Brain research is very complicated, with new understanding of how the brain works gained every day. Positive Action incorporates this research in the curriculum materials when possible. It even goes so far as to teach students about brain research, in lessons on brain hemispheres and the need to use the whole brain. Students also learn the scientific method, which they apply by doing a research study on themselves. Below are some of the active research areas.
Positive Action has built into the curriculum and other materials some recognizable links to the different ways students learn. There are spoken lessons taught by the Teacher and music to reach audio learners; posters, visual aids, and activity sheets to engage visual, spatial, and tactical learners; physical activities and manipulatives built into lessons to connect with students who learn better by doing.
Howard Gardner’s multiple-intelligences theory overlaps learning styles and is built into the variety of methodologies and strategies in Positive Action lessons and activities: stories, poems, plays, role-playing, colorful posters, games, music, activity sheets, charts, visual aids, motion, puppets, and manipulatives of all kinds.
Positive Action contains four units on social and emotional learning: self-management, getting along with others by treating them the way you like to be treated, self-honesty, and self-improvement. Lessons and activities from these units help students know, understand, and manage themselves better in the social and emotional domains of their lives.
Positive Action promotes healthy student behavior through its philosophy and the TAF Circle. The philosophy teaches that you feel good about yourself when you do positive actions. The TAF Circle raises awareness that we have a thought that occurs before we take an action, and our action elicits a reaction that leads to another thought.
Positive Action materials bring this process to a conscious level and teach students to be aware of their thoughts before they act, because once they have acted they can’t take their action back.
The feeling they get about themselves from their action is a powerful motivator: They will act positively either to get positive feelings, which are important to them, or to avoid negative feelings about themselves, which are very uncomfortable for them. This promotes intrinsic motivation: They learn how to do the right thing for the right reason, not for an extrinsic reward.