The dynamics of the learning circle in high school: teacher and students in "equal partnership"

Bukola, Boluwade (2018) The dynamics of the learning circle in high school: teacher and students in "equal partnership". Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The learning circle (Boyes-Watson & Pranis, 2014) is a concept that Restorative Justice in Education (RJE) is beginning to explore. It is a practice that allows the teacher and students to engage in equal partnership, which benefits both teaching and learning. The dynamics of the learning circle (LC) as a pedagogical tool are limitless, but as a science teacher, I have noticed a gap between theory and praxis in the practical ways teachers use restorative justice learning circles to teach, especially for teaching the science curriculum in high school (Evans & Vaandering, 2016, Riestenberg, 2012). This study explored this pedagogy in St. John’s, Newfoundland (NL), Canada in order to contribute to the existing literature on LC, especially for teaching science classes, where more real life experience is still needed to understand student engagement. Using a qualitative narrative case study, I examined the impact of the LC on teacher and student relationships and explored whether perceptions of moving towards equal (shared) partnership positively influence participation and achievement (Wadhwa, 2016). The findings and results revealed that the teacher and the students were impacted in various ways. Although the challenge of time constraints, reaching equal partnership, and inadequate prior knowledge and skills for practice were some concerns, after introducing the LC in the science class, the teacher participant acknowledged the potential of the LC for knowledge-based science topics and remained hesitant about its use for calculation-based topics. The students experienced an improved level of interaction with the teacher and had more time to process information when sharing reflections and wanted it introduced in their other classes as well.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13592
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 163-169).
Keywords: Restorative Justice, Relationship First, Equal Partnership, Critical Reflection, and Transformation
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: October 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Education--Experimental methods; Group work in education—Newfoundland and Labrador—St. John’s; Teacher-student relationships—Newfoundland and Labrador—St. John’s

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