Time Out or Time in – Heather Lucas @HLucas8

I will be attending, presenting and (most importantly) conversing at PedagooHampshire2016. My presentation is called Time Out or Time In? which looks at the difference between behavioural and relational discipline and why it matters to teachers.


Last year I had little idea of what to expect when I volunteered to attend and to speak. I’m not a teacher or a particularly experienced speaker as yet (I am a Learning Mentor and Parent Support person who has put herself through a Psychology degree and is a magpie for information relevant to social, emotional and behavioural support in school settings), but I’m so glad I went for it as I found a very enthusiastic, inspired and varied group of presenters and attendees. This year I am proud to be listed amongst so many who have continued to inspire me throughout the year on Twitter and #teacher5aday.

Those who know me know that I can never be given too much time to talk about my topic but the exciting focus of a Pedagoo is the development of a conversation. Even though this is a little harder to plan for (what direction will it take?) I am excited about the possibility of developing thinking that is relevant to you and your specific contexts (and if we need more time please invite me to your school). No two contexts are the same and can also change moment to moment, therefore knowledge increases in worth when it is practically applied. I’ll set the scene with some research based approaches and we will develop the ideas together in conversation. The rest is up to you and – as Vivienne Porritt eloquently highlighted last year – it’s only CPD if we do something with it.

So, in brief, what are the differences between behavioural and relational approaches to discipline (I had an article published in TES back in March if you keep back copies)? Most school behaviour policies are built on a ‘behavioural’ model of ‘choices and consequences’ which place the child as a lone actor (you make the choice, you take the consequence, eg. ‘time out’), despite the fact that research indicates that this is essentially out-dated and has an important but limited effect, (I will explain why). Relational discipline however places the child in the context of the relationship and it is the relationship that is the vehicle for the teaching of a different and generally more useful type of discipline (involving collaborative solutions or ‘time in’).  I’ll give you some of the basics about the differences between the two approaches, which part of the brain is activated in each case and the relevance of this, I’ll touch on some important considerations which are likely to confirm but hopefully also challenge your thinking and I’ll have some practical tips and further resources.

Warning: this presentation is not a quick fix for behaviour management. Like all things worthwhile time, effort and outcomes are always related and we can also only skim the topic in the time available. As teachers however you benefit from the reduced stress and increased outcomes (academic and otherwise) found by always increasing your knowledge and combining it with your existing skills and individuality. With behaviour –  it is self-awareness that is the first step, followed by connecting to the child in that particular moment and then using what you know and who you are to make a difference to benefit you both. It’s a process that can be improved every time.

Please bring an open and curious mind. I am looking forward to meeting you.

You can also Tweet me: @HLucas8


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