Restorative Practice and Principal Perception: A Quantitative Analysis of Principal Perception and Outcome

Ronald Peter Gamma, Fordham University


Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the zero-tolerance approach to discipline was widely used in school districts throughout the United States. Research studies suggested a link between these school policies and juveniles in the court system, causing a negative impact on student academic performance and a disproportionate distribution of consequences. As a reaction to these findings, restorative practices emerged as an alternative approach to student discipline. Recent studies on restorative practices have been largely qualitative, with a focus on the lived experiences of the school community during the implementation of this discipline approach. This research study focused on principals as school leaders and how principals perceived the use of a restorative practice approach to discipline. This study examined the relationships between various aspects of principal perception, as measured by a survey instrument, and outcomes, as measured by the School Violence Index. The researcher surveyed principals in 1,050 schools throughout a state in the northeast region of the United States during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years. Results of a regression analysis revealed a relationship between a principal’s perception of their own confidence in understanding restorative practice and the outcome variable measure by the School Violence Index. By gaining a better understanding on a large scale of how school leaders perceive restorative practice and school discipline, this study will impact the implementation of restorative practices at the school district level.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Education Policy

Recommended Citation

Gamma, Ronald Peter, "Restorative Practice and Principal Perception: A Quantitative Analysis of Principal Perception and Outcome" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28148584.