Shifting Educator Mindsets Toward Restorative Practices

In this session, co-facilitators Mark Wolfmeyer and George Sirrakos Jr. draw upon existing theoretical frameworks of restorative justice and restorative practices to discuss new approaches and directions as well as the limitations of their hyper-individualized applications in K-12 schools. In particular, the co-facilitators will lead a conversation about the opportunities and challenges faced when engaging with pre-service and in-service educators on restorative philosophy and the use of restorative practices in classrooms. Throughout the session, participants will be encouraged to share their own stories and experiences regarding restorative practices, including topics such as school- and district-wide implementation of restorative practices, the perceived effectiveness as well as intended and unintended outcomes of such practices and ways in which teachers teach other teachers about restorative practices. Additionally, participants will be encouraged to discuss ways to transform schools and community engagement by shifting the focus of restorative philosophy to the conditions of student contexts rather than the presumed deficiencies within certain students.