Article

Developing new skills at school

“A child who feels well, does well!” Jane Nelsen

At Eden School we use an educational system that suggests that we should develop life skills within the children (independence, responsibility, problem resolution, …): Positive Discipline

Positive Discipline aims to teach social-emotional skills. This proposal, directed to parents, teachers and educators is neither permissive nor harsh. It encourages children to develop self-discipline, a sense of responsibility, social skills and respect in the midst of a kind and firm atmosphere.

Positive Discipline is based upon the findings of two Austrian psychiatrists: Alfred Adler (1870-1937) and, above all, Rudolf Dreikurs (1897-1972), who highlighted the basic needs of human beings:  The sense of belonging and of importance. If these two requirements are met, the individual can become fully involved in what Adler calls “social interest” and strive to be the best that he can be. This is true for students who aim to manage his emotions, be polite, responsible, independent, respectful, honest, attentive, courageous…

Once the conditions that promote the learning of life skills and social-emotional abilities are identified within the learning environment, Positive Discipline provides a systematic approach acting through repetition, consistency, and methodical organisation within the classroom. Teachers have the tools to convince the child that he has the ability to progress and improve his behaviour.

For the past two years at eden School, we have used this approach to support our students. We teach these life skills with kindness and firmness. Encouragement is the lever used to motivate. Encouragement is not always gentle: it  infuses strength and courage, it develops the sense of ability in children (the belief: “I am capable”)

The following are the tools we put in place:

  • Class meetings:

This is a special time in the classroom where students share appreciations to highlight positive action or a small gesture of another student.

Then, a student who may have had a problem has placed his request for help on the class agenda. Then the class will propose a number of solutions from which he can choose the one that suits him best.

Finally, workshops are offered to better understand their emotions or when projects are discussed and organised with the group.

  • Time Out:

When there is conflict or when we get carried away by our emotions, it is best to postpone a decision that may be inappropriate. So children learn to use their “Time Out” to take a moment to regain composure when they feel that they are unable to think calmly.

  • Reparation:

“The important thing is not the mistakes we make, butt what we do with it”

If a child has a problem with another student, he is encouraged to recognise his mistake and find a way to repair the situation. An agreement must be made through dialogue and the reparation must be acceptable to both children. The teacher accompanies them throughout the process.

  • Responsibilities:

Within the school and the classroom, everyone has a responsibility. We all participate in the school project and we need to cooperate to spend a great year together.

  • The Personal Project:

The aim is to provide each student with a time of individual dialogue with his academic advisor. This is an excellent learning opportunity.

We encourage our students to evaluate certain criteria such as independence, self-awareness, cooperation … From this assessment, the child chooses an area he feels that needs improvement. He then sets a short-term goal for himself.

Positive Discipline is based on the conviction that it is essential to take into account the needs of the students. It provides a systematic approach and repetition, always finding the right balance between flexibility and rigour, kindness and firmness, never using punishment.

CONFERENCE NADINE GAUDIN

Nadine Gaudin is a training professional.  For the last twenty years, she has been working as a school teacher.  Her love and passion for education has, naturally, allowed her to embrace adult training.

Trained and certified in Positive Discipline, she co-presides the Positive Discipline Association.  Her work within the association has far reaching implications.  Ultimately, she incessantly aims to share her knowledge of Positive Discipline on a national as well as on an international level.

To learn more about Positive Discipline, we invite you to attend the presentation by Nadine Gaudin, certified Positive Discipline instructor, at Eden School on the 28th November, 2016 at 7:30 pm. Open door to visit the school and have a little drink at 7pm. As the places are limited, please register by mail at: activites@ecole-eden.ch

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