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Title:Examining restorative circles in a school setting: towards an understanding of participant experiences and perceptions
Author(s):Ortega, Lilyana
Director of Research:Espelage, Dorothy L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Espelage, Dorothy L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Larson, Reed W.; Nettles, Saundra; Lyubansky, Mikhail
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Restorative Circles
School-Based Restorative Practices
Abstract:Restorative justice (RJ) was introduced into school systems as an alternative to ineffective zero tolerance and similar punitive policies as another way of dealing with a wide range disciplinary infractions. In the last few years school-based RJ has been gaining popularity within the United States, but empirical research has been lacking likely because those implementing RJ approaches are practitioners, not researchers. One RJ approach is Restorative Circles (RC), which provide a space for those involved in conflict to repair harm through a facilitated dialogue process. Given the minimal research, it is important to lay a foundation for understanding RC. The aim of the present study was just that; to develop a theoretical framework for understanding individual’s experiences and perceptions of RC guided by grounded theory methodology. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 35 high school students and 25 school staff and administrators involved in some capacity with the RC program at their school. All participants were from a high school in a large urban center in the Southeast US and the majority identified as African-American. Interviews were audio recorded and later transcribed. The categories and subcategories from axial coding are presented and illustrative quotes are included for each. The five constructs emerged from selective coding and form the basis of the theoretical model: 1) barriers, 2) initial climate/culture, 3) internal motivation, 4) level of participant engagement with RC, and 5) outcomes. The emergent model, along with the interactions among the constructs is discussed as well as consistencies of the emergent model with some developmental theories. This study provides a framework for RC researchers to use as a foundation and also for practitioners to better understand how individuals experience RC.
Issue Date:2014-09-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Lilyana Ortega
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-09-16
Date Deposited:2014-08

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