Thursday, 21 January 2016

Philosophy Based Behaviour Education in Schools

This is a summary of what we are doing at a school where I work, Para Hills School P-7 in South Australia.

We have established a system of behaviour education that challenges the philosophical view that ‘IT’ makes me/you/us angry/sad/anxious. IT is anything and everything that occurs or exists that we are challenged to deal with in general e.g. coming to school, doing hard stuff, challenging behaviour of others etc.

Through REBE (Rational Emotive Behaviour education) we want students (us) to understand that:
  • We don’t/can’t always achieve our wants, goals and desires and when we don’t we are not failures. We may review, reset our goals or indeed discard them. It is rational (self-helpful) to pursue healthy (socially responsible/acceptable) goals and not give up on our dreams and desires to be happy/successful maintaining hope and optimism
  • We may desire, prefer and want all significant others to like/admire/respect us but they don’t have to. We may want this but in the main we don’t absolutely need it to survive (as long as we have our basic needs met by family, friends). When we are not accepted by significant others (as difficult as this may be) it never diminishes our worth/value (unless we believe it does) i.e. we are not rejects ourselves when we are rejected by others.
  • We may desire, prefer and want the world to deliver all we need that will make our lives comfortable but we accept that there will be challenges when indeed things don’t go our way. We expect challenges and disappointment because that is how things are. We continue however to meet challenges optimistically and realistically. We don’t give in too easily to such challenges and misfortune.
When challenged we can put things into some kind of perspective so that we are healthily concerned about day to day happenings but we won’t catastrophise over things which may be significant but not so ‘bad’ that we ‘can’t stand it!’

We (and everyone else) are worthwhile and worthy of respect (we don’t have to like those who have qualities we don’t like but we don’t damn them totally for it).

Teachers continue their good work in many schools in South Australia making a significant difference to student well being.

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