What is Restorative Discipline?
|Misbehavior defined as breaking school rules or letting the school down.
|Misbehavior defined as harm (emotional/mental/physical) done to one person/group by another.
|Focus is on what happened and establishing blame or guilt.
|Focus on problem-solving by expressing feelings and needs and exploring how to address problems in the future.
|Adversarial relationship and process. Includes an authority figure with the power to decide on penalty, in conflict with wrongdoer.
|Dialogue and negotiation, with everyone involved in the communication and cooperation with each other.
|Imposition of pain or unpleasantness to punish and deter/prevent.
|Restitution as a means of restoring both parties, the goal being reconciliation and acknowledging responsibility for choices.
|Attention to rules and adherence to due process.
|Attention to relationships and achievement of a mutually desired outcome.
|Conflict/wrongdoing represented as impersonal and abstract; individual versus school.
|Conflict/wrongdoing recognized as interpersonal conflicts with opportunity for learning.
|One social injury compounded by another.
|Focus on repair of social injury/damage.
|School community as spectators, represented by member of staff dealing with the situation; those directly affected uninvolved and powerless.
|School community involved in facilitating restoration; those affected taken into consideration; empowerment.
|Accountability defined in terms of receiving punishment.
|Accountability defined as understanding impact of actions, taking responsibility for choices, and suggesting ways to repair harm.
- Acknowledges that relationships are central to building community.
- Ensures equity of voice among all members of the community. All voices are valued, everyone is heard.
- Establishes a culture of high expectations with high support, emphasizing doing things “WITH” not “TO” or “FOR”.
- Builds systems that address misbehavior and harm in a way that strengthens relationships and focuses on the harm done rather than only rule-breaking.
- Engages in collaborative problem solving.
- Enhances accountability, responsibility and empowers change and growth for all members of the community.
Why Implement Restorative Discipline Practices?
What are the Benefits of Restorative Discipline in a School Setting?
- A safer, more caring environment
- A more effective teaching and learning environment
- A greater commitment by everyone to taking the time to listen to one another
- A reduction in bullying and other interpersonal conflicts
- A greater awareness of the importance of connectedness to young people. The need to belong and feel valued by peers and significant adults
- Greater emphasis on responses to inappropriate behavior that seek to reconnect, and not further disconnect young people
- Reductions in fixed term and permanent suspensions and expulsions
- A greater confidence in the staff team to deal with challenging situations
- An increased belief in the ability of young people to take responsibility for their choices, and more people giving them opportunities to do so
What Restorative Discipline Resources are Available to Inform Best Practices?
7 Lesson Curriculum - Teaching Restorative Practices with Classroom Circles
Restorative Discipline Documents:
What Types of Support is Available to Implement Restorative Discipline Practices?