Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach well-being…?

Changing Behaviour in Schools

Changing Behaviour in Schools

My latest article for Positive Psychology News Daily is a review of a new Positive Psychology-based book by ed psych and consultant Sue Roffey, called Changing Behaviour in Schools: Promoting Positive Relationships and Well-being.

One of the great strengths of this book is its breadth, not just in terms of aims but also its evidence base. It draws on quantitative research from more than a dozen areas including restorative approaches, school culture and leadership, mental health, and values education, not just positive psychology. Thus the suggested approaches have a multi-dimensional foundation.  Not surprisingly, there isn’t space in just over 200 pages to describe positive psychology theories or research in great depth.

Roffey makes use of most of the main positive psychology concepts, such as flow, strengths, resilience, optimism, positive emotions, and emotional intelligence, although with the exception of emotional intelligence, they aren’t described in detail. Depending on your expectations and your association with positive psychology, this might be a disappointment or a welcome relief! I particularly liked the chapter on Being and Becoming Emotionally Literate, with its 11 dimensions of social and emotional literacy, and numerous questions for personal development.

I love the core message, which is that school can be a positive transformational experience, and that building positive relationships and school connectedness lead to both improved learning and better behaviour for all students.

Despite its limitations, I think this is a fabulous resource book for anyone working in primary or secondary education. Dip into almost any page and you will find some gem of information, a question that will challenge your thinking, an activity, or an insightful case study. If you picked up this book expecting it to help you manage challenging student behaviour you may be in for a surprise. It does this exceeding well in my opinion, but it does much more than that.

This book sets out the expectation that everyone in an education role, every teacher, trainee, teaching assistant, support person, and early childhood practitioner, can be a role model of well-being. Changing behaviour is schools is based on the premise that a theoretical knowledge of the subject isn’t sufficient. Teachers have to be able to do well-being in order to teach well-being.

For the full review, click here.

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