New book explores restorative behavior practices

A new book could help teachers deal with troublesome pupils.

Dr Valerie Margrain, a lecturer in early years education from Massey University’s College of Education, is co-editor of the book, exploring techniques and research regarding restorative justice in schools.

The book provides ideas, tips and techniques to help parents and teachers deal with poor behaviour, such as aggression, lying and bullying – encouraging pupils to put things right.

Responsive Pedagogy: Engaging Restoratively with Challenging Behaviour explored up-to-date research into the subject, and included tips for setting up restorative conferences, and suggested scripts for restorative conversations.

Dr Margrain said restorative practice was a relatively new – but growing – area of interest in schools trying to find better ways to deal with difficult pupils.

“There has been a lot of work around restorative principles, doing things to set things right, accepting responsibility. Even the youngest of learners in early-childhood education can grasp the principles of saying sorry and helping clean up a mess,” she said. “There are no set answers, but this book helps provide information and tools that can work in different situations. At the end of the day, you want a change in behaviour and some accountability.

“In the big picture, excluding students doesn’t resolve anything, it just moves the problem somewhere else, and it’s increasingly difficult to find schools for children who have been excluded.”

Dr Margrain edited the book with the University of Canterbury’s Professor Angus Macfarlane.

Sourced from The Manawatu Standard

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