Restorative Practices: The Human Approach
Restorative practices is an emerging social science that studies how to build, strengthen and repair relationships between individuals as well as establishing supportive social connections within communities. Originating with indigenous cultures, restorative techniques have been used to support relationship development and conflict resolution.
In the 1990’s, the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) saw an opportunity to develop a comprehensive program set out to improve human behavior and to increase social capital and discipline throughout the world. Today, IIRP is the leading restorative professional development agency that certifies and licenses individuals and business in restorative practices.
The Educated Edge, LLC, is the only fully licensed restorative agency in Southern New England and is contracted by IIRP to service organizations nationally.
Restorative practices can be utilized in the following fields:
• Criminal Justice
• Community health organizations
• Counseling, Psychology and Social Work
• Faith-based Organizations
• K-12 and Higher Education
• Organizational Leadership
We all function based on our personal, educational and professional experiences. Our experiences mold our behaviors and our behaviors might positively or negatively affect others. Restorative practices helps us explore our own “style” of being, while also understanding the style and behavior of others. In understanding the dynamics of human behavior, we allow space to get to know others better and have a vested interest in fixing mistakes after things have gone wrong.
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I had the pleasure of working with Melissa in her role as consultant at a high school in Providence, RI. Melissa facilitated workshops focused on restorative practices for teachers and other staff. She also spent time in classrooms supporting teachers with implementing these practices. Melissa regularly took the time to meet with staff to discuss strategies that could be used to support the social emotional needs of our students. Throughout our time working together, Melissa displayed tremendous professionalism and a strong commitment to her work. Melissa’s ability to form strong bonds with students and staff contributed to her success in this role. As a classroom teacher, it was evident to me that Melissa’s work greatly helped to shape the culture of the school through her implementation of restorative practices.
New Bedford, MA