“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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    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
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


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

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