At UMBC, Student Conduct and Community Standards, and Residential Life, host Restorative Practices workshops, which provide faculty, staff and student leaders with various restorative skills. Once trained, a community member might use restorative methods to build community, or work through conflict or harm using affective statements and questions, circles or by hosting restorative discussions. We are committed to modeling and providing opportunities for students to engage in restorative practices that foster an excellent learning environment, respect for diversity, inclusion rather than exclusion, and a healthy method of resolving conflict.
Restorative Practices is an “umbrella” term for restorative models which view building relationships, repairing harm, and rebuilding trust when harm occurs as an important way to create a peaceful and productive society. The International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) describes the academic discipline of Restorative Practices, as a social science that focuses on building social capital and achieving social discipline through active, participatory learning, community building and decision-making.
More information and current research about restorative practices can be found on the IIRP website. We recommend starting here: Defining-Restorative
All restorative practices rely on specific methods to encourage dialogue especially when harm has occurred, regardless of the restorative model used. The questions below help stakeholders determine impact, repair harm, and hopefully re-establish relationships.
- What happened?
- What were you thinking at the time of the incident?
- What have you thought about since?
- Who has been affected by what happened and how?
- What about this has been the hardest for you?
- What do you think needs to be done to make things as right as possible?
Restorative Practices Workshops (To register for a workshop click here.)
In order to be a Restorative Practices Facilitator at UMBC, volunteers must attend a 2 day workshop that is offered, at a minimum, twice a year – once in the fall, and once in the spring. The training includes an orientation to the restorative philosophy at UMBC, facilitation skills and applications for community building and conflict resolution. We also discuss the goals of RP at UMBC. Follow up workshops are provided throughout the semester with a focus on shared learning and application of RP skills. Throughout UMBC uses a co-facilitation model. Facilitators in training “shadow” more experienced facilitators by participating in the logistics of the training, and participating in conferences or circles as community members.
- Community Circles: Participants will actively engage in a community circles and delve into social-emotional community building procedures.
- Restorative facilitation techniques: Experience a session integrating restorative techniques into your facilitation skills and practices. Expand your own practice and share with others.
- Standards Setting Roleplay: Observe and participate in roleplays to create community standards. These have been used in many contexts including organization vision, mission and goal building, classroom management and conflict resolution.
- Connecting with your community members: Learn a few lessons you can implement in your classroom to help create a positive classroom environment.
Day One: Developing a Restorative Worldview
This workshop will challenge you to think differently about how you build relationships, build community with groups and how we respond to conflict and incidents of harm. We will wrestle with the notions of discipline, conflict and justice through lecture, discussion, activities and role play-looking closely at what our current systems are accomplishing and if the real needs of victims, offenders and communities are being met. Ultimately, we will emerge from day one of the workshop with ideas of how we can use restorative practices as a way of thinking about how we exist in community with others.
Day Two: Using Restorative Tools
This workshop focuses on practical skills to setup and host a circle, how to use different types of circles and concrete tools and techniques to support engagement from participants in the circle process. The workshop uses adult education and experiential learning techniques, as well as activities and discussion.
Circles can be used for:
- Establishing agreements on how community members will interact and engage with each other;
- Creating a sense of shared responsibility for maintaining agreements inside and outside of the classroom;
- Offering a way to address issues and have an open and honest discussion of these issues;
- Providing a way to address and deal with conflict.
To register for a workshop click here.