Home Events The Potential of Restorative Justice Practices to Foster Healing and Trust in Inclusive Settings (On Demand: Recorded)

The Potential of Restorative Justice Practices to Foster Healing and Trust in Inclusive Settings (On Demand: Recorded)

Main Topic: Flourishing, Well-being, and Social-Emotional Learning
Session Type: Paper


Much of the literature generated from the beginning of the rise of the use of RJPs, around 1999, until the present, examines the effects of RJPs on discipline measures such as suspension, expulsion, attendance, and violent offenses (Fronius et al, 2016) and presents RJPs as a means of addressing this social justice issue. In the last ten years, the amount of research conducted and published around Restorative Justice Practices (RJPs) has increased significantly. The work regarding RJPs as a means of addressing racial inequity in the educational system is a prime springboard for examining the effects of RJPs in inclusive settings since similar issues of equity present and the body of literature around this topic is almost non-existent. Although we know that RJPs can have a significant effect on the amount of time students spend in the classrooms by reducing suspensions and expulsions, and perceptions of the school and classroom climate, there is little known regarding the effects of RJPs on students with dis\abilities (SWD). This review further outlines the following emergent themes in the literature: disagreements in the field, issues of equity, racial bias, and loss of trust. Since the research around the effects of RJPs on SWD is lacking, there have been few connections made between Disability Studies and the guiding philosophies of RJ. However, the recently established field of DisCrit Theory (Annamma, Connor, & Ferri, 2013), a combination of critical race theory and dis/ability studies in education, can help us understand how race and ableism interact in school systems. This layer of nuance is important to this work because in many cases “difference” is interpreted as deviance and has a negative connotation (Bornstein, 2017). An example of how this framework can be applied is taken from Conrad and Schneider (1992) and the classification of energetic children as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He explains that as institutions analyzed individuals in scientific systems, the informal and formal diagnosis of ADHD were supported by the schools’ lack of accommodation of active learning. This tunnel vision which focused on any difference becoming a deviance is further nuanced by the understanding that school systems institutionalize and prioritize White behavioral patterns (Broderick & Leonardo, 2016). Most response to intervention systems (RTI) are based on White norms for acceptable academic performance (Broderick & Leonardo, 2016; Ferri, 2012; Artiles, 2015), with interventions designed to “return all students to normalcy and which do so by placing them in some form of classification scheme.” (Bornstien, 2017, p. 138) This review is important to examining the perceived effects of RJPs in inclusive classrooms because it emphasizes the need for awareness of the fact that teachers, administrators and students are interacting in a context that pushes and pulls from their participation in a racially and dis/ability charged system. This work will show that RJPs are vital in order to regain the trust and promote healing in inclusive classrooms.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the basic body of literature regarding Restorative Justice Practices.
  •  Summarize the themes in the literature regarding restorative justice practices as they apply to inclusive settings
  • Relate the need for further research on restorative justice practices for students with dis/abilities to their own research/understanding/practice

Keywords: Restorative Justice, Inclusion, Trust, Well-being, Teacher Education, Trauma Informed Pedagogy

View the Session: https://community.pacrim.coe.hawaii.edu/groups/4189398/feed


Feb 23 2021 - May 01 2021

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Feb 23 2021 - May 02 2021
View the Session: Virtual Space


  • Ms. Mary Mendez Bonnell
    Ms. Mary Mendez Bonnell
    George Washington University - Program/Research Associate

    George Washington University

    Mary Bonnell is a doctoral candidate at The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development in the Ed.D. program in Special Education and Disability Studies. She has taught students with disabilities and emerging bilingual students in monolingual and bilingual secondary schools in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Mexico. Her professional and personal mission is to improve educational equity and the use of research-based practices to progress diversity and inclusion for educators and students around the world. Her research interests include restorative justice for students with disabilities and educational contexts to increase equity in bilingual special education.

  • Dr. Doran Gresham
    Dr. Doran Gresham
    George Washington University - Assistant Professor

    George Washington University

    Dr. Gresham’s primary research interest pertains to the overrepresentation of minorities in classrooms for students with special needs. To that end, he created “The Gresham Survey” to quantitatively assess the perceptions of general educators and administrators about the overrepresentation of elementary aged African American males identified as having an emotional disturbance. The purpose of this research is to shed light on to this chronic institutionalized civil rights issue, which leads to systemic poor outcomes for students of color. Prior to joining the faculty at The George Washington University, as a culmination of his years as an educator, Dr. Gresham worked for 5 years as a master Educator and 1 year as a Senior Master Educator with the D.C. Public School system. In 2015, Dr. Gresham published a collection of essays and interviews called Why the SUN Rises: the faces and stories of women in education.