 'Challenge' to make the model more relational, and more consistent with the idea of 'working WITH' rather than 'working ON' students. The idea of  'controlling' is also fundamentally misleading and unrealistic except perhaps in the short-term]


In schools, Restorative Practices are not just about fixing problems that have occurred. As elsewhere, Restorative Practices are about building community within, and beyond, the school. Restorative Practices are also educational and provide an powerful basis for social and emotional learning by all members of the school community - staff, students, their families and other stakeholders.

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