In its October 17 show, the radio show and podcast “This American Life” aired “Is This Working?” which focused on the challenges presented by school discipline. The episode looks at a variety of challenges, suggesting that no one has a clear sense of what works well to keep young people safe, secure, and engaged. For those interested in the issue, it’s well worth a listen. “Is This Working?” addresses issues of disproportional discipline, suspensions for perceived misbehavior among preschoolers, the environment of a “zero-tolerance” school, and the quite contrasting environment of a school that takes a restorative disciplinary approach.
Along with the episode, you may want to spend a few minutes with a school that Engaging Schools worked with, as covered in Teaching Tolerance‘s Summer 2014 issue. “Restoring Justice” looks at the integrated, systemic approach that staff members at Bronx Design and Construction Academy took, and the results among their students several years after the school’s launch.