The Promise of Restorative Practices to Transform Teacher-Student Relationships and Achieve Equity in School Discipline

  • Gregory A
  • Clawson K
  • Davis A
 et al. 
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Restorative approaches to school discipline are increasingly being implemented throughout the United States in an attempt to re- duce reliance on suspension and eradicate the racial discipline gap. Yet, little is known about the experience of students in class- rooms utilizing restorative practices (RP). This study draws on student surveys (N D 412) in 29 high school classrooms. Hierar- chical linearmodeling and regression analyses show that high RP- implementing teachers had more positive relationships with their diverse students. Students perceived them as more respectful and they issued fewer exclusionary discipline referrals compared with low RP implementers. In addition, the findings demonstrate some initial promise of well-implemented RP for narrowing the racial discipline gap. The study found that higher RP implementers issued fewer discipline referrals to Latino and African American students compared with lower RP implementers. The study findings have implications for equity-focused consultation in schools that honor student experience of new programming.

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