Support Planner:  Emerging themes


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Behaviour Management
Support Cycle
Broken Windows
Summary T1 2006
Emerging themes
Problems or solutions?

See also...




Emergence and the Planner

Just as the Planner has developed in response to the users so the practices of the users have developed in response to the potential uses of the Planner. That is, the Planner (as a tool) and associated practices have enabled and constrained each other -  they emergence emergence simultaneously.

1. Whole school approach

Many staff/schools are achieving a significant shift in approach (aware or unconscious). Increasingly people are moving towards arrangements that are

  • systematic
  • whole school
  • everyday
  • part of the school culture

rather than being exceptional, special, different...

That is, more of what is done is

(a) situated in the life and work of the whole school rather than being seen as exceptional, special, different...
(b) proving to be more effective as an activity rather than a unique attempt at some one-off treatment...
(c) integrated into 'how we do things around here ' both systematically and culturally

2. Connectedness

There is increasing awareness of the connection between

  •  conversations,
  •  knowledge and
  • action

That is, that, in our everyday conversations, we continually construct and reconstruction the knowledge and arrangements we need in order to act.

3. A developmental sequence

The shift in people's thinking seems to require them to work through a range of stages - there do not seem to be any easy short cuts. Initially most people want to

  • document the incidents (prove the problem students guilty?)
  • put in counter measures (before real support?)
  • train the students (before learning what works; and about us as a school?)

And it seems that schools can only get past these stages when they have addressed them.
Interesting schools don't change from doing one thing to the next but adopt an expanded approach in which their new focus includes consideration of the previous focus: e.g., real support includes some natural counter measures (often by choice and agreement)  such as 'When things start to get difficult move away' rather than banning access to certain situations.

All of this seems (to me) to be natural. The important result is that people are moving away from behaviour management and consequences to solutions: things that make it easier for everyone to achieve success and well-being.

4. The breakthrough

The breakthrough seems to occur when users engage in conversations with students and their families. The contribution of the Planner (or similar) is that it

  • can be a useful reference point for conversations
  • shows that the school cares and is well informed (lots schools report this experience)
  • can be used to capture commitments on the spot making collaboration explicit*
  • shows and reports progress
  • ...

At one school some ISPs included items parent actions, e.g., for one student one ISP action coming out of the recent parent teacher meeting was recorded as

  • "Tr and parent will prompt/encourage Jason to use positive self talk"

5. Action learning

The above is indicative of action learning




Our activities & practices result in

  • explicit knowledge
  • experience which leads to tacit knowledge


The learning occurs as a result of insightful questions that expand and confirm the explicit knowledge available. The resulting actions are likely to be more successful and benefit all concerned when

  • explicit knowledge is captured (as in the Planner) and
  • insightful questions are considered in everyday conversations between all those involved

That is, the participants function as a community of practice contributing to each other's success and well-being.

So much to learn!! Please share your learning with the discussion list.




Ivan Webb Pty Ltd 2001 onwards