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Ben’s good decisions in class

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Student background

Student Ben
Age 14
School Secondary

Ben’s strengths include reading, mathematics, and basketball. Ben is in a class with seven other students, two teachers and three full-time teacher aides at a special school.

Ben has developmental dyspraxia. A behaviour management programme is operating in Ben’s class and fits in with a year-long thematic plan entitled, “Money, Money, Money!” where the focus is economic activity and resources. Students reflect and self-monitor their behaviour in terms of the key competencies. They give themselves a mark against each key competency at three points across the day. Six is the highest mark and two is the lowest mark (see information under the heading “Effective pedagogy” for more detail).

Students also undertake jobs (within a life skills context), including vacuuming, washing dishes, and so on, and at the end of the week, students can be paid $1.00 providing their behaviour has not been a barrier to participation. Students have a target number of points to achieve, set on an individual basis, in order to be able to “bank” their money. The money banked over the course of the term is available to spend on the last outing of the term. Honesty about behaviour is encouraged. Ben enjoys this programme and it provides him with a tangible motivator.