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Re-engaging Disconnected Youth

Transformative Learning through Restorative and Social Justice Education – Revised Edition


Amy Vatne Bintliff

As many young adults continue to disengage with learning each day, teachers and administrators struggle to find ways to re-engage secondary students with their schooling and communities. Re-engaging Disconnected Youth profiles a program that succeeds in doing so, one that can serve as a model for others. In a Midwestern alternative school, three teachers built a curriculum around hands-on learning, restorative justice Talking Circles, and multicultural education, in the hopes that it would re-engage and inspire youth. Drawing on Adult Transformative Learning Theory, the book is an in-depth, qualitative study of the ways the program transformed adult and youth perceptions of trust, connections, schooling and human rights. It breaks down stereotypes about youth labeled «at-risk» and provides evidence that it is never too late to become passionate about learning. This new revised edition includes updated research and a chapter exploring the impact of the program on middle school youth.
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Chapter 3. Restoring Community: The Impact of Restorative Justice Circles on Student Feelings of Connectedness


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The Impact of Restorative Justice Circles on Student Feelings of Connectedness

There is much evidence that adolescents and youth who are disconnected from mainstream institutions and opportunities are likely to suffer significant, often long-term, negative effects as they enter adulthood. Many of these youth may reconnect to education and/or identify ways they can be productive and creative if given the opportunity to do so through alternative education strategies and settings. (Zwieg, 2003, p. 10)

School Connectedness

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