• What are Restorative Practices?

    Restorative Practices is an emerging social science that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals as well as develop social connections within communities. In schools, Restorative Practices help to create a trusting environment by giving both students and adults an opportunity to make positive choices and interact respectfully in the classroom and throughout school. 

Benefits of Restorative Practices
  • Restorative Practices occur on a continuum from informal to formal and are used both proactively, to build healthy relationships and community, and responsively, to respond to conflict and wrongdoing. 

    Restorative Continuum

    Proactive practices: practices that proactively build healthy relationships and develop community:

    ● Affective language (e.g., “I statements,” empathetic listening, affective questions, nonverbal affirmation)

    ● Small impromptu conversations or “restorative chats”

    ● Community-building circles (e.g., talking circles)

    Responsive practices: practices that respond to conflict and wrongdoing with the goal of repairing harm, rebuilding relationships, and restoring community. Responsive practices involve both the person who caused harm and those who are impacted.

    ● Responsive conversations or restorative conferences

    ● Responsive circles (e.g. restorative problem-solving, peace circles, and reintegration circles)

    ● Peer-based conferences, peer juries, justice panels

    For more on restorative practices, read “Defining Restorative” by Ted Wachtel, International Institute for Restorative Practices.