10.3 N.B.A.

Avoid misunderstandings about “Punishment Abolition”

In some countries and/or schools we found at the beginning a resistance to accept the core values of the N.B.A. approach. Specially we realized that some schools get the message that the N.B.A. method means “No Punishment” or “Punishment Abolition” and they find this unacceptable.

In fact this is not really neither a request nor a goal of the project. The Punishment are still possible and needed in some cases. The method aims instead to reduce the use Punishment and specially the public “Blame” of guilty students. But the main goal is not related to it but to the change in the behavior of the class group, including the main actors of the aggressive behaviours, promoting positive, pro-social and responsible behaviours  which can effectively improve the well-being of all the class members therefore prevent and reduce furthers negative conflicts among students.

To avoid  this misunderstanding we found very useful to make very clear this point  from very beginning with all the project stakeholders. In some cases we also find very effective to change the name of the method as happened in the UK where the name N.B.A. is not in use anymore for these very reasons (avoid useless misunderstaings). The name actually in use in UK is “Support group approach”).

Strategies to keep high motivation from teachers

  • low number of cases: in a single school year the trained teachers may have little chance to apply the N.B.A. technics since the bullying and cyberbulling cases may be (fortunately) few or none. In some cases (but not always) this led to small chance for the teachers to touch/see the benefits of this method and keep motivated.
  • therefore we suggest that the N.B.A. method should be used also as PREVENTION tool, when the teacher see the signals of a potential bullying situation. In this way they will have more chance to test the approach and keep trained and motivated (plus adding the extra-value of a prevention tool, which we could touch in the school where we test the N.B.A. as a prevention tool).
  • a wider range of prevention and intervention tools should be provided to teachers to enable them to act in diverse situations. One example is the well known technic of  “circle time” as a prevention tool that helps class to discuss together problems and personal needs before they can lead to deeper conflicts.
  • teachers support actions:  to keep motivated and updated we suggest that teachers involved in the N.B.A. approach should be supported through further workshops, online tools, and experience’s exchange with other teacher in order to see the results from the collegues experiences, keep motivated, improve strategies and get through difficult problems. Building local networks between the schools that join these activities and experimentation is highly suggested.