The Positive Action program focuses on positive behaviors. It doesn't just tell students to behave well, it teaches them how. It also shows them how to tell which behaviors are positive, which are negative, and the differences between the two. The program involves the whole self, providing sound instruction on physical, intellectual, and social/emotional positive actions.
Extrinsic discipline focuses on correcting problem behaviors as they occur. This includes rewards systems that are abstractions of Pavlov’s original experiments. Just as Pavlov discovered, once the rewards and incentives cease, the target behavior will also decrease and eventually subside.
In contrast, intrinsic discipline and self-control is a more effective preventive approach to discipline because the effects are long-lasting. Positive Action students are taught that choosing positive actions will reinforce the good feelings about themselves that come as a result of their doing positive actions. This is intrinsic motivation in action.
Schools report dramatic decreases in disciplinary referrals with the Positive Action program in place. When discipline is necessary, Positive Action concepts provide a positive way out of a negative situation. Students are reminded of Positive Action concepts and are encouraged to evaluate the situation as it relates to those concepts.
Two questions often help the students and staff members relate a problem to Positive Action concepts:
Is what you were doing a positive action?
Which positive actions can you use to resolve this problem?
By teaching students internal control and helping them understand their behavior, Positive Action enhances the use of disciplinary actions that do more than respond to a single incident. Students realize the results of negative actions and are able to take more responsibility for their actions.