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What is Restorative Practice?

Restorative practice (RP) is a social science that focuses on strengthening relationships between individuals as well as social connections in communities. In summary, its purpose is to try and create healthy relationships while also presenting those involved with the skills needed to be emotionally aware which leads to further growth.

It allows schools to bring a more community based solution encompassed by support to their students, rather than the traditional behavior management methods. Instead of using standard punishments for breaking rules, the questions used in RP helps to show the impact of a behavior and how it affected others. Through questioning RP encourages self-reflection, accountability and this in turn hopes to lead to empathy. This brings awareness to the behavior which will then decrease this behavior in the future. It promotes a communal approach and an open forum to discuss problems and in turn come up with responses which helps to build relationships and trust amongst all.

Using Restorative Practice in the classroom

Firstly, it’s important to make the classroom an open forum where feedback and opinions are accepted and valued for both the teacher and student.

When conflicts arise, start a conversation. Encourage them to explain what has happened to get to the root of the problem, using questions along the way to help your students look at it from a number of perspectives discussing their emotions and rationale.

Restorative Practice Questions

  • What happened?

  • What were you thinking about at the time?

  • How do you feel about what happened?

  • Who do you think your actions affected?

  • How do you think your actions affected others ?

  • What do you think needs to happen next?


We’d love to hear about any teaching strategies that you use with your students. Please share what works well for you with @aquilaeducation on Twitter orFacebook.

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