Dotted with lively dialogues that illustrate concrete issues, From Exclusion to Excellence: Building Restorative Relationships to Create Inclusive Schools is a practical guide to creating inclusive schools. The authors draw on their 30 years of action-research activities helping educators provide a meaningful education to at-risk/excluded students. They explain how teacher well-being is a precondition for building the sorts of relationships that enable excluded students to learn. They present in detail four concrete skills (non-abandonment, reframing, connecting conversation, and emphatic limit-setting) for reaching children and at the same time strengthening educators’ emotional resilience and professional pride. They address how schools can rethink and reshape the way they relate to parents of excluded children, so as to allow both sides to trust and empower each other. If you are a teacher, this book will help you make sense of the difficulties you face daily and provide you with reliable methods for working more effectively. If you are a principal or policymaker, it will show how the road to excellence begins with inclusion, and with providing teachers the kind of support that enables them to succeed.
“I am not an education expert, but you don’t have to be to want to implement the conclusions that Michal Razer and Victor J. Friedman make about schools to societies as a whole. To produce a successful school serving the needs of all of its students, you need to focus—before passing out any curriculum or teaching any classes—on building that elusive thing called “trust”, or what the authors call “inclusion”. When there is trust in the classroom, when every student believes that they and their aspirations matter to a teacher, everything is possible and everything is easier—the most difficult students become more educable and inspired and take more ownership over their success—and the best students soar even higher. This book should be read by teachers, parents and politicians alike, because its incisive recommendations for building more successful schools apply just as much to families and parliaments.”—Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times columnist