Source: (2005) Paper presented at "Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment, Part 3", co-hosted by the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) and Real Justice Australia, March 3-5, in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia. Downloaded 14 April 2005.

Anyone who has worked with groups will be aware of how certain dynamics can result in one or two people being dominant while others are undermined or even silenced, Many simply become disengaged. Decisions often end up being made by a small or elite group and it is not surprising that others feel no ownership of the process and nothing much changes. The Circle Time framework offers a workable solution to this difficulty. It provides a democratic, pro-active, respectful, reflective and creative approach to consider a wide range of issues affecting a group or community. Circles are most commonly used for school classes but are applicable to any other group. The strength of Circles is that they address values, feelings, self and relational skills within a safe and supportive framework. Familiarity with the principles and practice of Circle Time is important in using this framework for resolving conflict or addressing more challenging issues, such as bullying. In schools Circle Time is a regular activity with a class, taking place at least weekly. Part of its purpose is to raise self esteem and promote a sense of belonging within the group. (excerpt)

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