Practicing Peace in Schools
10 week Audio Course
This course features inspiring wisdom and leadership from the field of Restorative Justice, Mindfulness, Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and Social & Emotional Learning in schools. It will explore bringing these critical skills into school communities.
This practical online course is an overview, intended to provide those unfamiliar with Restorative Justice Practices and other related modalities a chance to learn more about how they work effectively in schools and their communities worldwide. If you are already familiar with restorative justice practices and other modalities we will cover here, this will be a rich opportunity to work directly with our faculty from around the world, in deepening skills as well as to sound off with others as to their unique approaches and challenges.
While there will be a tremendous amount of useful information covered in this course, which will often be immediately useful, it is not an in-depth intensive on each area covered, but instead a thorough overview that will allow participants to move forward into the future better able to identify what is the best fit for them given their immediate system/s, and provide good information to continue to develop those skills.
This is a course for teachers, administrators, parents, interested community members and practitioners. It’s for anyone interested in this topic or just generally living a more peaceful life and cultivating more peaceful communities. There will be much to take away and further develop.
- Learn how schools have saved time in the long run by implementing peacebuilding and Restorative Justice Practices (RJP) systems in their classrooms. Step by step how to’s for your own school or related system.
- Find out how it benefits staff morale and changes the climate of a school towards a compassionate and verdant environment for best learning possibilities.
- Hear from Youth themselves in what works and seems viable in building a peaceful school community (and what doesn’t) plus how they’ve done it together.
- Discover and/or build upon your own practices and find out key first steps for implementation and how to go about inquiring with those who may feel resistant to new things.
- Learn how peacebuilding and Restorative Justice Practices (RJP) can strengthen the greater school community, which includes parents, school staff, related professional representatives such as resource officers and counselors, and the community at large where partnerships and programs interlink.
- Learn or build upon areas such as: nonviolent communication skills and languaging; peace circle processes and how facilitation works; learn about key research done in the past twenty years surrounding RJP and schools; and more
Each session of the course features a leading edge expert teacher/guide with a global base of wisdom, including Dominic Barter, Kay Pranis, Camisha Fatimah Gentry and many others.
As a baseline for lasting success, focal areas in this summit include:
- Restorative Justice & Circle Practices
- Mindfulness Practices in Schools
- Social & Emotional Learning Skills and
- Nonviolent Communication.
In our research over the past several years we’ve identified some of the top methods being used on the ground to turn around our education system. We know that our youth seed the future, and yet so many schools are struggling with overburdened and underappreciated teachers and staff. But in fact, there are schools across the nation and world finding that by implementing, for example, a short circle process and starting slowly to re-frame their agreements and slightly tweak their schedules, a surprising thing is occurring, the climate of the school begins to shift: conflict and violence drop substantially, bullying is reduced, truancy goes down and grade point averages rise. In a West Philadelphia High School, within two years of implementing a Restorative Discipline program, incidents of assault and disorderly conduct dropped more than 65%.
Each week participants will gain insights into how they can build upon or begin their own restorative communities within schools and beyond. This content is applicable world-wide, not just in the U.S. This course is modeled to provide viable tools for all of us, regardless of whether we have children in schools, because it is a way of living and interacting, of hearing and not just listening, of allowing understanding and walking towards conflict instead of running from it.
There are schools across the nation and world that find by implementing one or more of these practices, the climate of the school begins to significantly shift:
- Conflict and violence drop substantially
- Emotional well-being rises
- Bullying is reduced
- Truancy goes down
- Grade point averages rise.
At a glance sketch of the course week-by-week
- Session One: Nurturing strong roots for systemic change with Kay Pranis & Carolyn Boyes-Watson
- Session Two: Circling the Square with Nancy Riestenberg and Rita Alfred
- Session Three: Building Systems to Promote Dialogue: How Restorative Circles support Community Responses to Conflict with Dominic Barter
- Session Four: Orange County, FL team with Mara Schiff and others
- Session Five: From Conflict to Connection: Speaking Peace for the Next Generation with Jim and Jori Manske
- Session Six: Mindfulness and Restorative Justice Practices (RJP): Working with The Developing Nervous System of Youth with Chris McKenna of Mindful Schools
- Session Seven: Rocks Breeding Roses: How to Transform Challenges in Restorative Justice Implementation to Fertile Ground with CamishaFatimah Gentry and an Oakland Youth TBA
- BONUS SESSION Restorative Practices: Changing School Culture, Building Relationships and Transforming Discipline with Dr. Sandra Pavelka
- Session Eight: Urban Schools: Evolution of Restorative Practice over Two Decades in Baltimore, with Lauren Abramson of the Baltimore Community Conferencing Center
- Session Nine: Fania Davis, Co-Founder of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY)
- BONUS SESSION: Jeffrey Weisberg of the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding on SEL (Social Emotional Learning) and interweaving RJP and holistic modalities to build strong school communities