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SaferSanerSchools: Restoring community in a disconnected world.

Wachtel, Ted
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Bethlehem, PA: International Institute for Restorative Practices. Downloaded 2 June 2004.

Wachtel observes that punishment is often the normal response to misbehavior, and that failure to punish is often considered permissive. This, he argues, constitutes the “punitive-permissive continuum,” which he critiques as a limited perspective. In this context, Wachtel construes increasing misbehavior among school students and the related punitive school climate as products of alienation and loss of community in modern society. It is a vicious cycle: misbehavior; (ineffective) punishment; more misbehavior. Wachtel offers an alternative to the punitive-permissive continuum. He calls this the “social discipline window,” a perspective composed of both control and support. Through this window we can identify four general approaches to social discipline, depending on their combination of high or low control with high or low support: neglectful; permissive; punitive; and restorative.


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