Saturday, March 18, 2017

Dogs and kids---much in common--PB4L!

This is a post that many teachers in NZ will 'get.' Some of you will laugh, others shrug my comments off as 'unseemly,' whilst other may be a little angry, for all the right---or wrong---reasons.
I well remember the time, when the school I worked at, decided (or was it decided for them?) that they would go down the pathway of PB4L (Oops---I better expand on that---Positive Behaviour for Learning)
In short---

PB4L – Positive Behaviour for Learning | Education in New Zealand
Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) improves the behaviour and well-being of children and young people. ... Programmes offer tools for supporting positive behaviour in situations of clear need, and in more settled environments. ... More about the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L ...

There---that's more 'official' than the simplistic manner in which I may have 'reported the programme.
Many schools through New Zealand have embraced the initiative, with mixed results. I suspect that how successful the schools have been, depends on how 'fully' the staff (that includes ALL personal who work in the school) have embraced the programme. As with all 'new initiatives, there is the time taken re PD and the roll out, along with the humps and bumps along the way. Schools are constantly involved in many initiatives that 'may or may not enhance their teaching practice so one could take the view that energy levels flag after a while, re any new 'programmes.'

I am going to suggest that any effective teacher has always known that most of the premises of the PB4L programme are something that has always worked for them. They know that their relationship with their students is paramount to 'learning,' that the environment they provide is the foundation for learning and that positive reinforcement of good behaviours is way better than negative, sarcastic or bullying approches, that some of their collueges exhibit.

This is where I go bush! I am going to say that dog owners also know a thing or two about PB4L! Recently, I subscribed to a site that draws on many of the premises of PB4L. I am not so sure that I can name it, for legal reasons-----the guy may take exception to my comments.

He debunks, much of what people tell me when it comes to working with my Jack Russell. I hear people telling me to use methods that, so far have not worked, re the main issues I have been having---the running off and the 'not listening,' both of which occur when she is off leash and senses a cat or rat nearby. I maintain that it is simply in her genes to want to chase these critters and I have yet to see a Jack Russell that does NOT respond to such 'stimuli!' It's what they were bred for!

The guy who has the website maintains that negative reinforcement does not work and that a positive relationship with your dog, will ensure that there is no need for punishing (or giving treats all the time) your dog when he/she exhibits 'bad' behaviours. He presents numerous videos showing his approach and his methods 'appear' to work. He does underline his foundational belief that YOU need to be the 'leader of the pack, though,' and that does not necessarily go against the tenets for PB4L re students. (A school is a school and has a hierarchy!)

I have only 'touched on describing the two threads of this 'article,' but the uniting factors are hard to ignore. Many dog owners have always known what I have described, just as generations of effective teachers have quietly gone about their days, educating and giving children a love of learning because they---understand!