The BASE project, in response to the European requirement of reforming the whole scholastic disciplinary system identifies in the proven US-born concept of the Positive Behaviour Approach (PBS) one possible solution, and tries to adapt its practical and evidence-based principles to the heterogeneous European school settings.
In this scenario, the targets of the project will be mainly school leaders, teachers and all students including those coming from vulnerable groups. Recently, scientific studies (Sugai, Horner, 2016) have emphasized the promising role of PBS in reducing the occurrence of behavioural problems by setting up a preventive, proactive and multilevel system based on the direct involvement of the entire work team: starting from teachers, school leaders until all actors of the community involved in the educational processes. The features of PBS are rooted in the behavioural science and in the practice of Functional Behaviour Analysis (FBA). It works very well in coping with challenging behavioural problems in everyday school life. The growing expectation is that schools will deliver socially acceptable, effective, and efficient interventions to ensure safe and productive environments where the prosocial behaviour is promoted and pupils can become successful adults.
With the purpose of achieving these goals, the rationale for this project is to combine the PBS approach with the FBA practice, taking advantage of the previous positive experience of the partnership. Specifically, the results of the WHAAM (Web Health Application for ADHD Monitoring), funded by the EACEA in Transversal Programme KA3: ICT – LLL 2007-2013) and PBS Europe project (509966-LLP-1-2010-NL-COMENIUS-CMP, KA Multilateral Projects - www.europbs.com) as the bulk of the knowledge base for the new project.
Throughout the BASE project, we will take advantage from the considerable experience of all involved partners in the identification, adoption, implementation, and monitoring of the research-validated practices and in helping educators to understand and improve their teaching styles and approaches to meet the emerging challenges as and when they arise.
The transnationality will give the opportunity to reinforce and enlarge educational networks, increase teachers’ capacity to operate at the transnational level, share and confront ideas, practices and methods. Besides, it will be a great chance to analyse and compare several “good practices” of intervention with a particular regard on the Evidence-Based Education (EBE; Slavin, 2002), also thanks to an insight into different management strategies and attention to potential sources of errors and risks.
One of the main aim of the Project BASE is to expand the functionalities of the Web-based application for monitoring behavior of ADHD children (outcome of the WHAAM project), according to the theoretical and methodological constraints defined by the PBS project. While the original WHAAM application was focused only on the functional assessment applied to problem behaviors of children with ADHD, the new BASE web application will include features useful for a larger field of intervention.
Ideally, the school setting should represent, along with the home, one of the most friendly and safe places in which live positive emotions and benefit from healthy opportunities. Unfortunately, this not match with the actuality of many schools where the heterogeneous nature of educational needs makes the teaching-learning relationship difficult to build. The incidence of acts of violence at school is statistically greater than before. The increasing number of incidents highlights a lack of direction and coherence about how schools should manage and respond to challenging behaviours. Teachers, every day, in all part of the world, are making huge efforts to improve educational services and opportunities for students with disabilities or problem behaviours, often without success. Students, increasingly, even those have a good social background, are discovered in the midst of rule breaking activities, bullying to others, fighting, repeated truancy, exhibiting disruptive behaviour during lessons or showing passive learning engagement. In this context, for teachers, it is very important to possess not only the basic fundamental skills needed for teaching their curricular subject but also to be able to apply effective psychosocial and behavioural knowledge, while they are delivering their subject areas. It is almost predictable that investing in prevention of problem behaviours improves overall learning opportunities and reduce anxiety and stress in teachers.
School leaders and the educational staff must become capable setoff setting the scene so as to obtain high standard of behaviour for the whole school community, also by means of uniform scholastic policies, and the implementation of environmental and curricular redesign interventions, to establish positive standards of teaching expectations.
All teachers need to have a range of strategies for addressing behaviour.They must be able to use these strategy confidently to respond constructively and effectively at the students with disturbing and/or disruptive behaviors. Especially when these behaviours interfere with the social functioning and academic engagement their own and others.