June 29 – July 1
Long Beach, CA

Equity in the Online Classroom: Helping Faculty Shift the Focus Through Restorative Thinking

All Audiences

Educational communities should promote positive school cultures and a sense of belonging. In the online learning environment, positive communities struggle to meet student social-emotional needs leaving students to potentially feel disconnected from their school, peers, and instructors. These experiences create a component of diversity in the classroom that should be addressed to assist students in achieving their academic goals. Based on the concept of restorative practices, restorative thinking allows instructors to analyze their understanding of students’ educational needs while increasing their ability to establish positive teacher-to-student and student-to-student relationships. Restorative practices are defined as “a social science that studies how to build social capital and achieve social discipline through participatory learning and decision making” (Wachtel, IIRP, 2021). Restorative thinking is a transformative process that allows teachers to analyze their understanding of students’ experienced classroom interactions including educational trauma. Students’ educational trauma can hinder them from fully engaging in their academic experience. One way to assist students in overcoming these negative experiences is for educators to focus on their perceptions of educational trauma. This research is grounded in a literature review on the following topics: Restorative Justice, Restorative Practice Theory, Mindfulness, Social Presence, Social Emotional Learning, Academic Self-Attribution, Academic Self-Perception, and Academic Self-Concept.

The purpose of this presentation is to investigate how faculty perceive restorative thinking practices to assist students who have experienced previous classroom trauma that may hinder students’ online classroom engagement and motivation. The researchers have created a rigorous overview of literature through the lens of restorative practice. Attendees will explore strategies, resources, and research that will assist in increasing student engagement, helping turn mistakes into opportunities. Within the session, attendees will participate in a Padlet discussion to gauge prior knowledge and a Quizizz assessment to gauge what they have learned.

Session Outcomes:

  • Understand the concept of restorative thinking.
  • Explore strategies to increase student engagement.
  • Analyze positive and negative school interactions.
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