Nuevas Enseñanzas: A Case Study of Implementing Restorative Practices in a School with Predominantly Spanish-Speaking English Learners
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of restorative practice on Spanish-speaking English learners (ELs) in a middle school in Southern California. Spanish-speaking ELs have social and emotional needs that may be addressed through restorative practice circles. The study consisted of an examination of how various leadership approaches influence the implementation of restorative practices. The population consisted of school leaders who were selected through purposive sampling. A qualitative case study design was used and data were collected using semistructured interviews, analysis of restorative practice documents, and school walkthroughs for evidence of restorative practice. The data were analyzed and codes and categories were generated, which led to the emergence of four themes: (a) restorative practice education is important for both parents and school staff;(b) the school community is provided with a platform for expression;(c) restorative practice can be helpful in addressing challenges and increasing positive outcomes, and (d) restorative practice implementation is based on school philosophy and committee work for sustainability. An analysis of the themes resulted in three recommendations for action: (a) aligning school philosophy with the philosophy of restorative practice,(b) educating parents on restorative practices,(c) and implementing a distributed leadership practice for restorative practice implementation. The findings from this study can be used to prepare educational leaders to implement restorative practices in schools with a Spanish-speaking EL population.