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

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. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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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.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Education (EdD) thesis.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Supervisors: Postle, Glen
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2011 03:05
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2016 02:23
Uncontrolled Keywords: Primary Assisted Learning; behaviour; Primary school children
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130305 Educational Counselling
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130105 Primary Education (excl. Maori)
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/19604

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