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Why shaming doesn’t work

“You can’t teach children to behave better by making them feel worse.  When children feel better, they behave better.” (Pam Leo) 

Pam Leo is an independent scholar in human development, a parent educator, a certified childbirth educator, a doula, a parent, and a grandparent. “After my first child was born in 1972, it became my passion to understand human behaviour.”

What if there was  not a  focus on rewards and sanctions in our settings? What if there was a focus on cultivating the prosocial (positive) feelings of everyone within the school dynamic.  To be therapeutic the system of behaviour intervention needs to be considered based on each individual’s feelings.

This is what is at the heart of the Therapeutic Thinking approach that is being rolled out across West Sussex.

Some recent feedback shared after the 3-day training….

“One of the best CPD opportunities I have had in my 20-year career.”

“I learnt so much on this course that has allowed me to reflect on our setting and make changes. The tutor is passionate, and this has meant that during the course I have felt this passion, and this has instigated my desire to make a change for our students.”

“To ensure sanctions are learning led not punishment led and for the benefit of the child not to satisfy someone else’s need for justice. To be consequence led not punishment led.”

“Re-thinking of behaviour management policy and analysing our reward and sanctions system as we no longer believe this to be therapeutic.”

“As a school, we like to think that on the whole we are very therapeutic in our approach. However, this course opened our eyes and got us thinking about areas which we have overlooked. It equipped us not only with a greater understanding of what therapeutic thinking is but tangible ideas which we can take back to discuss as a school.” “Really good quality in terms of knowledge and expertise. Angela is excellent at challenging existing thinking and forcing us to reflect on what we ‘have always done’ in schools.”

Image or information courtesy of Beacon House Therapeutic Services & Trauma Team 2021.

If you would like to find out more here are some interesting articles and books:

Article about children doing better when they feel better.

Article that discusses classroom reward charts