The framework for the restorative approach starts with looking at values which are about the sense of responsibility then we look at skills such as, eye contact and questioning. Then we need to look at the process to find out if anyone is harmed, what happened, and how to repair that. It is important to understand that behaviour is a form of communication that needs to be listened to and understood. The main aspect of restorative practice is about the pupil having relationships which can be created by having a positive school ethos. There must be interactions with pupils involving empathy, emotional intelligence and active listening. This helps with having a non-judgemental and blame-free approach which teaches children that they can make mistakes and they can be open about that without being looked down on. Important aspects of restorative approaches include fairness, equity and consistency. This means that everyone is respected and there are no biases to allow everyone to understand that actions have consequences. There also needs to be planning put in place for the future to minimise the chance of bad behaviour happening again.
In 1983 Schon came up with the theory of reflection-on-action and reflection-in-action. Reflection-on-action refers to reflecting on something once you’ve come away from that situation however reflecting in-action refers to being in practice and reflecting there and then. I think these two ways of reflecting are important to recognise and you don’t always have to reflect on the spot even though sometimes this it is helpful to make these decisions and recognise what is happening at the time of a situation. Dewey was one of the first who identified reflection as a specialised form of thinking.
Reflecting practice is all about keeping up to date with changes and continuing to learn and adapt to different scenarios. It is also about having the right attitude to this in many ways. For example, being receptive to constructive criticism, having sound judgment and following rules and regulations. This is important to recognise and keep in mind especially as I am about to be going on placement and will require a lot of constructive criticism to improve. I also like knowing the fact that in the teaching career professionals are always learning and no matter how much experience or how high up in the career people go there will always be things to learn and all colleagues get to share this experience. This gives us all a common ground and opens discussions about current affairs which everyone can contribute to, which will benefit what goes on in the classroom.
The self-evaluation process is also important as it gives people the opportunity to ask themselves what worked and what didn’t and why. This gives time to take a step back and really look at certain teaching methods that will be useful again and things that won’t be done again. This is time to gather thoughts and make sense of the day or week which is being evaluated. It’s about thinking of the next steps and acknowledging the fact that it’s about the practice and not the children’s performance. I think that is really important because the children can’t control their learning and if they need extra time or support it is the teacher that has to think about what they can do about that rather than what the children need to do.