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Circular arguments.

Hoffman, John
June 4, 2015

Source: (2011) Today’s parent. 29(6): 146.

So why am I so uneasy about restorative circles? It’s mainly because I’ve seen so many good ideas go awry. For
teaching literacy, whole language was a useful approach that got a bad name because it was never really carried out
properly, and certain ideologues thought whole language meant suppressing phonics (wrong!). Self-esteem became
all but a dirty word because many of its cheerleaders didn’t understand what self-esteem really is or how it develops.
(Hint: It doesn’t come from telling kids everything they do is great!)
[Mark Totten] does not recommend one-off restorative circles when there’s true bullying (not minor teasing or
bugging). “In cases of ongoing victimization, it’s crucial that schools do a proper intake (assessment of the situation
beforehand), and then provide follow-up support for both the bully and victim. Otherwise, there’s a very real risk of
increased harm to the victim,” he says. (excerpt)


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