Relational restorative justice pedagogy in educator professional development

Vaandering, Dorothy (2014) Relational restorative justice pedagogy in educator professional development. Curriculum Inquiry, 44 (4). pp. 508-530. ISSN 1467-873X

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What would a professional development experience rooted in the philosophy, principles, and practices of restorative justice look and feel like? This article describes how such a professional development project was designed to implement restorative justice principles and practices into schools in a proactive, relational and sustainable manner by using a comprehensive dialogic, democratic peacebuilding pedagogy. The initiative embodied a broad, transformative approach to restorative justice, grounded in participating educators’ identifying, articulating and applying personal core values. This professional development focused on diverse educators, their relationships, and conceptual understandings, rather than on narrow techniques for enhancing student understanding or changing student behaviour. Its core practice involved facilitated critical reflexive dialogue in a circle, organized around recognizing the impact of participants’ interactions on others, using three central, recurring questions: Am I honouring? Am I measuring? What message am I sending? Situated in the context of relational theory (Llewellyn, 2012), this restorative professional development approach addresses some of the challenges in implementing and sustaining transformative citizenship and peacebuilding pedagogies in schools. A pedagogical portrait of the rationale, design, and facilitation experience illustrates the theories, practices, and insights of the initiative, called Relationships First: Implementing Restorative Justice From the Ground Up.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 12118
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: September 2014
Date Type: Publication
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