Learn about the Restorative Approach in schools
The Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast (RJP) is offering an Introduction to Restorative School Practices workshop on March 15, at Husson University in Bangor. The session runs from 8:30-3:30 p.m., and the cost is $125 per person. To register online go to: http://www.rjpmidcoast.org/cms/restorative-school-practices-maine-spring-2013-workshops.
The Restorative Approach is a philosophy that sees relationships as central to learning, growth and a healthy school climate for students and adults. A growing number of brain research and school connectedness studies speak to the importance of creating these strong bonds between students and adults, as a proactive and preventative way of reducing conflict, bullying and aggressive behaviors in schools. Within the restorative approach, educators use various restorative practices that enable all members of a school community to build a climate of trust, respect and open‐mindedness. Additionally, restorative rather than punitive approaches to discipline deal more effectively with student misbehavior by encouraging students to be accountable for their actions and find ways to “make things right” with those they have harmed. Restorative discipline empowers students by helping them to learn from their mistakes in a school environment that is caring and responsive.
Restorative practices are proving successful in schools across the country and in many Maine schools. On March 15, 2013, this workshop will introduce participants to restorative school practices that have proven effective and sustainable. The format will include presentations, circles, discussion and video of restorative school practices in action. The workshop goals include: helping attendees understand the fundamental hypothesis of restorative practices, its rationale and its empirical basis; identifying the range of restorative responses and how these practices can be used in schools; introducing participants to the circle process and the restorative questions; and sharing ways to build restorative school communities.
An assistant principal of a Maine middle school commented about restorative practices in her school: “As I watched this classroom circle I was struck by the way in which students were empowered and was so proud that this was one of many rich conversations and multi-faceted lessons happening at LMS. Whether I’m observing or participating, each time I walk away I am more firmly convinced that restorative practices are more than a philosophy; it is a way to be. At LMS, the circle has come to symbolize our strength, respect and trust as a learning community. It has elevated our school both academically and behaviorally and provided us with a constructive opportunity not only to shape conversation, but to require that each person stop and weigh their contribution–even if simply to themselves.”
Restorative practices create safe schools where all members of the community are accountable for their actions, resolve conflicts, create positive relationships, and build an inclusive, respectful school culture. We hope you’ll join us on March 15 to learn more about this approach.
The Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast promotes fundamental change in the justice system and schools. Our responses to crime and wrongdoing seek renewal and safety for the community, support and healing for victims and accountability and reintegration of the offender.
For more information visit www.rjpmidcoast.org/ or call 207-338-2742.