October 2018
Newsletter of the Center for Educational Improvement
Compassionate Discipline & Restorative Justice
Dear Educators,
Can you imagine discipline that emphasizes accountability and healing? Is the role of punishment in learning over-rated? What might teachers and principals do if their goal was to help students learn to self-regulate, to develop healthy ways of interacting with others, and to further self-esteem and positive approaches to life? Read on. . .
Looking at Discipline Differently: Bringing Restorative Discipline to the Classroom
By Lindsey Erin Feltis, CEI Intern

Shame. Embarrassment. Isolation. These are words that students, and teachers, often associate with the traditional punitive style of discipline they see in their classrooms. Even though research suggests that punishment is often “ineffective [and] counter-productive,” many teachers, principals and educators still rely on punishment in their classrooms (Amstutz & Mullet, 2014, p. 31). Why? Is it because it is easy? Is it because it can be administered quickly? I would suggest that perhaps it is because educators haven’t been taught, or given the tools they need, to use other approaches to discipline in their classroom. What’s missing? Restorative discipline, an innovative approach to discipline that emphasizes accountability and healing, could provide a way forward to teaching self-regulation and building positive relationships.

Compassionate Discipline in Practice
By Maddy Pribanova, CEI Intern

Incorporating compassionate discipline within schools and homes can be challenging. At times, it’s difficult to know where to start. Senior teacher and trainer, Grace Dearborn, and the Irvington School in Portland, OR have begun adopting the principles of compassionate discipline in their classrooms. Dear-
born and others at Irvington apply them to every day interactions. They have found that in practice compassionate discipline helps them tackle every day issues such as disobedience. However, it also helps them with larger issues such as institutional racism by having courageous conversations (see below).

The Strength of Vulnerability
By Maddy Pribanova, CEI Intern

Vulnerability – the odds are that a discussion of vulnerability is not a part of your school curriculum. The odds are that your teachers are not encouraged to help children to be vulnerable. However, Dr. Brené Brown, a research professor in Social Work at the University of Houston, and author of several books on vulnerability, suggests that learning to live with our own vulnerability can be an important tool to furthering our sense of identity, self-esteem, and resiliency. In Daring Greatly, Brown (2012) states, “A sense of worthiness inspires us to be vulnerable, share openly and persevere.” (p. 64).

Christine Mason & Michele Rivers Murphy. Contact CEI for more information
Peace, Life, & Vulnerability

"There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community." M. Scott Peck.

Be vulnerable. Be peace. Be community.

Christine Mason
Center for Educational Improvement