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Traditionally, educator preparation programs only provide classes related to content, practical pedagogy, and classroom management. If we hope to see any level of justice in the education system, preparation programs must include courses that take an honest and deep dive into the ways in which racism shows up in schools and communities. Aspiring educators are craving and demanding the tools and resources to be the best educators they can be for our students in this country. They know the importance of advocating for and enacting anti-racism in their pedagogical practices, in school policy and culture, and in their community. The authors of this book will offer first-hand testimony of how deep racism permeates public education, an institution that, since its founding, was never meant for Black and brown students, as well as solutions to create truly just and equitable school communities.
The ultimate mission of Practicing Restorative Justice is to show readers the effectiveness of restorative justice practices in addressing a number of issues that impact Black and brown students. It takes a deep dive into the School-to-Prison Pipeline, in which failed education policies push students of color out of schools and into the penal system, dooming them for life. Other topics include policing in schools, systemic racism’s impact on classrooms and learners at all grade levels, and ways in which to decolonize the education system. The book provides classroom instructors, college of education faculty, and preservice teachers the concrete means to improve the learning experience of students of color in our public education system.