Preferred Name

Shana M. Little

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Ashton Trice

Deborah Kipps-Vaughan

Debbie Sturm


Restorative practices have been introduced as a school wide intervention to reduce the cultural disparity in school discipline. The purpose of this intervention is to promote healthy student-teacher relationships. The research on restorative practices as an intervention for minority students has shown to be effective, through school discipline data and teacher report. The current study used individual interviews with high school students to explore their perception of restorative practices, specifically proactive circles, and its effectiveness. Results showed cultural differences in student’s understanding or perception of proactive circles. Additionally, participants believed proactive circles helped or improved their communication skills and social relationships in some way. However, students relied on the amount they verbally participated in class as an indicator of improved communication and participants did not indicate if improved social relationships extended outside of the classroom. Finally, participants believed proactive circles to be effective, but had difficulty identifying the underlying purpose.