Stimulating school-wide positive behaviour support in a primary school : a deputy principal's self-study.
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The purpose of this self-study research was to learn about stimulating school-wide positive behavior support in a multicultural primary school. As a deputy principal, I was concerned that learners were continuously displaying disruptive behavior, thus impeding the culture of teaching and learning. By adopting a sociocultural theoretical perspective, I understood that learners’ actions take place in sociocultural context. I therefore anticipated that taking a sociocultural approach in working with learners, teachers and parents as a school-wide group who come from diverse sociocultural backgrounds could help facilitate interesting and valuable interactions. Because this was self-study research, I was the main participant in the study. The other participants who helped me answer my research questions were two of my former school friends, four grade 6 learners, two post level 1 teachers, two Heads of Departments, and two school governing body parents. I also worked with two fellow Master’s students as my critical friends. My first research question was: What can I learn about positive behaviour support by remembering supportive and unsupportive experiences? Responding to this question through memory-work and arts-based self-study methods enabled me to understand how recalling my past supportive and unsupportive experiences could help me to learn about positive behaviour support. My former primary and high school friends discussed supportive and unsupportive experiences with me to evoke memories of the past. My second research question was: What can I learn about positive behaviour support from members of our school community? In response to this question, I used arts-based self-study and collective self-study methods to engage learner, parent and teacher participants to collaborate in deliberations on positive behaviour support for learners.Self-study research enabled me to reconsider my managerial and teaching outlook and practice by interacting with our school-wide community. I learnt that it is a core part of my responsibility as a deputy principal to ensure that respectful, trusting and empathetic relationships within the school community support and promote the socio-emotional and academic growth of learners. As a school manager, I should serve as a role model in cultivating supportive relationships with parents, teachers and learners.