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The institutionalization of restorative justice in schools : a critical sensemaking account.

Russell, Scott Hugh
June 4, 2015

Source: (2014) Thesis. Degree of Master of Arts in Criminology.

This thesis examines the implementation of restorative approaches at an Elementary school in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I conducted a case study involving several participants involved in the implementation process. My analysis is framed by a critical criminological approach, specifically informed by critical sensemaking theory. Using critical sensemaking theory I have analyzed how power can shape overall formative contexts and influence the individual sensemaking processes of those involved in a change process. This allowed me to identify key barriers and facilitating factors involved in the implementation of restorative approaches at this school. Factilitating factors included: strong leadership, strong grounding in restorative philosophy, surrendering control to teachers, and a commitment to ongoing sensemaking. Barriers included: strict regulation by the education system, the packaging of restorative approaches as a program, and closed-mindedness on the part of teachers.


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