MultiLit’s Positive Teaching and Learning Initiative empowers school leaders and teachers to create a positive learning environment that boosts student engagement and learning outcomes and improves teacher wellbeing. Here, MultiLit Special Educators and Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Jill Hellemans and Micaela Rafferty, answer common questions about the MultiLit Positive Teaching and Learning Initiative.
What is a ‘whole-school approach’ to positive behaviour support and why is it important?
A whole-school approach is important because it focuses on taking preventative action to drive positive school culture and align policy and practice with school values. This approach is a commitment to supporting and addressing every student’s learning and behaviour, through a positive, proactive and evidence-based system.
It enhances student engagement and wellbeing, through the application of function-based strategies and supports, consistent language, and processes that can be adopted by the entire school community. This creates important consistency in how the school thinks, talks about and addresses student behaviour.
A whole-school approach ensures appropriate supports are in place at every touchpoint. This begins with ensuring the core universal strategies are firmly and consistently in place in every classroom. It also enables early screening and detection of students who may require closer monitoring, or more targeted interventions, which can then be successfully executed.
What does it take to create a whole-school approach to positive behaviour support?
For many schools, the concept of a whole-school approach to positive behaviour support is not new.
The challenge lies in the practical implementation of the approach. It can’t just be written down in a policy or handbook that gets casually passed around school staff, nor can it be covered off in a one-day workshop.
A whole-school positive behaviour support approach is an ongoing commitment to the application of evidence-based frameworks, principles and procedures to bring about observable change in both staff and student behaviour. It requires time, theoretical and practical training, implementation practice and systems to evaluate progress. It needs to be embedded into the teaching culture of a school, from the ground up!
The upskilling of teachers and support staff in effective behaviour management strategies is required to build the capacity of the whole school to support students with a wide range of learning and behaviour needs.
What are the benefits of a whole-school approach?
When a whole school adopts a consistent and effective way to support the diverse learning and behavioural needs of all students, everyone benefits.
Schools naturally move from a reactive approach to a systematic, proactive approach which leads to calmer, happier and more positive teachers and students.
Preventative and positive approaches guide us to looking for opportunities to model, teach and reinforce desired behaviours and away from reacting to problems. This results in more successful and engaged learners and teachers who can get back to the business of teaching.
How can schools engage with the Positive Teaching and Learning Initiative?
MultiLit’s Positive Teaching and Learning Initiative offers self-paced professional development. Our eLearning modules are designed to provide choice and flexibility to schools and teachers to begin this learning journey at a place that best fits the needs of students and staff.
A suite of workshops has been designed across three learning series, targeting key components of Positive Teaching and a function-based approach to behaviour management.
As participants progress through each series, the content delves deeper and provides more in-depth training.
MultiLit recommends this pathway for a successful whole-school approach:
- The whole school completes modules 2.1 and 3.1.
- Develop a specialist in-house behaviour support team. This can include school leaders, special educators, school counsellors and teachers with a passion for positive behaviour support, who continue with the series (modules 2.2, 2.2, 3.2) to develop a deeper understanding of behaviour assessment and behavioural teaching strategies.
- New teachers will benefit from module 1.1.
MultiLit’s Positive Teaching and Learning Consultants can meet with you to discuss the unique needs of your school and design a learning pathway to best meet your needs.
How are these courses different to other behaviour-focused professional learning?
These workshops have been designed by Special Educators and Behaviour Analysts who have experienced the challenges and barriers to successful positive behaviour support practices in schools.
The initiative is designed to ensure teachers can successfully transfer research and evidence-based knowledge into practical classroom strategies. Our eLearning modules have been designed specifically to engage, teach and collaborate with the adult learner and offer flexible pathways for individuals and schools to move through the content and meet the needs of their learners.
Participants also get frequent opportunities to actively respond, test their knowledge, reflect and practise their new skills.
Our learning series focuses on “keeping it positive” by going into detail about the application and implementation of positive and proactive behaviour supports. Participants will learn how a function-based approach can equip them with the strategies they need to support students with challenging behaviour and motivate them to learn.
We have designed a range of resources – assessment tools, skills checklists, data sheets, visual supports – to use for practice while you’re learning, then take straight into the classroom.
Participants interact with engaging content such as video examples and case studies, specifically designed for teachers to relate to.
Ask the Experts
How can your school benefit from Positive Teaching and Learning?
Book a 15-minute, no-obligation Zoom session with one of MultiLit’s Special Educators and Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Jill Hellemans or Micaela Rafferty, to receive tailored recommendations for your school.