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Circle of Courage


Circle of Courage Donna Nikiforuk Feb. 26, 2013 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Circle of Courage

Circle of Courage
Donna Nikiforuk Feb. 26, 2013
What is Circle of Courage?
  • a model of youth empowerment supported by
    contemporary research and Native philosophies of
    child care.
  • is encompassed in four core values belonging,
    mastery, independence, and generosity
  • is about living a well balanced, passionate life
  • is grounding a calm, respectful approach to
    working with youth

Todays Agenda
  • Background for Circle of Courage
  • Meet the mentors
  • Learn some key elements through this journey
  • How you can use Circle of Courage in schools
  • A little about Restitution Theory and RAP
  • Connecting C of C to Bullying Issues

Janzen Fun
Whats important in schools?
  • S afe environment
  • C ompetent teachers creating engaging lessons
  • H olistic teaching that honours the whole child
  • Academic, Social, Emotional, Spiritual, Physical
  • O kay to make a mistake
  • (How we respond when mistakes are made is key.)
  • O h WOW factor! See what I just learned!
  • L oads of fun happening daily
  • where staff and students love to be
  • S upport for each other staff and students

My Journey
  • Teacher, Itinerant, Vice Principal, Principal in
    RPS for 30 years
  • Three key influences
  • President of Saskatchewan Health Educators
    Association 1992 1994
  • Restitution Theory Diane Chelsom-Gossen
  • Circle of Courage No Disposable Kids Conference
    in 2003
  • Response Ability Pathways Trainer 2007 (RAP)
  • A Career Highlight Received the RPS Shared
    Values Award 2012 nominated by my community

What I learned about Restitution Theory - Diane
Chelsom-Gossen and William Glassier
  • Responding to 5 Needs
  • Survival physical necessities
  • Belonging love and compassion
  • Fun passions, enthusiasm, feeding your spirit
  • Freedom choices, daring to dream
  • Power significant personal power, competence
    and mastery

External Motivation vs. Internal
  • External
  • Is about rules gt consequences and rewards
  • Internal
  • Is about beliefs gt acting because it is the right
    thing to do, because this is the person I want to
  • Turn your language around
  • I am proud of you gt You should be so proud of


When these needs are met, children are
resilient and thrive.
Circle of Courage was a part of RAP.
RAP training was piloted in South Africa.
President Nelson Mandela formed a commission on
young people at risk headed by his welfare
minister. She chose Lesley du Toit (co-author of
the RAP manual) to manage transformation of
services to this population. The Circle of
Courage and RAP became the model for training
staff in child and youth care, education, and
youth justice.
Meet those who developed this philosophy.
Dr. Steve Van Bockern
Dr. John Seita
Dr. Martin Brokenleg
Dr. Larry Brendtro
At a No Disposable KidsConference, Larry
started with
  • A person who disrespects others is almost always
    one who has not been treated with dignity and
    respect themselves.
  • Hurt people hurt people
  • Shaming students into submission has been a core
    practice in adult dominance models of education.
  • If I can make this person feel bad enough, they
    will never do this again
  • Why doesnt this work?
  • This just adds to the pain in their lives they
    already feel.
  • They stop thinking about their behaviour and
    start thinking about yours.

  • In a typical year, 3,000,000 children in the U.S.
    enter the child welfare system because of
    allegations of neglect or abuse.
  • 60 of victims of bullying experience their abuse
    at the hands of other kids40 at the hands of
  • In 400 hours of video-documented episodes of
    bullying adults noticed and intervened in only
    one out of every 25 episodes (4 of the time).
  • Why?
  • They really dont see most incidents.
  • They dismissed the incident as insignificant.
  • They didnt know how to respond.

Adult behaviour that is liked
  • Calm
  • Joking
  • Offers to help
  • Fairness
  • Explains how and what
  • Politeness
  • Gets right to the point
  • Smiling
  • Positive feedback

Adult Behaviours that kids most dislike
  • Blaming and accusing
  • Shouting
  • No opportunity to speak
  • Insulting remarks
  • Unpleasant physical contact
  • Unfriendly or unpleasant
  • Bossing
  • Lack of understanding

Martin talked about
  • Indicators of chemical abuse
  • Jail study in South Dakota
  • 60 of white population reoffend
  • 100 of First Nations population reoffend
  • Rehabilitation Non Present
  • Drinkers
  • Characteristics of alcoholism can be traced to
    gr. 11gr. 7gr. 2.
  • Cycles of dysfunction
  • Violence
  • Male vs. female (overt vs. covert)
  • Most violent year of school What is it?

