BETHLEHEM, Pa., Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- John W. Bailie III, Ph.D., has been named president of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) Graduate School, the first graduate school wholly devoted to restorative practices. His inauguration will take place October 23.
Restorative practices is a social science that studies how to build social capital and achieve social discipline through participatory learning and decision-making. It involves the use of interpersonal techniques, methods and systems that seek to positively influence human behavior and improve civil society. The practices are employed by schools, families, parents, the criminal justice system and in community settings.
Bailie, who has been with IIRP for 15 years, succeeds Ted Wachtel, the institution's co-founder, as president. Wachtel remains on the IIRP's Board and will continue to work on special projects.
The mission of the IIRP Graduate School, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, is to advance practice, scholarship and research in restorative practices. The IIRP's faculty — all scholar/practitioners — are dedicated to helping individuals find ways to empower people and transform communities. The field is developing across national borders and professional disciplines.
"I'm privileged to have this opportunity to lead an institution that is rapidly becoming the intellectual home for the new social science of restorative practices and improving civil society around the world," said Bailie.
The IIRP has been instrumental in promoting the end of "zero tolerance" policies in schools and is recognized for demonstrating a restorative practices–based alternative to these policies. It is currently partnering with organizations on the three largest randomized control studies to date on restorative practices in schools.
The studies are examining the effectiveness of restorative practices in lowering student suspension rates and involvement in the juvenile justice system, improving school environments and helping students succeed in school:
- Sixteen Maine schools, by the RAND Corporation, with funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Development.
- Fifteen schools in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Brooklyn, San Antonio and Baton Rouge, by Johns Hopkins University, with funding from Atlantic Philanthropies.
- Twenty-two Pittsburgh public schools, by the RAND Corporation, with funding from the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
Last year, the IIRP Graduate School provided professional development for nearly 10,000 people around the world. Based in Bethlehem, PA, the school has international affiliates in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and Australia.
The IIRP offers regular conferences, convening practitioners and thought leaders in the field of restorative practices. It stages world conferences biannually in Bethlehem and abroad. This year, the IIRP also hosted a symposium, "Integrating School Climate Reform Efforts," which brought together school climate reform leaders and educators from across North America.
"We strive to offer open and meaningful intellectual platforms for people interested in building a more just and participatory civil society," Bailie said.
For students, the IIRP offers a hybrid education model that combines in-person instruction, offered at locations around the world, with online learning. Students can earn a 30-credit Master of Science in Restorative Practices, designed for working professionals, which usually can be completed in two-to-five years. Or they may work toward a 12-credit Graduate Certificate in Restorative Practices that typically takes a year or less.
"The quality of our graduate students is extremely high," says Bailie. "Many have other graduate degrees, even doctorates. They come to us because they are passionate about restorative practices."
A graduate of Norwich University (Corps of Cadets), in Northfield, VT, with a bachelor's degree in English, Bailie began his professional life as an officer in the U.S. Navy. While in the Navy, he received a commendation for community service for his work with inner-city Boston youth.
After seeking and receiving an honorable discharge from the Navy in 1996 as a conscientious objector, Bailie worked as a community organizer for four years, working on unionization and labor support campaigns, supporting the rights of the homeless, and assisting with anti-racist and anti-white supremacist organizing causes in the southern United States.
Bailie is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Supply Corps School, did graduate work at Moravian Theological Seminary, in Bethlehem, PA, earned a master of restorative practices degree from IIRP, and received his Ph.D. from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, in the field of Adult Learning Specialization.
Since coming to the IIRP in 2000, Bailie has worked at every level of the organization, starting as a counselor at a day-treatment center for delinquent and troubled teens.
Previous to becoming IIRP president, Dr. Bailie was IIRP Director of Continuing Education, where his entrepreneurial skills raised the profile of restorative practices on the national stage. He also led the rapid geographical expansion of professional development in every major region of the United States and Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia.
SOURCE International Institute for Restorative Practices