Restorative Justice (Overview)
The restorative justice model is based on the research and training of Dr. Tom Cavanagh. This model is an excellent tool for the classroom teacher or other professionals to improve student behavior and to build on the basic values of respect, responsibility, and relationships.
The restorative justice model is divided into three tiers or levels:
Tier or Level 1 focuses on relationships, basic principles, collegial relationships, teacher/student relationships, and community circles.
Tier or Level 2 focuses on the development of restorative conversations, restorative circles, classroom conference circles, and brief restorative interventions.
Tier or Level 3 is designed to deal with the serious wrongdoings between students and or staff. It requires training in how to hold a pre-conference, the actual conference, and establishing an agreement between all affected parties.
Understanding the basic principles of restorative justice helps the school employee to more deeply understand, communicate, and facilitate guided group activities (circle). It also is of great assistance in understanding and building relationships with all members of the class.
In order for the educator to effectively use the restorative justice model he/she must:
- Know, understand, and apply their knowledge for the key values which include respect, responsibility, and relationships
- know, understand, and apply the basic principles of restorative justice which include:
- Focus on repairing harm rather than punishing the offender,
- include student voice in the process,
- integrate a whole school approach, and
- incorporate practices and strategies to build student’s social and emotional skills.
- Observe three community restorative justice circles. Identify and record evidence of the implementation of the core values (respect, responsibility, and relationships)
- From the restorative justice circles observed, record and identify the use of the basic principles to be used as part of the restorative justice process.
- Discuss and compare your results from the restorative justice circles with other colleagues.
Part 1. Overview Questions (200-word limit for each response)
Activity Description: How would you characterize your relationship with the students in your classroom? After observing several community circles, reviewing the basic principles of restorative justice, and the key values, what behaviors are similar and what behaviors are different as it applies to relationships with the students in your classroom. (please refer to the key values and basic principles of restorative justice when answering this question)
Passing: Activity description is clear with sufficient detail to illustrate that the teacher was effective in comparing and contrasting the basic principles of restorative justice and the key values.
- Activity Evaluation: What strategies did you learn that you can apply to your own classroom. Compare these with actual experiences you have had with the students in your classroom and how student behaviors could change based on the restorative justice model.
Passing: Activity description is clear with sufficient detail to illustrate that the teacher was effective in applying the basic principles of restorative justice and applying these principles to his/her own classroom.
Part 2 – Evidence and Artifacts
After viewing the above video, please identify where and what key values and basic principles you observed.
(200-word limit for your response)
Pass: Teacher demonstrates learning by:
Accurately identifying 3 of the key values and 3 of the 4 basic principals
Almost: Teacher demonstrates learning by:
Accurately identifying 2 of the key values and 2 of the 4 basic principals.
Not Yet: Teacher demonstrates learning by:
Accurately identifying 1 of the key values and 1 of the 4 basic principles
Part 3. Teacher Reflection
Provide a reflection on what you learned, using the following questions as a guide (200-word limit):
- What was the impact of the restorative justice model on your relationship with students? Please cite two concrete examples
- How will this restorative justice model improve your relationship with students in the future? Give at least two examples.
Passing: Teacher leader successfully reflects on how he/she responds differently to his/her students when using restorative justice principles. Activity description is clear with sufficient detail, including at least two examples, as to how teaching strategies will improve using the restorative justice model