RP 500: Basic Restorative Practices Syllabus

Please Note:
Elements of this syllabus are subject to change prior to the start of class, but the scope and breadth of the course will remain. All IIRP syllabi are finalized 4 weeks prior to the start of each course.

Course Description

This course explores the fundamental principles, philosophy, theories, practices, models, and skills of restorative practices. Special emphasis will be placed on proactive and responsive circles, restorative conferencing, and the informal application of these processes. Issues critical to the development of restorative practices, such as models of human interaction, theories of behavior, and current research will be considered. Students will assess the role of human emotion, especially shame, in social relationships.

Note: Students may choose either RP 500 or RP 504, but may not take both, to fulfill the program requirements.

Credit Hours: 3

This is a 3-credit course; instruction time is measured by Carnegie units. Students can expect to spend
a total of 42 hours in direct instruction activities (45 hours if a final examination is given), which can include in-class seat time and/or online interaction with faculty and classmates in Moodle, plus approximately 90 hours in indirect instruction outside of class (course readings, research, projects, writing, reflection and analysis, etc.).

Course Delivery Modality: Online, 4 Weeks

This course is a blended course, with the online portion delivered online via Moodle Learning Management System over 4 weeks (for 23 hours of coursework). This course follows an asynchronous format, although there are voluntary Virtual Check-ins to meet as a group through Zoom video conferencing to discuss student projects.


Before taking this course, students will need to have attended IIRP professional development experiences within 5 years of starting this course: Introduction to Restorative Practices and Using Circle Effectively (in-person) or Restorative Practices for Educators (online) and either Facilitating Restorative Conferences (in-person) or Restorative Justice Conferencing (online) or Reimagining Campus Community with Restorative Practices (in person or online).

Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Explore how to improve human behavior and strengthen civil society
    in their spheres of influence.

  2. Distinguish the varying principles and applications of restorative practices.

  3. Summarize the main themes and the impact on thinking and practice.

Course Calendar

The course calendar showing assignment deadlines can be found in Moodle courses by clicking “Calendar” on the left side navigation bar from the course overview screen. This calendar can be exported to calendar apps. There is also a thumbnail calendar provided in Moodle on the right-side information bar for quick reference.

The course schedule is subject to change. Students will be notified of any changes to the schedule
in a timely manner.

Required Readings

It is the student’s responsibility to obtain textbooks. The following were provided in our prerequisite professional development events and are also available from the IIRP Bookstore.

* Available in both print and e-book editions.

Costello, B., Wachtel, B., & Wachtel, T. (2019). The restorative practices handbook for teachers, disciplinarians and administrators (2nd ed). International Institute for Restorative Practices.

Costello, B., Wachtel, J., & Wachtel, T. (2019). Restorative circles in schools: A practical guide for educators (2nd ed.). International Institute for Restorative Practices.

* Wachtel, T., O’Connell, T., & Wachtel, B. (2010). Restorative justice conferencing: Real justice & the conferencing handbook. The Piper’s Press.

Textbook – Separate purchase; it is your responsibility to obtain this textbook. Available from online retail booksellers.

* Pranis, K. (2005). The little book of circle processes: A new/old approach to peacemaking. Good Books.


These required readings are provided in Moodle:

George, G. (2016). Teaching with mind and heart: Affect in the restorative school. http://www.rpforschools.net/MindandHeart_2016online.pdf

Gregory, A., Clawson, K., Davis, A., & Gerewitz, J. (2016). The promise of restorative practices to transform teacher-student relationships and achieve equity in school discipline. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 26(4), 325-353. https://doi.org/10.1080/10474412.2014.929950

Kim, W. C., & Mauborgne, R. (2003, January). Fair process: Managing in the knowledge economy. Harvard Business Review, 81(1), 127-136.

Vaandering, D. (2015). A window on relationships: Reflecting critically on a current restorative justice theory. Restorative Justice, 1(3), 311-333. http://dx.doi.org/10.5235/20504721.1.3.311

Wachtel, T. (2016). Defining restorative. International Institute for Restorative Practices. https://www.iirp.edu/images/2022/WachtelDefiningRestorative2016.pdf 

Wood, W. R., & Suzuki, M. (2020). Are conflicts property? Re-examining the ownership of conflict in restorative justice. Social & Legal Studies, 29(6), 903-924. https://doi.org/10.1177/0964663920911166

Suggested Readings

Students should contact the Librarian at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if they need help locating these items.

* Zehr, H. (2015). Changing lenses: Restorative justice for our times. Herald Press.

These suggested readings are provided in Moodle:

* Braithwaite, J. (2002). Restorative justice and responsive regulation. Oxford University Press. http://johnbraithwaite.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Restorative-Justice-and-Respon.pdf

Christie, N. (1977). Conflicts as property. British Journal of Criminology, 17(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bjc.a046783

Morrison, B. (2003). Regulating safe school communities: Being responsive and restorative. Journal of Educational Administration, 41(6), 689-704. https://doi.org/10.1108/09578230310504661

Nathanson, D. (1977). From empathy to community. The Annual of Psychoanalysis, 25, 125-143.

