Victims, Stories and Restorative Practice

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    Restorative justice works from the premise that those who have been traumatised by harm will want to participate in the process of conflict resolution by telling their story. Participation is understood to be an empowering experience for victims who would otherwise be marginalised as passive observers. Shifting restorative justice to a school setting has given pupils the opportunity to tell their story in the form of structured inquiry. However, school based practitioners must be mindful of re-victimisation, the value of inquiry with all sides and using restorative practice as a disciplinary tool in order to uphold existing social norms. While narrative, as a way of research, has been made popular due to its potential to give insights into marginalised groups, this paper suggests that the failures of restorative practice might be due to the limited way that narrating one’s experience is taken. Firstly, in the sense of achieving discipline and secondly, as a therapeutic endeavour. Instead, this paper puts forward a reading of Stanley Cavell’s autobiography that allows us to turn away from solely pursuing questions of truth, showing us a way of focussing on the self while transcending the self (Saito, 2009). This is a task that necessitates a reconsideration of what it means to tell the story, meaning the destabilisation of sense and self that occurs, when we find our voice, amounts to more than finding out what happened but as “finding as founding” (Cavell, 1989). The implications for pupils’ self-identity, as well as classroom practice, are considered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusUnpublished - 7 Oct 2017
    EventPESGB New Researchers in Philosophy of Education: From the margins - Queens University, Belfast, United Kingdom
    Duration: 6 Oct 20178 Apr 2018

    Academic conference

    Academic conferencePESGB New Researchers in Philosophy of Education
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • philosophy of education
    • restorative practice
    • schools
    • marginalisation
    • voice
    • transformation


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