Restorative practices as an alternative to punitive practices in influencing positive behavior in deviant pupils: a case study of selected schools in Kabwe district, Zambia.
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The aim of this study was to evaluate restorative practices and their influence on the behavior of deviant pupils: Whether or not there is a link between behavior and this selected mode of discipline. This was a case study of government secondary schools in Kabwe District. The objectives of the study were to: Identify the various restorative practices used in schools; analyze the perceptions of teachers and pupils on the perceived benefits of restorative practices; identify the challenges teachers encounter in administering restorative practices in the two selected secondary schools; solicit proposals on how the challenges faced by teachers can be mitigated to ensure positive behavior in pupils. A qualitative approach was used for this study. Both secondary and primary data were collected. Secondary data was collected from the documents that were reviewed and primary data was collected through interviews and focus group discussions that were conducted. The total sample of research participants which comprised of 2 school administrators, 10 teachers and 24 pupils. Purposive sampling procedure was used to sample the school administrators and typical and homogenous sampling was used to sample the teachers and pupils. Data was presented in free text, tables, and charts and the data was analyzed based on emerging themes. The study revealed that the main restorative practices used in schools include manual work, detention, dialogue with parents, counselling, and suspension. However, manual work and suspension were still viewed as punitive in nature even if they are being practiced. The study further revealed that the restorative practices are not helping to influence positive behaviour in pupils but rather making pupils to repeat offensive behaviors. School administrators and teachers face challenges in the implementation of restorative practices which are; lack of buy- in of the restorative practices by school authorities and teachers and the non- appreciation of restorative practices by teachers and pupils. The researcher therefore recommends that government should engage school authorities and teachers who are in the grassroots in the policy formulation processes, sensitize pupils on restorative practices and train teachers in restorative practices.
The University of Zambia