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Creating a Container for Learning. Laurie Frank GOAL Consulting. April 30, 2012. Agenda. Introduction - Protocols, Introductory Activities Transformative Approaches - Internal vs. External - Container Concept - Invitational Education

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creating a container for learning

Creating a Container for Learning

Laurie Frank

GOAL Consulting

April 30, 2012

  • Introduction- Protocols, Introductory Activities
  • Transformative Approaches- Internal vs. External- Container Concept- Invitational Education
  • Dealing with Behavior & Conflicts- PII: Prevention, Intervention, Invention
  • Closing
part 1 introduction

Part 1Introduction


Introductory Activities

Youth Today



Protocols or Ground Rules

  • Assume Good Intentions
  • Ouch/Oops
  • Make the experience work
  • Right to Pass
  • Others?

“Never has youth been exposed to such dangers of both perversion and arrest as in our own land and day.”

G.S. Hall, Psychologist (1844-1924)

“The world is passing through troubled times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves.”

Peter the Hermit, French monk in the First Crusade (1050-1115)


“Youth love luxury. They have bad manners. They are tyrants. They contradict their parents, talk too much nonsense, guzzle their food, and tyrannize their teachers.”

Socrates, Greek philosopher (470-399 BC)

“Today’s young people no longer respect their parents. They are rude and impatient. They have no self-control.”

Hieroglyphic translated from Egyptian tomb (circa 4000 BC)

part 2 transformative approaches

Part 2Transformative Approaches

Internal vs. External

Reasons for Behavior

Container Concept

Invitational Education



Thinking before we act


Acting without thinking


NPR Story: Working with the teenage brain: a parent’s perspective

See also: Frontline (2002) Inside the Teenage Brain: A Work in Progress (2002).



1. Ways to use the item in beneficial or helpful ways

2. Ways to use the item in harmful or hurtful ways


“People and environments are never neutral, they are either summoning or shunning the development of human potential.”

Purkey & Novak,

Inviting School Success

we have choices we have influence
We Have Choices…We have Influence…

What are the qualities of your container at school?

invitational education

  • Prevention is anything we do to prevent conflict in our programs or to prepare for it before it happens.
  • Intervention is responding when conflicts do happen.
  • Inventionis creating something new and constructive out of the situation.

PBIS Continuum and PII Approach




prevention laying groundwork such as
PREVENTIONLaying groundwork such as:
  • Establishing procedures, routines, and norms for common activities; (Community agreements)
  • Creating a feeling of community and caring;(Sequence)
  • Building relationships and a sense of trust;(Being Trustworthy)
  • Strength basedUsing learning moments to teach/practice skills rather than fix a problem
  • Engaging Curriculum
  • Safe Environment
  • Protocols/AgreementsGround rules (external), community agreements (internal)
  • Teaching of skills Lifeskills, emotional literacy, social emotional skills, conflict resolution
intervention dealing with the conflict in ways that
INTERVENTIONDealing with the conflict in ways that:
  • Solve problems;
  • Help students to be more independent in their conflict resolution;

(Response to bullying and harassment, Proactive response to conflict)

intervention dealing with the conflict in ways that1
INTERVENTIONDealing with the conflict in ways that:
  • Help students learn from their experiences;
  • Improve relationships among students as well as between students and staff.

SEE: Conflict Resolution in the High School

By Miller Lieber

defusing anger
Defusing Anger
  • Listen attentively while the other person vents his or her anger.
  • Don’t get defensive: stay calm
  • Keep your focus on the other person
  • Encourage him or her to keep talking.
  • Restate and reflect the other person’s feelings:“I can see that you’re upset because…”“I can tell you’re angry about…”“ You feel … because…”“ You sound…”
  • “I hear you saying that…”
proactive intervention
  • Staying Calm: Resist emotional flooding (using the prefrontal cortex)
  • Defusing Anger
  • De-escalating Conflict
  • Resolving ConflictRather than short-circuiting it
invention using conflict productively to
INVENTIONUsing conflict productively to:
  • Help students learn;
  • Mobilize support and structure for individual students
  • Identify problems, weaknesses and areas of concern in the classroom;
  • Identify skills individual students need to develop in conflict resolution.

SEE: The Resilience Revolution: Discovering

Strengths in Challenging Kids by Brendtro & Larson

key invention questions
Key Invention questions

Is the conflict:

  • A sign that something is wrong with the program;
  • A sign students need more skills;
  • A sign that the program is not well-planned;
  • A sign that we need to look outside of the program to address the conflict?
key invention questions1
Key Invention questions
  • Are there new procedures we need to establish in the program?
  • Do we need to revise our procedures or schedules?
  • Is our program meeting students’ needs?
  • Are we planning in a way that prevents conflict?

What Guides You? What shows you the way?

  • People
  • Talents/Gifts
  • Ideas
  • Insights
  • Inspiration
  • Life Experience
  • Family
  • Beliefs & Ideals
  • Values
  • Theories & Models

Laurie Frank

GOAL Consulting

1337 Jenifer Street

Madison, Wisconsin 53703



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