Restorative Practices in the Reduction of Disciplinary Alternative Education Program Placement and Recidivism
Johnson-Pearson, Chandra Valencia
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Johnson-Pearson, Chandra V., Restorative practices in the reduction of disciplinary alternative education program placement and recidivism. Doctor of Philosophy (Counselor Education), August, 2020, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas. The ASCA National Model charged professional school counselors with supporting the social-emotional/personal-social growth, development, and success of all students. The public school need for DAEP placement was driven by problematic behavior displayed by students, which spoke to the inadequate social-emotional/personal-social development of those students with behavioral challenges. As such, DAEP placement recidivism spoke to the inadequate social-emotional/personal-social development of students with behavioral challenges. Thus, concern for effective interventions to reduce DAEP placement and recidivism fell well within the realm of professional school counseling and the role of the professional school counselor. Therefore, the purpose of this case study was to describe how DAEP staff members, interacted with students placed in DAEP settings in ways that resulted in the students not returning to DAEPs for additional placements. The purpose was achieved by examining the data gathered from demographic questionnaires and virtual interviews with DAEP staff at a DAEP facility in an urban school district in southeast Texas. Alarmingly few studies of DAEP best practices had been conducted. Among the few studies that focused exclusively on DAEPs, only four in the last 20 years were statewide in focus with three being Texas-specific. The paucity of research focusing specifically on restorative practices related to DAEP re-enrollment is even more shocking. One central research question was relevant to this case study. What are the lived experiences of educational professionals working in Disciplinary Alternative Education Program settings who are implementing restorative justice practices for students placed in a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program? The emergent themes participants reported as consistently occurring aligned with Compliance Theory, the theoretical framework of this study, and could be identified as remunerative and normative organizational power types which resulted in the students reacting with commitment and calculative behaviors, positive types of behaviors conducive to a healthy school culture and climate. The emergent themes participants reported as primarily occurring at the home campus aligned with Compliance Theory coercive power tactics resulting in student alienative reactions leading to reduced organization effectiveness and dysfunction. The emergent themes not only aligned with theoretical underpinnings, but also previous research DAEP best practices and practices to avoid.
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