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.
- Restorative justice
- Restorative approach