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Restorative practice and behaviour management in schools: discipline meets care.

The history of restorative practices in New Zealand schools is directly related to projects such as the Suspension Reduction Initiative (SRI) and the more recent Student Engagement Initiative (SEI); thus the origins of restorative practices in schools are linked with behaviour management and school discipline. During the same period, teachers' work has become more complex: They are working with an increasingly diverse range of students, which in turn requires epistemologically diverse teaching and relationship-building approaches to ensure maximum participation for all. Teachers are looking for new and better ways to interact with students in their classrooms, and those responsible for disciplinary systems are looking to restorative practice for new ways to resolve the increasing range and number of difficulties between teachers and students, students and other students, and between the school and parents. Restorative practices (RP) are currently seen as a way of achieving all this, so they carry a huge burden of hope. Relationship skills are a key competency in the new curriculum, and the philosophy of restoration offers both a basis for understanding and a process for putting this agenda into practice. In effect, it means educating for citizenship in a diverse world, including teaching the skills of conflict resolution. If we accept this philosophy, the curriculum for teacher education will require significant changes in what students are taught about behaviour and classroom management.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Drewery, W. & Kecskemeti, M. (2010). Restorative practice and behaviour management in schools: discipline meets care. Waikato Journal of Education, 15(3), 101-113.
Faculty of Education, University of Waikato
© 2010 Waikato Journal of Education. It is posted here by permission for personal use.