Examining How the Nature and Perceived Benefits of School Based Restorative Practices Influence Positive Behaviour in Deviant Pupils: A Case of Selected Secondary Schools of Kabwe District, Zambia.

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue IX, September 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Examining How the Nature and Perceived Benefits of School Based Restorative Practices Influence Positive Behaviour in Deviant Pupils: A Case of Selected Secondary Schools of Kabwe District, Zambia.

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Eunifridah Simuyaba and Ruth Kapembwa
The University of Zambia

The current study examined how the nature and perceived benefits of school based restorative practices influenced the behaviour of deviant pupils in selected secondary schools in Kabwe District, Zambia. A qualitative case study with unstructured interviews and focus group discussions were conducted among thirty-six participants consisting of two school administrators, ten (teachers and twenty-four pupils. The findings revealed that restorative practices used in schools include manual work, detention, dialogue with parents, counseling, and suspension. The study further revealed that the restorative practices were not helping in influencing positive behavior among pupils but rather making them stubborn and repeating offensive behaviors. This was contrary to the general perspective that restorative practices in schools created a positive school culture and climate that helped pupils to reintegrate into the learning environment. The implication of this was for educational administrators to invest in sensitisations of pupils and training of teachers in restorative practices in order for them to understand and appreciate the logic behind adopting these approaches for ease of implementation and achievement of the desired result.

Key words: Nature, Benefits, Restorative Practices; Positive Behaviour; Deviant Pupils

1.1. Introduction

Schools are usually systematic in the manner they manage the behaviour of deviant pupils (Kapembwa and Simuyaba, 2020). They have well-articulated school based policies for discipline that are applied towards pupils that exhibit unruly behaviour. These policies and practices include categories ranging from simple discussions to suspensions or even expulsions. School administrators and staff have historically relied on this process to deter or change obnoxious behaviour among pupils. These systems have, however, been adulterated because of limited knowledge on child rights and poor teacher attitude towards child rights because they argue that promotion of these rights has resulted in high cases of indiscipline among pupils (Lambert et al, 2011 & Kapembwa, 2018; Kapembwa and Simuyaba, 2020). Kapembwa (2018), contends that the benefits of using corporal punishment have many negative consequences. Among these are increased negative attitudes of pupils towards school and members of staff.