Philosophy

CEBM DISTINCTIVES

The way in which a school staff provides support to a student must be guided by a theoretical framework through which they come to understand 'WHY' students behave as they do. This will then help them to determine which practices and materials will best meet the needs of the students who find themselves having behavioural difficulties in the school setting.

  • Practice must derive from THEORY

 

  • INSIGHT is a primary instrument of change

 

  • The unfolding of HUMAN POTENTIAL is the ultimate goal but a stable and working ATTACHMENT is the immediate priority

 

  • Intervention is aimed at the developmental ROOTS of problems

 

  • RELATIONSHIP should be the context of intervention

 

  • EMOTION is the heart of the matter and a primary focus of intervention

 

  • True PLAY is a natural solution and the ultimate pathway to self-realization

 

  • Trust in developmental GROWTH rather than immediate results

 

  • A VILLAGE OF ATTACHMENT is necessary to support development

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Practice must derive from THEORY

The primary source for practice is theory and insight. What needs to be solid and evidence-based is the theory from which practices flow. Practice on the other hand should be fluid, flexible and responsive to individual circumstances and the impediments experienced by the student. Intervention is an interactive dance that cannot and should not be prescribed. 

 

To be AVOIDED is:

  • research that is devoid of theory and insight

  • evidence-based practice which seems to work’, mostly in the short run

  • training in symptom management interventions

INSIGHT is a primary instrument of change

 

The preferred instruments of change are education and insight. Resources and materials sought out by developmental educators should be rich in theory and helpful in increasing insight, so that they can be equipped with their own ‘eyes’ or ‘way to see’ and not have to depend on ‘experts’ to make sense of a student or a situation. 

To be AVOIDED are:

  • skills or strategies devoid of context and insight

  • methods or techniques that are ‘one size fits all’

  • recipes or prescriptions

The unfolding of HUMAN POTENTIAL is the ultimate goal but a stable and working ATTACHMENT is the immediate priority

 

The primary focus of practice is creating the conditions for the development of human potential. The context within which this development happens is strong emotional connection with caring adults. When these relationships are established with students, they feel safe, secure and have a sense of belonging. This helps to set the stage for them to take the cues of the adults responsible for them, to experience true rest because they know they are being cared for and to make leaps in their development.

To be AVOIDED is:

  • a focus on what is 'normal' or what the diagnosis says

  • a focus on ‘cutting out’ behaviours or increasing performance

  • a focus on social fit or student compliance

Intervention is aimed at the developmental ROOTS of problems

 

The preferred level of practice is at the root of the problem rather than at the symptom level. Since most problems arise as a result of immaturity, vulnerability, and attachment issues and are rooted in emotion, interventions will focus on compensating for immaturity, increasing attachment and tolerance of vulnerability, and expression of emotion without repercussion. As a result, they are often indirect, non-linear, paradoxical, and seemingly unrelated to the presenting problem.

The focus is:

  • NOT at the symptom level

  • NOT at the level of outcome

  • NOT pushing maturation, independence nor socialization

RELATIONSHIP should be the context of intervention

 

The primary target of practice is relationship. The developmental educator’s primary objective should be to work at creating a strong relationship which then allows them to work with the student through that relationship. This provides a context that is warm, caring and supportive, soliciting the student’s good intentions and inviting change and risk-taking within a safe connection.

To be AVOIDED is:

  • a focus on conduct or performance

  • a focus on  strategies or skills

  • a focus on  pushing for maturation

EMOTION is the heart of the matter and a primary focus of intervention

 

The primary focus of practice is emotion. A developmental educator is aware of the importance of emotion in human maturation, and thus is aiming for expression without repercussion, keeping the heart soft, allowing for sadness and tears, and creating the context for the unfolding of mixed feelings. 

The focus is:

  • NOT cognition or reason

  • NOT behaviour or performance

  • NOT peer interaction or social fit

True PLAY is a natural solution and the ultimate pathway to self-realization

 

The natural solution of practice and intervention is play. The developmental educator is aware of the importance of play and its contribution to the cognitive and emotional development and well-being of the student. The invitation to play happens when the adult provides time and space, whether in the classroom, intervention room, or outdoors. Having different ‘props’ may prompt students into play, but the most important is having the invitation to play.

The focus is:

  • NOT experts and specialists

  • NOT skill building or programs

  • NOT diagnoses and symptom management

Trust in developmental GROWTH rather than immediate results

 

The essential ingredient for change is trust that the maturation processes will bear fruit. In this way developmental educators have patience, instill confidence and provide hope. True change and growth will come with time as maturation unfolds. In the meantime, adults need to compensate for the student’s immaturity with much grace and generosity. It is essential that behavioural struggles be handled in a manner that preserves dignity and keeps the student in relationship with the adults who care for and educate them.

The focus is:

  • NOT immediate results

  • NOT on the child's acquisition of skills

  • NOT on the educator's training or expertise

A VILLAGE OF ATTACHMENT is necessary to support development

 

Students grow when surrounded by a group of caring adults who can support each other to create the conditions in which students can thrive. Stuck and immature students require great levels of support. Staff cannot be expected to work alone or carry the full ‘weight’ of a challenging student. Teamwork permits adults to sustain effort and maintain the energy necessary to continue to create the essential conditions for growth and development, such that students feel that they are surrounded by a caring village of attachments.

The focus is:

  • NOT on a quick fix

  • NOT on finding the perfect strategy or intervention

  • NOT on ‘going at it alone