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Students attending schools today not only learn about formal academic subjects, they also learn social and emotional skills. Whole-school restorative practices (RP) is an approach which can be used to address student misbehaviour when it occurs, and as a holistic method to increase social and emotional learning in students. The aim of this study was to explore the impact of RP on student behaviour from the perspectives of students and teachers. Six schools participated in interviews and focus groups. Students and teachers were asked about the use of RP and the impact on behaviour. Students and teachers identified five main themes: greater harmony, increased empathy towards others, awareness of one’s own behaviour and being accountable for that, increased respect, and reflective thinking. These aspects increase students’ social skills. This paper discusses a new framework which describes the positive impact of RP on student behaviour and thinking. The findings have broad implications for school communities and highlight the need to move towards more relational behaviour management approaches.


School of Psychology

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Journal Article

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