Barbados??? SPBMP Attracts International Interest

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Barbados??? School???s Positive Behaviour Management Programme (SPBMP) has generated great interest from UNICEF and the tenets underlying it are currently the focus of an international case study.

This was recently revealed by Professor of Education with the School of Education at the University of Northampton in the United Kingdom (UK), Philip Garner.

He explained that the study, commissioned by UNICEF, will examine Barbados??? ???innovative practices (in education that are) aimed at promoting the social and emotional learning of students???.

Mr. Garner and Co-Director of the Northampton Centre for Learning Behaviour at the University of Northampton, Chris Gittens, visited several schools last week, as part of the case study.

During their visit to Barbados, the two UK educators also participated in a seminar held at Accra Beach Hotel and Spa, which was attended by 22 principals drawn from various secondary schools on the island.

The session was entitled: Violence Reduction in Schools: How to make a difference. Although the seminar dealt mainly with using positive reinforcement to curb negative behaviours in school, the visiting educators commented on the effectiveness of behavior management, which they had observed in Barbadian schools.

Professor Garner said the team was here to document the existing information on how schools sought to develop students emotionally and socially. He noted that after the information was gathered UNICEF would publish a report ???to give other countries guidance, especially where the support of children is less positive???.

With great interest in the current programmes in place to encourage students??? learning and social development, the Professor added that, ???there is a huge reservoir of good will and positive attitude here (in Barbados)??? We want to see if we can capture and understand ???the how??????.

He added that Barbadian schools provided many progressive examples of how to encourage positive behaviour in schools. ???We found a range of practices, some of which have been really innovative???We???ve seen schools which have acted as a complete coherent community???in supporting children???s social learning???

“It???s the most difficult thing to find in schools worldwide,??? the professor explained, while underscoring the rarity of ???a whole school travelling in the same direction, supporting children???s learning???.

He suggested that it was something that Barbados is currently succeeding in creating, adding that most of the children in the schools visited had been ???perfectly behaved???, honest and open to the process.

Also present at the seminar was Senior Education Officer, Joy Adamson, who asserted that the various tenets presented in the seminar were in fact in alignment with what Barbadian schools had been implementing over the past few years.

Pointing out that there were many similarities in the two approaches, she stressed that Barbadian educators were indeed ???on the right track???.

Echoing this belief was Principal of The Ann Hill School, Emelda Belle, who noted that the information contained in the presentation ???mirrored a lot of the tenets of SPBMP that we are working towards implementation???.

Noting that The Ann Hill School was in the initial stages of implementing the SPBMP, she observed: ???It has the potential to be effective because I think innate in every student is still that desire to get it right and to work cooperatively with others.???

The School???s Positive Behaviour Management Programme was officially launched in 2010 and is now a feature in all Barbadian schools. It is guided by three basic principles, namely child centredness, democratic participation and inclusiveness (equity).

The key objective is to bring behavioural change to classrooms with the assistance of principals, teachers, parents or guardians and the community, as a whole.

jamal.weekes@barbados.gov.bb

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