About this Course
This course explores how restorative justice approaches can provide important alternatives to more traditional responses to harm within educational settings. Restorative justice has three primary applications in school settings, which includes both K-12 schools and higher education. Restorative circles are commonly used to build and strengthen relationships between students and with their teachers. Restorative practices help develop “social-emotional learning.” Restorative conferences are used in response to conflict and misconduct. Cognizant of the “school to prison pipeline,” administrators are looking for more effective and less punitive response to school misconduct. Finally, when students are suspended, restorative circles of support and accountability assist with effective reintegration back into the classroom. The course will focus on the restorative justice movement in education, examining the theory behind restorative justice, its various practices, and evidence of effectiveness. The course will also consider the problems of racial bias in K-12 discipline and sexual and gender-based misconduct on college campuses.