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Circle Time Solutions as a framework for sharing and supporting

Roffey, Sue
June 4, 2015

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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