A study of the Primary Assisted Learning (PAL) Program: an initiative to address behaviour issues and enhance resilience for at risk primary school children

Doctorate other than PhD


Murray, Helen E.. 2010. A study of the Primary Assisted Learning (PAL) Program: an initiative to address behaviour issues and enhance resilience for at risk primary school children. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Education. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

A study of the Primary Assisted Learning (PAL) Program: an initiative to address behaviour issues and enhance resilience for at risk primary school children

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
Authors
AuthorMurray, Helen E.
SupervisorPostle, Glen
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Education
Number of Pages297
Year2010
Abstract

Children with challenging behaviours are a concern for parents, teachers, schools and the wider community. If such children deemed to be at risk are ignored, our society will pay one way or another. A need exists to intervene early in the lives of at risk children to reduce risk factors by increasing their protective factors to enhance their resilience.

This study focused on a local initiative that is an early intervention, preventive, school based multi-setting program targeting eight boys in Grades 3 and 4 who were at risk of being suspended from school. A one shot case study with a mixed method approach was used to explore the components of the Primary Assisted Learning (PAL) Program that included student support focusing on adventure based learning, parenting education using the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) and a teacher component that focused on individualised and differentiated teacher professional development.

The aim of the PAL Program was two fold, firstly to reduce the challenging behaviours of the at risk students by focusing on specific protective process factors and secondly, to enhance the students’ resilience. Findings from this study indicate perceived improvements in the students’ behaviours and enhanced resilience as reported by the students, parents and class teachers. Furthermore all reported high satisfaction levels with the PAL Program.
Outcomes from this study highlight the importance of providing interventions for at risk students that are not a single factor approach but rather are complex and operate across and between ecological systems of the student, parent and teacher.

Recommendations for further research are for the program to be empirically tested. Additionally, improvements could be made in gathering ongoing feedback from stakeholders and participants throughout the intervention and with more sophisti-cated measures within the program components that focus on the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data and by extending the length of the program.

KeywordsPrimary Assisted Learning; behaviour; Primary school children
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390404. Educational counselling
390304. Primary education
Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Education
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