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Restorative practices benefit both teachers and students

By Elizabeth Foster
December 2021
As awareness has grown about the harmful effects of exclusionary discipline, especially on the Black and Brown students who are disproportionately suspended and expelled, so, too, has interest in alternative approaches to discipline. Restorative practices are becoming more common in schools across the U.S. and in other countries. Restorative practices focus on building or repairing relationships to address or preempt conflict. They are based on the idea that when young people come to understand how they have caused harm and collaborate with others to find a solution for repairing the harm, they learn to behave differently while strengthening their connection to the community rather than becoming ostracized from it. Quantitative research on restorative justice approaches is relatively new and still emerging. Understanding the findings that

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The Study

Augustine, C.H., Engberg, J., Grimm, G.E., Lee, E., Wang, E.L., Christianson, K., & Joseph, A.A. (2018). Can restorative practices improve school climate and curb suspensions? An evaluation of the impact of restorative practices in a mid-sized urban school district. RAND Corporation. www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2840.html


Vice President, Standards & Research | + posts

Elizabeth Foster (elizabeth.foster@learningforward.org) is vice president, research & standards at Learning Forward. In each issue of The Learning Professional, Foster explores recent research to help practitioners understand the impact of particular professional learning practices on student outcomes.


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