Schools That Matter

Schools That Matter

This two-day course will help participants understand how to build a positive classroom and school; a place where the needs of children and adults are met. Schools That Matter has its philosophical roots in the Circle of Courage® as explained in Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Our Hope for the Future written by Drs. Larry Brendtro, Martin Brokenleg and Steve Van Bockern. The Circle of Courage® suggests that when the human needs of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity are met, children and adults do well. Schools That Matter create powerful human experiences that encourage growth and healthy social, emotional and academic development.

Course Curriculum

  • Challenges Facing Today’s Schools

    • Children and Families in Stress
    • Conflict and Student Disengagement
    • Transforming Trauma into Resilience
  • Meeting Essential Growth Needs

    • From Maslow to Seligman
    • Resilience Science and the Circle of Courage
    • Indicators of Quality School Programs
  • Foundational Principles

    • Discipline Not Punishment
    • Responding Not Reacting
    • Building Strengths and Supports
  • Emotional Intelligence for Adults

    • Meeting Growth Needs of Adults
    • Strengthening our Own Emotional Competence
    • Building Positive School and Classroom Climates
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    • Managing Conflict and Emotions
    • Relationship Building: Caring, Clarifying, Creating Solutions
    • Cultivating Responsibility
  • Restorative Practices

    • Talent and Interest Development
    • Restoring Kindness and Compassion
    • Kindling the Adventure of Learning

Authors and Trainers

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Steve Van Bockern, EdD, is Professor of Education at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He has been a teacher and principal and developed experiential alternative education programs for gifted students and those with emotional and behavioral problems. He helped establish the annual Black Hills Seminars and formerly directed Reclaiming Youth International. Extending his earlier research on Reclaiming Youth at Risk, his new book, Schools that Matter, applies Circle of Courage principles to create powerful learning environments where all students can thrive. He and Mark Freado have been active in strength-based assessment with youth in the justice system and those being excluded from school. Dr. Van Bockern has trained educators and youth workers in many nations.