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Investigating the value of restorative practice: An action research study of one boy in a mixed secondary school.

Standing, Vicky
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) International Journal of Education Management. 26(4):354-369.

Purpose ‐ In response to an increasingly high level of exclusion rates for boys within secondary school in the UK, this study seeks to explore the value of restorative practice and justice for changing student behaviour. Design/methodology/approach ‐ As a piece of action research, the authors aimed to look at how methods of restorative practice could work with one student in a secondary school, following a whole school’s move towards a personal responsibility charter. The focus of this research remained on the individual male subject, rather than the educational institution. It is based upon a process of reflecting upon key events that happened throughout the study. This research will use qualitative data gained from observing the student at school, as well as interview and written feedback from the subject himself and school staff. The paper is designed to offer real and informative insight into the value of restorative justice and practices. Findings ‐ Restorative practices had little overall impact on improving the subject’s behaviour in school. He was able to have a mature discussion with an adult about the behaviour he was demonstrating. Nevertheless, when put back in the classroom situation he was unable to make a conscious decision to alter his negative behaviour. However, his skills in conferencing to resolve conflict were developed through the authors’ involvement with him, as well as other school staff, and he was able to understand the school’s new charter. Originality/value ‐ This paper contributes to restorative justice and practice literature and is insightful because of the action research approach taken. (author’s abstract)


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