Exploring Restorative Practice – Teachers’ Perspectives
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Restorative Practice is emerging as a solution to concerns about classroom management and indiscipline in recent times. Restorative Practice focuses on the need to restore relationships where there has been harm or conflict. This exploratory study attempts to explore post primary school teachers’ perspectives on the use of Restorative Practice. It is hoped that this research will provide important information for educators and those who work with young people in planning, implementing and reviewing, the place of Restorative Practice in the post primary schools. Possible benefits of this research include enhancement of practices and knowledge in terms of teaching and learning and creating a positive school culture. The literature review primarily focused on the development of Restorative Practice from the Restorative Justice movement in the Criminal Justice System. The literature review explores what both Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices are. It identifies the different methods of implementing both practices and illustrates the many uses of Restorative Practice in the school setting. Four semi structured interviews were conducted with teachers who implement Restorative Practice on a regular basis. The interviews were analysed using Thematic Analysis and key themes where identified. The research found that, overall, participants were of the opinion that Restorative Practice has many benefits for the post primary school. Additionally, strong links between Restorative Practice and a decline in bullying figures was identified. Recommendations include the need for increased training in Restorative Practice for young people and teachers and the allocation of time to train staff in the practice.
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