THIS PAGE IS AN OVERVIEW AND DAILY LOG OF A RESEARCH TRIP TO AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS IN APRIL/MAY 2007. THE TRIP HAS BEEN ENTIRELY FUNDED BY ROSEHILL COLLEGE (AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND) WITH THE GOAL OF FURTHERING UNDERSTANDING OF BEST PRACTICE IN RESTORATIVE PRACTICES WITHIN SCHOOL SETTINGS.
Finding Your Way
Goals - Fine Tuning
I would like to be specific about what I am looking for - beyond a general understanding of how Australian schools employ restorative practices, I am seeking answers to these questions:
How do restorative practices fit within the broad discipline (or behaviour management) policy of schools I visit?
At which point of the 'discipline process' are restorative practices employed?
Do restorative practices augment, replace or realign elements of the traditional discipline processes?
How comprehensively have the implementation of restorative practices been employed? That is, has the implementation of restorative practices been accompanied by a major 'values analysis' - possibly a powerful culture shift?
Besides restorative conferences or restorative conversations being seen around the school, have other elements of school life also experienced a shift - greater inclusiveness of students voices in organisation of the school?
What support is given to staff in schools for the development of their understanding of restorative practices? - Are staff allowed to become trained in restorative processes at an entirely voluntary level or is their participation in training events an explicit expectation by school management?
How do schools keep restorative practices 'fresh' for staff? - avoiding the trap of jaded and "been there - done that" attitudes towards restorative practices?
What attempts are made to employ restorative practices at a preventative level? - using restorative events as a means of maintaining healthy relationships between all members of the school community?
Are concepts such as 'circle time' used to allow classes to debrief at the end of each week? - sharing viewpoints in a responsible and respectful manner as a prevention from emotional boilovers.
How has the community been involved in the uptake of restorative practices?
What consultation with parents or students was undertaken?
How has the philosophy of restorative practices been explained to members of the school community?
How are outcomes of restorative events shared with members of the school community?
There are more questions - but this will suffice for a beginning.