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Click the links below to find out more about the Good Behaviour Game

 

What is the Good Behaviour Game and who invented it?

The Good Behaviour Game (GBG or the Game) is a classroom management strategy that promotes positive behaviour and has shown positive long-term impacts for students. In the late 1960s, a fourth-grade teacher in Kansas, USA developed GBG in response to a need to better manage behaviours in the classroom. GBG was formally tested in 1969 at the University of Kansas and represents a very important piece of work in the field of prevention science. Read the research paper here.

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How does the Game work?

 GBG is a team-based universal intervention designed to be implemented during regular instruction. Teachers play the game with their class while students are completing independent or group assignments in small teams. Students learn teamwork; they receive positive reinforcement for promoting and following classroom rules; and they practice monitoring and managing their own behaviour.

While the Good Behaviour Game is played, teachers monitor teams to ensure they are following each of the class rules. If team members break a rule, that team receives a tick. Teams that receive four or fewer tick marks win the game and receive positive reinforcement to encourage future success.

The game is not a curriculum and does not compete with instructional time- click here for more information.

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How does GBG benefit students?

While the Good Behaviour Game is beneficial to all students in the classroom, it is of particular benefit to male students already showing signs of aggressive/disruptive behaviour when they enter primary school. The Game is designed to help early learners develop skills such as concern for peers, sitting still, paying attention, and completing school work that will provide a foundation for success throughout their schooling and into early adulthood.

At later life stages, students who play GBG in early years are less likely to need access to behavioural and mental health services and to misuse drugs and alcohol. GBG students show lower rates of suicide and depression, drop outs and delinquent behaviours. Research shows GBG has been most successful for students who enter first grade already showing signs of aggressive and disruptive behaviour. GBG is a universal intervention designed to be played with and benefit all students – click here for more information.

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How does GBG benefit teachers?

Teachers use GBG during regular school hours and infuse it into their daily practice. It does not compete with instructional time and seamlessly integrates into the school day. Teachers who play GBG in their classroom have reported a reduction in disruptive and off-task behaviour and increased time to teach. Teachers also report feeling less stress and seeing increases in student engagement. Learning doesn’t happen when the environment is chaotic – GBG promotes a positive learning environment for students and teachers.  By integrating GBG into a regular classroom routine, students internalize expected classroom behaviours and begin to apply them throughout the day, and across settings. It also helps teachers and schools achieve important longer term objectives: student engagement and increased time for teaching and learning – click here for more information.

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Does GBG take away time from teaching?

The Good Behaviour Game is a strategy, not a programme or curriculum. As a result, playing GBG does not take away from instructional time. In fact, research shows that playing the Good Behaviour Game actually leads to increased instructional time for most teachers when implemented with fidelity. GBG is a universal strategy that aligns well with more targeted and intensive interventions within a tiered intervention framework. GBG is often implemented as a part of a suite of tools for teachers when addressing students with behavioural challenges and was developed to be of benefit to the whole class.

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How long does it take to learn how to play GBG?

Because GBG is a strategy, not a curriculum, most teachers can learn the mechanics of The Game pretty quickly. GBG does take some practice to become proficient, and feedback and support from coaches both inside and outside the classroom are important tools to support positive changes in students’ behaviour as well as in teacher practices. Teachers with existing behaviour management skills have the opportunity to continue to refine their skills and everyone benefits in the longer term.

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Can children who need special behaviour support participate in the GBG?

All children can participate in the Good Behaviour Game. It is often the case that children with recognised behavioural difficulties do well during the game as the structure gives them “permission” to behave well. The flexibility built into the game supports the inclusion of children with behavioural difficulties.

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What’s the bigger picture benefit of early intervention through GBG?

Early intervention pays off in the forms of reduced health care costs, increased resilience to risk and positive opportunities for participants – read more here. GBG works, and research supports its positive effects on student behaviour in the short, medium and long term:

GBG evidence

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How can I implement GBG in my school?

Someone from Mentor UK can talk with you about opportunitites for bringing GBG to your school. Contact our office administrator Amanda Hood at admin@mentoruk.org for more information.

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About the UK trial

What is the aim of the trial?

The Good Behaviour Game has a substantial body of evidence from other countries (mainly the US) indicating significant long term educational and health benefits together with more immediate improvements in pupil behaviour, especially for disruptive boys. The trial is to test whether or not it has a similar impact in England and if there is an impact on reading and behaviour after two years and subsequently.

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When does the trial end?
  • Schools signed up to the GBG trial during school year 2014-15
  • The evaluation began with a baseline survey in May 2015
  • Schools were allocated as GBG or control schools (randomisation) during the Summer term 2015
  • The implementation phase ran in schools from September 2015 to July 2017
  • Data collection via a short annual survey will continue with the relevant cohort until Summer 2019
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What is a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT)?

A randomised controlled trial (or RCT) is a type of scientific/research experiment, where the people being studied are randomly assigned to one or other of the different conditions under study. The RCT is often considered the ‘gold standard’ for clinical trials.

About randomisation:

random
The randomisation process assigned schools to either the GBG (intervention) group or the comparison (control) group. In this trial, this was conducted by a statistician who is independent from the evaluator. Randomisation is the best way to have two groups of schools that don’t have any systematic differences. Their performance can then be compared in order to estimate the impact of the GBG.

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How old are the participating students?

The whole of the 2015 -16 Year 3. These pupils will also play The Game in Year 4 and will be involved in brief data collection as they progress through the school.

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Who is evaluating the UK trial of GBG?

The University of Manchester are the independent evaluators for this work. Please contact Dr Alexandra Barlow (0161 275 3504) if you have any questions about the evaluation.

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Can comparison schools implement other behaviour initiatives?

YES – comparison schools are expected to continue with their usual practice which includes the development of new initiatives including any that you may have been considering to improve behaviour and attainment.

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Who trains and coaches the teachers?

Teachers are trained and provided with ongoing support by Mentor’s team of coaches. The coaching team is led by a qualified teacher of many years’ experience with specific expertise in behaviour.

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Who do we contact for more information?

For more information about the trial, please look at gbguk.org/about-the-game/ or contact Amanda Hood at admin@mentoruk.org (0207 553 9920) who will put you in touch with the appropriate team member.

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