Developing student social skills using restorative practices: a new framework called H.E.A.R.T
- 114 Downloads
Students attending schools today not only learn about formal academic subjects, they also learn social and emotional skills. Whole-school restorative practices (RP) is an approach which can be used to address student misbehaviour when it occurs, and as a holistic method to increase social and emotional learning in students. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of RP on student behaviour from the perspectives of students and teachers. Six schools participated in interviews and focus groups. Students and teachers were asked about the use of RP and the impact on behaviour. Students and teachers identified five main themes: greater harmony, increased empathy towards others, awareness of one’s own behaviour and being accountable for that, increased respect, and reflective thinking. These aspects increase students’ social skills. This paper discusses a new framework which describes the positive impact of RP on student behaviour and thinking. The findings have broad implications for school communities and highlight the need to move towards more relational behaviour management approaches.
KeywordsRestorative practices School discipline Behaviour management Qualitative study Teachers Adolescent students Social skills
The authors would like to thank the following people for their assistance: Professor Sheryl Hemphill, Marg Armstrong of Just Practices, and Phillipa Lovell and Bronwyn Egan from the Catholic Education Office Melbourne. In particular, a huge thank you to the six school who participated in this research study, the school principals, teachers and students.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Armstrong, M. (2007). Building and reparing relationships the restorative way. Paper presented at the National Coalition against bullying conference, Melbourne, Australia.Google Scholar
- Austalian Bureau of Statistics. (2011). Schools (Cat No. 4221.0). Retrieved from http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/subscriber.nsf/0/90051CE31F11385ECA2579F30011EF35/$File/42210_2011.pdf.
- Blood, P. (2005). The Australian context–restorative practices as a platform for cultural change in schools. Paper presented at the XIV World Congress of Criminology’, Philadelphia, USA.Google Scholar
- Blood, P., & Thorsborne, M. (2005). The challenge of culture change: Embedding restorative practice in schools. Paper presented at the 6th International Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices: “Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment”, Sydney, Australia.Google Scholar
- Bogdan, R. C., & Biklen, S. K. (1982). Qualitative research for education. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
- Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Daly, K., & Immarigeon, R. (1998). The past, present, and future of restorative justice: Some critical reflections. The Contemporary Justice Review, 1(1), 21–45.Google Scholar
- Dreeben, R. (1968). On what is learnt in schools. Reading, Massachusetts: Addion-Welsley Publishing.Google Scholar
- Drewery, W., & Winslade, J. (2003). Developing restorative practices in schools: Flavour of the month or saviour of the system? Paper presented to the AARE/NZARE Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.Google Scholar
- Fields, B. A. (2003). Restitution and restorative justice in juvenile justice and school discipline. Youth Studies Australia, 22(4), 44–51.Google Scholar
- Johnstone, G. (2011). Restorative justice: Ideas, values, debates (2nd ed.). New York: Willan Publishing.Google Scholar
- Liamputtong, P., & Ezzy, D. (2000). Qualitative research methods. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Mirsky, L. (2007). Safer Saner Schools: Transforming school cultures with restorative practices. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 16(2), 5–12.Google Scholar
- Morrison, B. (2002). Bullying and victimisation in schools: A restorative justice approach (Vol. 219). Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.Google Scholar
- Mosley, J. (1993). Turn your school round. Cambridge: LDA.Google Scholar
- Porter, A. (2007). Restorative practices in schools: research reveals power of restorative approach, Part 1 and 2 [Electronic Version]. Restorative Practices E-Forum, 2. Retrieved May 22, 2014, from http://www.safersanerschools.org/library/schoolresearch1.html.
- Pranis, K. (2005). The little book of circle process: A new/old approach to peacemaking. Intercourse, PA: Good Books.Google Scholar
- Wachtel, T. (2012). Defining restorative. International Institute for Restorative Practices: IIRP Graduate School. Retrieved from http://www.iirp.edu/pdf/Defining-Restorative.pdf.
- Wong, D. S., Cheng, C. H., Ngan, R. M., & Ma, S. K. (2011). Program effectiveness of a Restorative whole-school approach for tackling school bullying in Hong Kong. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 55(6), 846–862. doi: 10.1177/0306624X10374638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Zehr, H. (2002). The little book of restorative justice. Intercourse, PA: Good Books.Google Scholar
- Zehr, H., & Mika, H. (1998). Fundamental concepts of restorative justice. Contemporary Justice Review, 1(1), 40–43.Google Scholar