Source: (2002) Paper presented at "Dreaming of a New Reality," the Third International Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices, August 8-10, 2002, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This paper explores the central role played by schools in introducing students to a positive experience of justice and community. Issues in the current educational context that impact on the introduction of restorative practices into schools are discussed. A pilot project to assess the value of the process of community conferencing into schools within the State of Victoria, Australia is placed within the context of educational developments in Victoria and the development of restorative processes in education in Australia. Emerging themes from the pilot project are presented. The paper includes a framework for conceptualising the place of restorative justice within the broader efforts of schools to develop safe and supportive environments that promote student wellbeing and connectedness to school. The need for a multi-level response from systemic and school levels to meet the challenge of developing sustainability in restorative practice in education is highlighted.

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