The International Journal of Restorative Justice


Balancing scripted and unscripted dialogue: the significance of intuition and presence in restorative justice pedagogy

Keywords intuitive pedagogy, inclusion, mindfulness, restorative justice in education
Authors Crystena Parker-Shandal
Author's information

Crystena Parker-Shandal
Crystena Parker-Shandal, Associate Professor, Social Development Studies, Renison University College, University of Waterloo, Canada. Corresponding author: Crystena Parker-Shandal at
  • Abstract

      In restorative justice approaches to education, educators and community-based workers – such as teachers, administrators, social workers, and child and youth workers – often follow detailed scripts when conflict erupts. When used without conscious connection and reflection in post-incident reactive responses, such scripts can circumvent the actual issue and perpetuate harm. Centring humanity and relational connection in any restorative process requires intuitive and critical thinking if educators are to select questions with intention – they need to know when and how to modify approaches to facilitate equity and inclusion. Scripts are necessary for educators who need guidance and support when responding to conflict with a restorative process. Nevertheless, script use must be balanced with an intuitive, reflexive praxis that calls them to pause in the present moment and respond with intention. This article describes how three teachers used various scripted and unscripted approaches to resolve conflict and promote peace.

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