Source: (1998) Education Queensland and Transformative Justice Australia.

The authors outline the results of two separate studies involving the introduction of community conferencing into schools to deal with incidents of serious harm. Experiences during the two years in which these studies were conducted highlighted a range of implementation issues which exposed tensions between existing philosophies and practices in managing behaviour and restorative interventions such as conferencing. The incorporation of the restorative justice approach via conferencing, while in itself a very useful addition, had limited potential because of these tensions. Education theory clearly articulates the importance of healthy relationships between all members of the school community to discipline and pedagogy. Restorative justice has much to offer in this respect. This paper will argue that the language and discourse around discipline needs to change and begin to embrace a behavioural framework in which wholesome behaviours are actively promoted and that compliance is an outcome of understanding and sense of community, and is not an end in itself.


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