Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

David R. Karp, PhD, Chair Antonio Jiménez-Luque, PhD, Member Justine Andreu Darling, PhD, Member


restorative justice, restorative practices, primary education, secondary education, teacher identity development, praxis


Restorative justice is inclusive of a philosophy and set of practices that have challenged long-standing paradigms that perpetuate harm in schools. Through this lens, schools are recognized as interconnected communities where the well-being and dignity of all members must be valued. While the restorative movement has demonstrated great promise in cultivating the aims of justice, educators have encountered significant hurdles in their efforts toward transformation. A substantial challenge educators face is to identify effective means through which to disrupt persistent pedagogies of violence in primary and secondary education. This dissertation proposed a pedagogy of transcendence, a framework inclusive of restorative and intercultural teaching practices, to invite educators into a process of transformation through examining the paradigms that informed their professional identity development. Moreover, the research questions sought to illuminate the reflections-of-self that emerged for educators as they completed a 3-day training in the pedagogy of transcendence and then implemented the teaching practices in the 1st months of the fall semester. Through a qualitative design, 12 participants engaged in a collective process of storytelling and exchanged 291 stories. I employed critical narrative analysis, as well as theory derived from the affective turn, to emphasize the dynamics of power, body, history, and politics as key theoretical filters through which to understand the complexities of educators’ experiences implementing restorative practices within fixed and often harmful paradigms. In conclusion, I presented four interpretations to frame further inquiry into educators’ experiences in the implementation of restorative practices. First, I recognized restorative practices as encounters of praxis, supporting the cultivation of critical consciousness. Further, I proposed implementation as occurring in structures of feeling, shaped by emotion interrelated with power. Then I offer assemblages, framing restorative practices are settings where emotions meet with discourses and materials to produce an event or encounter, whereby violence or peaceful outcomes are constructed. Lastly, I presented becoming restorative as a moment-to-moment emergence. The results of this study supported the implementation of restorative practices by highlighting the importance of recognizing the complexities of identity, emotion, and power in reaching the ultimate outcomes of justice in schools.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies