The Syllabus as a Social Contract for Restorative Justice



College courses, higher education curriculum, syllabus, restorative justice, common law


Imagine the syllabus collaboratively designed: (1) as a tool to promote the best interests of students—instead of promoting passive compliance with lopsided academy-serving power dynamics; (2) to guide students and educators away from antiquated, unjust, rigid classroom culture—and towards flexible and safe learning environments that promote healing; (3) for scalable critical analysis of typical syllabus content—balancing existing educational and intuitional realities and pressures with reimagined educational interactions and spaces. In this essay such a syllabus is imagined, modeled after United States common law procedure, and focused on syllabus content that are typically of greatest interest to students.

Author Biography

Emmanuel Garcia

Doctoral Student, Clinical Psychology Training Program

CUNY Graduate Center—John Jay College