Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2019 Issue »

    The Emerging Promise of Restorative Practices to Reduce Discipline Disparities Affecting Youth with Disabilities and Youth of Color

    Addressing Access and Equity

    COLBY T. KERVICK, MIKA MOORE, TRACY ARÁMBULA BALLYSINGH, BERNICE RAVECHE GARNETT, AND LANCE C. SMITH

    In this article, Kervick and colleagues posit that restorative practices (RP) implementation promises to mitigate educational inequities resulting from discipline disparities for youth with disabilities and youth of color. Recent efforts to reduce these disparities have emphasized more relational approaches to behavioral change. Kervick et al. argue that nonpunitive restorative approaches promise to mitigate discipline disparities for racialized youth and youth with disabilities within a schoolwide multitiered systems of support framework only if implemented with an emphasis on educational access and equity. They offer practical tools and strategies to support teachers with implementation of inclusive, accessible, and equitable Tier 1 restorative circles.

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    Colby T. Kervick (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3292-2301) is an assistant professor of special education in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont. Kervick's scholarship focuses on implementation of restorative practices in K--12 schools, effective practices for collaborating with families of children with disabilities, and dual certification teacher preparation. Kervick teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in foundations of special education, inclusive teaching practices, and collaboration. Kervick's work appears in the Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals, International Journal of Student Voice, International Journal of Research & Method in Education, Improving Schools, and Journal of Disability Policy Studies. Kervick is coauthor (with Katharine G. Shepherd and Djenne-amal N. Morris) of The Art of Collaboration: Lessons from Families of Children with Disabilities (Sense, 2017).

    Mika Moore is a PhD candidate in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Vermont, with a focus on special education. She has worked in rural and urban settings as both a general education and special education teacher. As a graduate teaching assistant, she supervises preservice teachers and instructs courses in the secondary and special education programs. Her research areas of interest include restorative practices, conflict resolution, and family-professional partnership. Moore's work appears in the International Journal of Student Voice, Improving Schools, and International Journal of Research & Method in Education.

    Tracy Arámbula Ballysingh (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0629-2043), a former elementary educator, university academic adviser, college administrator, and legislative staffer, currently is an assistant professor of higher education at the University of Vermont. Her work explores the systems, structures, policies, and cultural contexts that preclude or promote achievement for first-generation students, low-income students, and/or students of color. She teaches courses in educational policy, social justice and inclusion, assessment, higher education law, and higher education organization and administration. Ballysingh's work appears in the College Student Affairs Journal, International Journal of Research & Method in Education, Improving Schools, Professional School Counseling, Journal of School Leadership, Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, and Association of Mexican American Educators Journal.

    Bernice Raveche Garnett (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7946-841X) is a Green and Gold associate professor in the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on bullying/discrimination, public health, and mixed methods. She is a public health prevention scientist interested in childhood obesity, bullying, discrimination and harassment, youth health disparities, food access and food security, community-based participatory research, school climate, and restorative justice. School-based health promotion and interdisciplinary research spanning education and public health are central tenets to Garnett's work and professional orientation. Garnett's scholarship appears in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Journal of School Health, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Health Promotion Practice, Improving Schools, and International Journal of Research & Method in Education.

    Lance C. Smith is an associate professor of counseling and the coordinator of the graduate program in counseling at the University of Vermont. His research and scholarship focus on restorative practices, critical consciousness, and implicit bias. His work has been published in the Journal of Counseling and Development, Journal of Counseling Psychology, The Counseling Psychologists, and Professional School Counseling.

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