Date of Award

5-2019

Culminating Project Type

Starred Paper

Degree Name

Special Education: M.S.

Department

Special Education

College

School of Education

First Advisor

Bradley Kaffar

Second Advisor

Jennifer Christensen

Third Advisor

James Johnson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Restorative Practices

Abstract

Research has indicated that behavior within the classroom has become a top priority in education. Many students lack the skills necessary to navigate the school climate in a pro-social and constructive way. As policies changed towards more punitive methods, there was an increase in the achievement gap for students at-risk. However, students are not learning new skills to impact behavioral patterns, nor are they learning academic skills to succeed when removed from the classroom. Restorative practices are an alternative to traditional discipline procedures that provide skills to negotiate conflict, allow for student voice, and create community for all students. Overall findings from the data reviewed showed that restorative practices are a viable alternative to traditional discipline procedures. Schools that had implemented programming found a change in the school climate that reflected mutual respect and concern. Students were less likely to engage in behaviors that constituted a discipline referral and staff were less likely to issue them. Furthermore, staff and students engaged in alternative means of responding to challenging behaviors that were more skill centered. Students and families felt more connected to the school environment, discipline rates dropped, and the racial disparity gap narrowed.

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