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Title: EDCI 200 Restorative Practices and Youth Participatory Action

No research without action, no action without research -- Kurt Lewin

Washing ones hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the
powerful, not to be neutral Paulo Freire

Youth should be radical. Youth should demand change.-- William Allen White

Professors: Tracy Ballysingh, Colby Kervick, Lance Smith


Office Hours: by appointment

Class Meeting Time: The course entails a variable meeting pattern over a period of four weeks
from May 22nd through June 14th

Week of May 22nd: 5/22, 5/23, 5/24, 5/25--All students will meet from 9:00 to 12:45

Week of May 29th: 5/30--All students will meet from 9-12:45,

5/31, 6/1, 6/2--Students will be delegated to provide coverage at
variable times between 9:00 and 2:00

Week of June 5th: 6/5, 6/6, 6/7--Students will be delegated to provide coverage at
variable times between 9:00 and 2:00
6/8--All students will meet from 9:00 to 12:45
6/9--Students will be delegated to provide coverage at variable
times between 9:00 and 2:00

Week of June 12th: 6/12-6/13--Students will be delegated to provide coverage at

variable times between 9:00 and 2:00
6/14--All students will participate in course finale from 8:00-3:00

Multiple Classroom Sites: Terrill 207 5/22-5/30, TBD 5/31-6/13, Burlington High School 6/14

This course will rest upon two pillars of learning. Pillar No 1. will introduce UVM graduate
students to a theoretical knowledge of both Restorative Practices (RP) within school settings and
Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) methodology. Pillar No. 2. will then allow
students the opportunity to apply these models through direct engagement with local youth from
Burlington High School. It is our hope that upon completion of this course, these two pillars will
undergird a transformative experience for all involved: one in which local youth will be
empowered to take up the tools of RP and YPAR to be agents of positive, even liberatory
change within their school; and that UVM graduate students will advance their critical
consciousness along with gaining the skills to advance critical research and pedagogy in their
future professional lives.


This is a hybrid course. This means that some of the course content will be delivered in a
traditional face-to-face format and some will be delivered through online, independent and
applied learning activities. Additionally, this course includes service learning and community
engaged research components. Participants will be learning about restorative practices and youth
participatory action research, and then will be applying that learning in facilitating a 10 day class
designed for local high school students called Change Your School. Course dates that span the
timeframe during which the high school students are on campus are 5/31-6/14. Graduate
students will be delegated selected days within that time frame where they will be co-leading
activities with the high school students. On alternate days, graduate students will be engaged in
their own inquiry related to course objectives. All students are expected to use Blackboard as the
course management site.


There is no required textbook for this course. Readings for this course will be made available
within the course Blackboard site.


Students will demonstrate knowledge of theory of Restorative Practices and be able to

distinguish between restorative practices and retributive models of school wide
disciplinary approaches.
Students will understand basic components of a restorative practices school wide
approach and will identify critical issues and needs related to implementation in school
Students will learn the process of facilitating talking circles and will gain experience in
implementing community building circles with youth.
Students will gain knowledge in the structures and processes of youth participatory action
Students will conduct independent inquiry to deepen knowledge of self-selected topics
related to restorative practices or youth participatory action research.
Students will design and implement team building activities to engage high school youth
in community building.
Students will facilitate personalized learning and youth-directed action research through
implementation of learning activities in summer YES program course with local high
school students.


