The impact of restorative justice circles used during experiential outdoor education on alternative students' feelings of connectedness





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This capstone project explores the use of Restorative Justice Circles on building feelings of connectedness when used in experiential outdoor education. The paper explores current research on Restorative Justice Circles and summarizes how Circles are being used in schools. Eleven students, labeled at-risk by their district, are interviewed in-depth about their previous disconnection with school, peers, and teachers. Students then describe the Circle process that was used during the summer school program and the feelings that they had about Circle and connectedness. The author also interviews students about Restorative Justice Circles and their opinions about whether or not Circle restores justice in any way. The results of the study show that Restorative Justice Circles do impact feelings of connectedness when used properly, but have limits on restoring justice as a whole.

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