Minimum Technology Requirements

Students need the following equipment and software:

  • A computer or other device with video and audio capabilities
  • A headset or speakers, webcam, and microphone
  • The most recent versions of Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader
  • The ability to connect to Zoom and Moodle Learning Management System

Course Expectations

  • Students must log in and participate each week in online activities.
  • Assignments must be completed by the due date according to the standards specified
    by the course instructor(s).
  • Assignments must satisfy the standards specified by the course instructor(s).
  • The course instructor(s) will decide on whether to allow any exceptions or extensions.


The final course grade will be determined as follows:

Evaluation Activity


Percent of Final Course Grade

Reflection Forum



Discussion Forums (4)



Reflection Paper







Grades will be reported as follows:



Grade Point Value





Exceeding Expectations












Meeting Expectations












Minimally acceptable on a limited basis




Failure to meet minimum standards



No effect

Meeting Expectations



No effect




No effect




No effect



Late Work

It is the expectation that students will complete and submit assignments on time.

  • Restorative Practices Reflection grade will be reduced by one point per day late.
  • Reading Forum grades will be reduced by one point per day late.
  • Reflection Paper grade will be reduced by three points per day late.


Dropping a Course

Students must submit a course withdrawal form by the deadline in order to drop a course.
Time frames and financial implications of dropping a course are detailed in the Academic Catalog.


Students who are concerned they might not finish their coursework before the end of the term
should discuss with their course faculty if it is appropriate to arrange for an Incomplete. In certain circumstances, students may have an extension to finish their coursework and receive a passing grade
if their assignments are satisfactorily completed according to the adjusted schedule.

Course Communication (Netiquette)

In an online learning environment, there are norms and expectations for appropriate communication
to ensure that messages sent in email, discussion forum interactions, and other online mediums of communication via the internet, are used to promote respect and collegial interactions. The norm is
to communicate showing the respect you would in a face-to-face conversation or in constructing a professional email with your professor, colleague, or student.

IIRP Graduate School Policies

Students are expected to read and abide by all policies of the IIRP Graduate School. Please reference
the Academic Catalog and Student Handbook for further information.

Academic Integrity

The IIRP expects its students to perform their academic work honestly and fairly. In addition, a student should neither hinder nor unfairly assist the efforts of other students to complete their work successfully. Please reference the Academic Catalog for further information about Academic Integrity.

Code of Conduct

The IIRP recognizes the basic rights and responsibilities of the members of the Institute and accepts its obligation to preserve and protect those rights and responsibilities. Further, the Institute must provide for its members the opportunities and protections that best serve the nature of the educational process. Please reference the Student Handbook for further information about Code of Conduct.

Technical Support

For technical support with Moodle, please visit our Moodle FAQ page. Your course faculty is also available to answer questions that may arise regarding Moodle and other technologies used in this course. For lost passwords or difficulty with your Student Portal, please contact Student Services at 610-807-9221 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Student Support Services

The IIRP is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. The office of Student Services has resources to assist you in many areas, including advising, registration, tuition payment, and academic support. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning in this course, please discuss your concerns with your course faculty or Student Services (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Learner Support

The IIRP has contracted with Tutor.com for writing support and quantitative statistics tutoring. In the Moodle page of each course, students can follow a link to Tutor.com where they can choose to:

  1. Chat online with a live tutor (available 24/7).
  2. Schedule a virtual meeting to discuss questions.
  3. Upload a paper for review and feedback.

The IIRP Library lists additional details about services provided by Tutor.com.

Each student is allotted a total of three (3) hours of free support per academic year. A student who needs additional time should email Student Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Note: Tutor.com is a third-party service provided as a convenience for students; it is not affiliated with
the IIRP. Tutors can assist with writing style, grammar, and mechanics; they cannot assess subject content.

Our faculty is involved and interested in the development of each student and will do their best to help students who are having difficulty if they can. Students should reach out to their advisor for guidance.

The IIRP Graduate School Library also has resources available to assist students in a variety of skills.

Students with Disabilities

The International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) adheres to the principles and mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The IIRP will review requests for accommodations for a student whose condition meets the legal definition of a disability under the ADA and who is considered otherwise qualified for IIRP admission. In addition, when required by law, the IIRP will facilitate access to individuals with disabilities to ensure the delivery of and access to its educational programming. Special classroom set-ups, alternate testing, and other accommodations for students with documented disabilities are available on a case-by-case basis.

The IIRP is not required by law to change the “fundamental nature or essential curricular components of its programs in order to accommodate the needs of disabled students.” It is the responsibility of students with disabilities that impact the student’s ability to access the IIRP’s educational programs to request accommodations through the office of the Associate Dean of Administration via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) well in advance of need in order to give the IIRP a reasonable amount of time to evaluate the request and, if determined to be an appropriate accommodation, to implement the requested accommodation.

Health and Well-Being

The IIRP faculty and staff care about you and strongly encourage anyone who may need assistance with any issue, including mental or physical health; drug, alcohol, or other addiction; domestic, sexual, or other violence; life events; or general stress, to seek appropriate support.

Taking courses at the IIRP is powerful and inspiring – but it can also be stressful, due to either competing demands on students’ time or content presented in courses exploring issues of trauma or violence.

If this course is a significant source of stress for you, please contact your course faculty.

For all other areas of concern, the IIRP advises you to seek appropriate care providers and resources in your community or online. For more information, please refer to the Student Handbook.