“Here, it’s like you don’t have to leave the classroom to solve a problem”: how restorative justice in schools contributes to students’ individual and collective sense of coherence

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    Abstract

    Students face innumerable stressors, in and outside of schools. Some schools are better able to support students to thrive, individually and collectively, in the midst of these stressors. Drawing on a qualitative case study of a restorative justice approach in a Canadian primary school, this article explores the role of restorative justice in facilitating student well-being. To interpret this research, I mobilize Antonovsky’s (Health, stress and coping. Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 1979) “sense of coherence” concept: individuals are most likely to thrive when they perceive their lives as comprehensible, manageable and meaningful. Based on the data, I argue that the Canadian school’s restorative justice policies and practices helped students make sense of complexity within their school lives, building within them a strong sense of individual and collective coherence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)406-427
    Number of pages22
    JournalSocial Justice Research
    Volume33
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

    Keywords

    • Coherence
    • Well-being
    • Restorative justice
    • Restorative approach
    • Salutogenesis

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