Restorative Practices: Beyond Circles

Cost: $500 3 Credit Course through Castleton University (Graduate or Undergraduate Levels available)
Non-credit course no cost to VTNEA Members (45 credit hours upon completion)

Restorative Practices and full school restorative approaches have been gaining support in education across the country in recent years.  With new Vermont legislation promoting alternatives to exclusionary discipline set to take effect soon, educators have identified a need for intentional, sustained implementation of these practices.

This course leads educators through the underlying philosophy of Restorative Practices and how to intentionally and sustainably implement Restorative Practices in their classrooms and schools.  This course draws from the International Institute for Restorative Practices’ Restorative Practice for Educators curriculum in addition to other sources and approaches to present a comprehensive understanding of Restorative Practices.  We will investigate how RP blends with already established systems, such as Responsive Classroom, PBIS, SEL, and trauma-informed practice, as well as possible pitfalls and areas of resistance.  Participants will create a plan for implementation in their respective contexts and work to support each other in those efforts.

Participants will receive three required texts:
Costello, Bob, et al. Restorative Circles in Schools: A Practical Guide for Educators. Second Edition. International Institute for Restorative Practices, 2019.
Evans, Katherine, and Dorothy Vaandering. The Little Book of Restorative Justice in Education: Fostering Responsibility, Healing, and Hope in Schools. Good Books, 2016.
Smith, Dominique, et al. Better than Carrots or Sticks: Restorative Practices for Positive Classroom Management. ASCD, 2015.

Course Goals:

  • Understand and apply the frameworks of Restorative Practices to a school
  • Create a plan for implementing Restorative Practices in one’s setting

Course Objectives:

  • Identify and explain Restorative Practices and the Restorative Practices continuum
  • Talk through the Social Discipline Window and explain how it relates to classroom practices and organizational change
  • Explain Fair Process and how it relates to classroom practices and organizational change
  • Explain how Restorative Practices can be implemented independently of or within existing frameworks
  • Identify pitfalls to implementation and possible areas of resistance
  • Make explicit Restorative Practices and approaches that have been implicit in one’s education practice
  • Learn how to facilitate proactive practices (Affective Language, Affective Questioning, Impromptu conversations, and proactive circles) to build community and promote a restorative mind shift 
  • Facilitate Proactive Circles and utilize other proactive approaches in daily interactions with staff and students

Dates & Times:
Class 1: Restorative Practices for Educators, Part 1 (Tuesday, 1 February 3-6pm)
Class 2: Restorative Practices for Educators, Part 2 (Tuesday, 8 February 3-6pm)
Class 3: Shame (Tuesday, 8 March 3-6pm)
Class 4: The Restorative Practices Continuum (Thursday, 24 March 3-6pm)
Class 5: Using Circles Effectively Part 1 (Tuesday, 5 April 3-6pm)
Class 6: Using Circles Effectively Part 2 (Thursday, 28 April 3-6pm)
Class 7: Where do Restorative Practices Fit? (Tuesday, 3 May 3-6pm)
Class 8: Final Presentations (Tuesday, 17 May 3-7pm)

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