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This study examined power and authority in the student–instructor relationship in a restorative practices–based graduate program. This qualitative investigation utilized a narrative approach. Ten alumni of the International Institute for Restorative Practices master’s degree programs were engaged in a one-time face-to-face interview and document review of their final master’s degree capstone papers. A listening guide voice-centered method was used as the primary data analysis method. This study found that participants used highly consistent language when describing the teachers and professors who were most meaningful to them, regardless of life stage. The second finding was that participants had meaningful personal experiences in this program, which they described using therapeutic language. The participants’ narratives often centered on reconciling past conflict, hardship, or trauma. The third finding was that relationships with the classroom group as a whole were more important to participants than relationships with professors alone. Finally, this study discovered that many of these participants were drawn to this program out of a desire to make change in the world and that this desire was driven by conflicts and other elements of their personal life stories. This study has implications for adult learning institutions implementing participatory and collaborative models of instruction.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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