Grade 7
Reclaiming Youth
  • Martin Brokenleg
  • A power struggle is like wrestling with a pig.
    The pig has fun and you get dirty.
  • Its not mandatory, but it helps if were a
    little more disturbed than our children.
  • Reclaiming movement is just as much about a
    mindset as a practice.
  • Seeing the greatness in children
  • Einstein had a low-average IQ in school
  • Churchill was a behaviour problem

John referred to Seabiscuit
  • Smallish misunderstood mishandled runty little
    thing lazy, dead lazy... mean
  • Tom Smith Get me that horse he has real stuff
    in him I can improve him Im positive of it!
  • seeing that everyone has strengths
  • So long as you treat him like a gentleman, hell
    run his heart out for you.
  • In the fiftieth start of his life, Seabiscuit
    finally understood the game.
  • The fire that kept Seabiscuit frustrated and
    unruly with his previous trainer now fueled a
    bounding will to win.
  • The horse, the jockey, and the trainer have to
    work in unison to win the race.
  • - the home, the community, the school

What Steve talks about
  • How you build a Circle of Courage school.
  • Shared Vision
  • EQ is as important as IQ
  • Staff have instructional competence.
  • Schools can be great places for children if they
    are led by competent and caring adults.

The Circle of Courage
In your groups, talk about words or phrases that
would describe what each of these values is about.
Belonging You are unique
  • Feeling like you belong includes
  • Having friends
  • Having fun
  • Joining in
  • Playing well with others
  • Being okay with who you are
  • Helping others belong includes
  • Accepting others as they are
  • Treating other respectfully
  • Including others
  • Being friendly, kind and helpful

Throughout aboriginal history, the tribe, not the
nuclear family ensured the survival of the
Elephant and Dog Story
  • http//

Dont just talk about belonging, live it,
demonstrate it, incorporate it into curriculum.
  • Dont Laugh at Me.
  • - talk about the lyrics
  • - talk about personal stories
  • - allow kids to experience emotions

Mastery You are valuable
  • Discovering what you are good at
  • Putting your best effort in, even when
  • things are hard.
  • Learning
  • Problem Solving
  • Gifts and Talents
  • Discovering talents in sports, art, music
  • and other things.

The first lesson in traditional Native American
culture is to carefully observe those with more
experience in order to learn from them.
When we are looking for mastery
  • Be on a treasure hunt, not a witch hunt.
  • Think about multiple intelligences
  • Know about self-regulation practices.
  • Consider adaptations that meet kids needs
  • Think about gifts and talents
  • What are your gifts? How do you use them?

Working with kids to achieve mastery
  • Patience, patience, patience

How do boys and girls learn differently? From
Leonard Sax Boys Adrift When boys were asked,
What enables you to learn?, the following
4-Fs emerged
  • Fun
  • Firm
  • Friendly
  • Focused
  • Has nothing to do with the gender of the teacher
  • Boys will not learn from someone unless they
    think you like them.

Independence You have choices
  • Independence is about making good choices
  • I know how to control my own behavior.
  • I know the right thing to do.
  • I make good choices.
  • Its okay to make a mistake.

Kids need to learn how to make positive choices.
This is not done by adults telling them what they
should do. It comes from helping them find the
answers within them.
Making the right choices
  • X factor

Think of all the challenges this boy has
faced. What choices has he had to make in his
life? He is a role model for us all to have the
COURAGE to make the best of what we have and who
we are and make daily choices that reflect this.
Generosity You need others
  • Generosity is about giving and forgiving
  • Sharing
  • Helping
  • Playing fair
  • Forgiving others when they make a mistake
  • Cheering people up when they are sad is about
    having a generous spirit

A principal virtue in Native American Culture is
generosity giving time, showing respect and
practicing a forgiving nature.
Making a difference
  • Softball Dream

Traditional Haida Symbols
  • Raven Wisdom (Mastery)
  • Whale Family (Belonging)
  • Wolf Independence (Responsibility)
  • Salmon Generosity (Respect) ? Giver of Life

What is the most influential thing a teacher can
  • Be a positive role model
  • Don't worry that children never listen to you
    worry that they are always watching you. 
  • Robert Fulghum
  • Be the change you want to see in the world
  • Mahatma Gandhi

How do your children see you reacting to others?
  • If they see criticism, they will learn that.
  • If they see judgment, they will learn that.
  • If they see understanding and caring, they will
    learn that.

Connections to Bullying
  • Whats the difference between teasing and
  • What does it mean to be kind. Lets adopt a
    be kind to one another policy
  • What ways can we practice this?
  • Have kids help you list ways
  • Pay it forward
  • Model kind and point out when you see kindness

Connect Circle of Courage to Bullying
  • When you teach about the Circle talk about how it
    takes courage to be the best we can be.
  • Surveys help give us information and provide and
    a voice for students
  • Honour the results
  • What are the students saying?
  • Where do you need to focus your efforts?

  • Belonging Mastery Independence Generosity
  • Have to begin with belonging so students feel
    accepted for who they are
  • Build on what student strengths are and what they
    have to offer. We build on these strengths for
    new learning.
  • Belonging and Mastery leads to making positive
    choices for self and in life long learning
  • Through developing a positive self, students
    learn then to be generous with others

  • Believe in kids and all they can become.
  • Do you believe?
  • Dont just know about the Circle of Courage,
    teach kids about it, talk about it, set goals
    using it.