A Restorative Trail: Restorative Practice - opening up new capacities of hearts and minds in school communities


Stowe, Michelle (2016) A Restorative Trail: Restorative Practice - opening up new capacities of hearts and minds in school communities. Journal of Mediation & Applied Conflict Analysis, 3 (1). pp. 34-47. ISSN 2009-7170

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Abstract

The aim of the action project outlined in this article was to set up a Professional Learning Community (PLC) in a school with teachers who were interested in inculcating the practices and principles of Restorative Practice in their classrooms. My intention in forming such a PLC was to establish, explore, evaluate and maximise the use of Restorative Practice in participants’ classrooms. I wanted to investigate the impact of such engagement on relationships, teaching practices and approaches, and how it could offer a stimulus for whole school change. Our investigation found that the implementation of Restorative Practice did improve relationships. It promoted empathy and encouraged teachers and students to work together. It developed emotional literacy skills among the participants. Participants gained a sense of ownership over behaviour. There was a change in approach to misbehaviour that had a positive effect on learning and on teachers’ feeling of well-being. The evidence shows that improved relationships often had a positive impact on the work ethic within the classroom. Teachers enjoyed working as a solution focused community of teachers, it helped to reinvent and enhance their best practice through the sharing of ideas. The evidence also showed that the implementation and positive impact of Restorative Practice is a process. It is something that requires repeated, structured and reflective engagement, such as that offered by our PLC.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Restorative Practice; school communities; Professional Learning Community; relationships;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Edward M Kennedy Institute
Item ID: 7032
Depositing User: Kennedy Institute
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2016 17:00
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Mediation & Applied Conflict Analysis
Publisher: Maynooth Academic Publishing
Refereed: Yes
URI:

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