Monday, March 08, 2010

Rochester mentoring scheme boosts behaviour

Mentoring has been used in a number of schools to improve results and discipline. The Rochester (New York not Kent) Resilience Project pairs children with a mentor and gets them to learn and practice behavioural and cognitive skills designed to strengthen their ability to manage their emotions and "address specific goals to improve school adaptation." Children are taught how to monitor their own emotions and the emotions of others and to maintain control and regain equilibrium by taking a deep breath, stepping back from emotionally-intensive situations and using an imaginary umbrellas as protection from hurtful words. Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center studied 226 children ranging in age from nursery to Year 3 who were already showin signs of problem behaviour. Some of the children took part in the Rochester Resilience Project while others foremed a control group. The children who took part in the project showed less aggressive and disruptive behavior, concentrated better on tasks, had better social skills and were less shy and more assertive. Compared to the control group they had a 43 in % decrease symptom and 46% less mean "office disciplinary referral). Over the course of the intervention 1.8% of the children in the 'mentored' group were supended compared to 6.1% in the control group.

You can find out more about this research at

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