1. Participation: Participation is central to ensuring that course learning objectives are met.
It is critical that students be present for the first five days of the course where training in
restorative practices and youth participatory action research will occur. During the
remaining course dates students will be required to attend on selected days to assist in
facilitation of the high school students YES program class. On alternate days graduate
students will have some leeway in working on course related inquiry assignments. 20
2. Electronic Discussion Posts: Throughout the course, students will be asked to engage in
reflective and analytical Blackboard discussion posts. You will be asked to initiate
substantive posts that display critical reflection upon our learning, and to reply to the
posts of your classmates. You also be may also be asked to respond to specific prompts
designed to connect theory to practice. 30 points
3. In-vivo, Experiential Engagement: Throughout our work with local BHS students, the
faculty will supervise you in constructing and facilitating empowering moments, events
and activities that relate to RP and YPAR. Through a transparent process, your skills at
conceptualizing, planning, implementing and evaluating the youth encounter experiences
will be measured by faculty. 50 points


Individual product and final grades will be determined according to the following system:

A = 93 - 100 B= 83 - 86 C= 73- 76

A- = 90 - 92 B- = 80 - 82 C- = 70 - 72

B+ = 87 - 89 C+= 77-79 F = <73

Grades of A+ will be given at instructor discretion when work is completed on time and is of
exceptional quality (including no grammar or spelling errors). A grade of A+ also requires no
absences from class.

Given the community activism component of this course, the bar for attendance is set high. Local youth are relying
on us to join them in anti-oppressions efforts that will lead to substantive change. Therefore graduate students are
expected to attend all classes. Excused absences will only be granted in cases of illness and emergency. Each
unexcused absence will result in the loss of a letter grade.

Each student is expected to know the UVM policies regarding Student Rights and Responsibilities. Information on
all University policies may be found at

Academic Honesty: The principal objective of the Policy of Academic Honesty is to promote an intellectual climate
and support the academic integrity of the University of Vermont. Academic dishonesty or an offense against
academic honesty includes acts that may subvert or compromise the integrity of the educational process. Such acts
are serious offenses that insult the integrity of the entire academic community.

Course Code of Conduct: Faculty and students will at all times conduct themselves in a manner that serves to
maintain, promote, and enhance the high quality academic environment befitting the University of Vermont. To this
end, it is expected that all members of the learning community will adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Faculty and students will attend all regularly scheduled classes, except for those occasions warranting an excused
absence under the University Attendance Policy (e.g., religious, athletic and medical).

2. Students and faculty will arrive prepared for class and on time, and they will remain in class until the class is

3. Faculty and students will treat all members of the learning community with respect, if not loving-kindness.
Toward this end, they will promote academic discourse and the free exchange of ideas by listening with civil
attention to comments made by all individuals.

4. Faculty and students will promote critical pedagogy and transformational learning by taking emotional risks and
leaning into difficult dialogues regarding power, privilege and oppression when they arise. Faculty and students will
move towards discomfort during this course, rather than away.

4. Students and faculty will maintain an appropriate academic climate by refraining from all actions that disrupt the
learning environment.

Religious Holidays: Each semester students should submit in writing to their instructors by the end of the second
full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the semester. Faculty must permit students who
miss work for the purpose of religious observance to make up this work.

Accommodations: In keeping with University Policy, any student with a documented disability interested in
utilizing accommodations should contact ACCESS: ACCESS works with students to
develop reasonable accommodations that are communicated to professors at the beginning of the semester through
letter notification.

*As the instructors we reserve the right to make any changes to this syllabus.

Date/Time Topic Attending

May 22 9-12:45 Youth Participatory Action All students


May 23 9-12:45 Youth Participatory Action All Students


May 24 9-12:45 Restorative Practices All Students

May 25 9-12:45 Restorative Practices All Students

May 30 9-12:45 Planning day for YES All Students

May 31 9-2 YES Program begins All Students

June 1 9-2 YES Program TBD

June 2 9-2 YES Program TBD

June 5 9-2 YES Program TBD

June 6 9-2 YES Program TBD

June 7 9-3 YES Program TBD

June 8 9-12:45 Planning day for YES All Students

June 9 9-2 YES Program TBD

June 12 9-2 YES Program TBD

June 13 9-2 YES Program TBD

June 14 8-1 at BHS (1-3 YES Program All Students

off site)
Total hours: A minimum of 32 hours required of all students (regular class time and
delegated times first/last day of YES) An additional 10-15 hours YES program
facilitation is required.