On Wednesday of this week new federal school discipline guidelines were released. These guidelines support the work of a Culture of Care in schools. In particular, the guidelines recognize the need to change the culture of schools so that not only are students cared for in terms of their learning but also they are cared for as individuals, and in the case of ethnically diverse students, as culturally located individuals.
In addition, these guidelines recognize the importance of the other two foundational concepts that the Culture of Care is based on. Restorative justice and restorative practices are endorsed as offering alternative discipline responses to wrongdoing and conflict in the classroom. In addition, recognition is given to the importance of building the capacity of students and teachers to respond to problems nonviolently. Also the importance of creating a culturally responsive pedagogy of relationships is recognized in these guidelines.
Congratulations to those schools who have adopted the Culture of Care. It appears that these schools are already in compliance with the new policies. These schools serve as models of best practices to other schools.
Thanks to Research Assistant Karla Garcia for providing this link to a number of resources related to the announcement of these new guidlines.
Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding these guidelines.
With best regards
Dr Tom Cavanagh