Understanding implementation of restorative practices in low income, urban high schools

Joshua Lawrence Korth
Whereas much research has led to widespread knowledge about the harmful effects of school disciplinary practices (e.g., suspensions, expulsions), there have been fewer studies about programs that promote alternative forms of school discipline. The current dissertation examined one such program, Restorative Practices (RP), in its early stages of implementation from the perspectives of teachers. RP uses collaborative problem solving and encourages relationship building between students and
more » ... s. Key components of RP include community-building circles in classrooms and restorative conferences that bring together all those involved in a discipline incident to identify ways to repair the harm. Despite school districts investing substantial resources in upfront training days, little is known about the teacher perceptions and factors associated with high or low RP use implemented in the classroom. The dissertation was comprised of two studies. Study 1 included interviews and surveys with 51 teachers in two public high schools. Results showed that teachers varied in their fidelity of RP implementation. Further, multiple regression analyses found days of RP training and positive experiences with RP were predictive of a teacher's total number of RP circles and conferences run. In addition, teachers' RP self-efficacy was predictive of their adherence to implementing the core components of RP. Study 2 examined a cohort of teachers over two school years that continued to use RP (N = 23). Results showed that a group of teachers (n = 7) were classified as high RP users in both school years. These results held when accounting for minimal RP administrative support, which suggest that that the teachers were "resilient implementers." Implications for future practice are that positive experiences with RP, teachers' beliefs in their own ability to use RP, and upfront training days may be factors that increase teachers' implementation of RP with high fidelity—although future research will need to corroborate these findings. Moreov [...]
doi:10.7282/t3rn3b0r fatcat:3hlyajwfmzaq5j7nt6qwaszdgi