The Restorative Practices Framework

As a way of thinking and being, the Restorative Practice Framework provides a construct for acting restoratively in a ‘community’. With application in a variety of settings such as schools, facilities, community programs, workplaces, faith groups and families, the aim of the framework is to focus on strengthening relationships and repairing harm as a way of building community. In schools it is meant as an integrated and proactive approach where a major goal is the effective reintegration of students when addressing situations where harm has been done. With it focus on relationship building, it helps communities address issues such as bullying before they reach a problem stage. The framework has direct application to teaching and learning and creating and maintaining safe schools.

Utilizing a Socratic engagement style, the framework incorporates explicit practice, being firm and fair, the continuum of restorative practice, fair process, the restorative questions, a restorative practice checklist and a theoretical basis. By engaging in this framework, schools for example build on existing practices that already work; it is not meant to replace what is deemed effective but rather to enhance it. Schools embracing the Restorative Practice Framework report a safer, more connected environment with higher levels of student achievement as existing and new practices are framed through the restorative lens.

The Restorative Practice Framework is universal in its application and provides the basis for the work we do in many contexts. In fact, we see specific restorative practices or approaches as expressions of being restorative in our thinking and actions, reflections of this framework.

One of the key areas where IIRP Canada works is with schools in applying this framework to build and sustain stronger, more effective school communities. Through a day long in-service for all school staff, along with assemblies for students and parent workshops connecting restorative practice to parenting, all stakeholders in a school community are introduced to ways in which the framework can be practically applied in their setting. IIRP Canada also will arrange other kinds of skill-based trainings that support restorative approaches in your school including facilitating restorative conferences, the effective use of classroom circles and restorative leadership.

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Presentations from 15th IIRP World Conference | Bethlehem, PA, USA | August 1-3, 2012