Education Nation Positive Behavior

Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 8:54am

Classroom program rewards positive behavior instead of focusing on the negative.

The "RAFT" is something you hear a lot about at Connecticut's Cromwell Intermediate School.

It's the list of rules students, teachers, staff and parents live by.

R: Respect others, self and property.

A: Always be under control and always learn.

F: Follow all directions, rules and procedures.

T: Try your best at all times.

"It's a contract where we expect everyone to act a certain way, parents who come in, teachers students and all staff members," says principal Bo Ryan.

This type of approach to teaching is called positive behavior support, or

It was developed by University of Connecticut Professor George Sugai.

"What we do now is really figure out ways to support all kids for their social, emotional benefits, and we look at school discipline," he explains. "We look at classroom management and we look at how kids and families are supported at schools for the social behavioral growth."

Professor Sugai co-directs a national P-B-S center funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

"Much of our focus is on creating positive school climates for all kids so we can do a better job working with individual students who might have more challenges," he says.

The idea is that instruction becomes more efficient in schools that don't have to devote much attention to negative behaviors.

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