Hong Kong research demonstrates effectiveness of the restorative whole-school approach
Dec 01, 2010
from the paper by Dennis S.W. Wong and T. Wing Lo:
To evaluate the effectiveness of a restorative whole-school approach (RWsA), a pre-post study was undertaken. The sampling frame was based on the school list provided by the education authority. A total of 1480 Secondary 1 (equivalent to aged 12) to Secondary 3 (equivalent to aged 14) students from four different Hong Kong schools participated in the survey between September 2004 and August 2006. Due to practical constraints such as the school curriculum and extra-curricular activities, schools had the autonomy to implement the programmes to different degrees, which were then evaluated by the research team.
Full implementation of the RWsA lasted for 15 months. Eventually, one school was assessed to have fully implemented RWsA, two schools had partially implemented RWsA, and one school did not implement it. From the 1480 participating students, 1176 were successfully matched for pre-test and post-test within-subject analyses....
Research findings showed that bullying behaviour in the intervention group dropped significantly... and self-esteem rose considerably... over the period. No significant difference was found in other areas such as indicators of positive school culture (i.e. sense of harmony in the school, positive perception towards teachers and sense of belonging to the school)....
On the contrary, bullying behaviour in the control group increased significantly, as predicted..., while all indicators of the positive school culture dropped substantially and significantly. The... results suggest that the fully implemented RWsA programme did have positive effects on combating bullying behaviour.
What we found in the partial RWsA sample was rather piecemeal. In the partial RWsA settings, bullying behaviour was lowered a little but not as substantially as the full RWsA..., but the positive school culture was lowered, while no change was found in self-esteem.
These results indicate that the partial interventions may have some effects in decreasing bullying, but the effect was not as strong and comprehensive as the full RWsA.