From Retributive to Restorative: Alternative Approaches to Shaping Behavior
Anjali Adukia

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of Chicago

Primary Discipline

Schools traditionally employed punitive, exclusionary methods of discipline, which may temporarily remove undesirable behavior but could result in adverse consequences for students in the long-run. More recently, schools have adopted positive, inclusionary methods of behavior modification, which, in theory, consider present and future concerns by holding students accountable while also repairing harm and rehabilitating relationships. In addition to these reactive disciplinary approaches, some schools have incorporated preventative measures by developing students’ socioemotional skills. In this project, Dr. Adukia will examine the introduction of interventions related to the adoption of restorative justice practices and programs focused on socioemotional-skill development to understand whether these shifts resulted in changes in disciplinary infractions, learning, attendance, or attainment. Findings will help inform school officials about the relative costs and benefits of shifting from a punitive system to a more positive approach to behavior change. This study will also help understand whether reactive approaches to discipline are sufficient to change behavior, or whether both proactive and reactive approaches may be necessary.
About Anjali Adukia
Anjali Adukia is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Her research is focused on understanding factors that influence educational decisions for children, families, and teachers in developing contexts. To examine these issues, Dr. Adukia applies empirical statistical methods using large-scale panel data collected from numerous sources, in addition to drawing from insights collected from interviews and participant observation. She completed her doctoral degree at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and her bachelor of science degree in molecular and integrative physiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her dissertation received awards from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), the Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP), and the Comparative and International Education Society. She also has masters of education degrees in international education policy and higher education (administration, planning, and social policy). Prior to graduate school, Dr. Adukia worked in non-profit organizations and educational institutions in the United States and India. Her desire to have a deeper understanding of how to reduce inequality guided her toward a career in research as a means of having meaningful influence on practice and policy. She continues to work with non-governmental organizations internationally, such as UNICEF and Manav Sadhna in India.

Pin It on Pinterest