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FAQ

Click the questions below to find out more about what Choice Theory and Reality Therapy are and how they are implemeneted here at Wilford School.

1. Describe Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.
Choice theory is a belief that all we do is behave and that almost all behavior is chosen. We are driven by our genes to satisfy our five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom and fun.

Reality Therapy is a method of counselling that deals with the art of creating meaningful relationships that help clients (students) make more effective choices

2. How is Choice Therapy and Reality Therapy implemented at Wilford School?

Choice theory and Reality Therapy underpin everything everyone does at Wilford School. It forms the basis of our school culture. There is no differentiation between students, staff and other adults in our expectations of ourselves and the way we relate to each other and form positive relationships and problem solving strategies.

3. Is there a shared understanding (by students, parents and staff) of the intent and practices involved in Choice Theory and Reality Therapy
The shared understanding is brought about by Wilford Staff modeling, using a common language and consistency in all their relationships with each other, students and parents. All staff members are trained in a basic week and there is ongoing staff development. There is a section on Choice theory in the parent prospectus and it is discussed at the enrolment interview. It is included in parent newsletters.

4. Do you think Choice Theory and Reality Therapy contributes to reducing negative behaviour in students?
Totally convinced it is the answer to positive behavior management. It has made a huge difference to our school. There is practically no violence and if a child behaves in an unacceptable way, it is nipped in the bud. Other students will be assertive and not accept the behavior. Teachers will respond with a Choice Theory interview. Students say to new students, “We don’t do that here, do it this way.”

5. Do you think this approach is sustainable and able to be implemented school wide?
The approach is totally sustainable, but I believe it really does need to be used school-wide to be effective. It needs to be lead and modeled by the Management Team.

6. What are the characteristics of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy's content/design, implementation and outcome that contribute to youth development?
Teach students to be responsible for their own actions and choices and the consequences of these choices. It teaches students the skills to problem solve in positive ways. It teaches them how to get their needs meet in appropriate ways. It works on how to form good relationships and how to become resilient. The behaviors then become dispositions will be used for the rest of their lives.

7. What evidence might convince decision makers that Choice Theory and Reality Therapy is well worth implementing (or would be worth implementing more widely)?
Talking to students about how Choice Theory has changed their lives and affected how they feel about themselves and the world. Talking to teachers who use CT and RT and how it has helped them spend their time on teaching instead of student management. Also the value of really getting to know their students and what is important to them and how to get the best out of them.

8. How valuable/high quality is Choice Theory and Reality Therapy's content/design and delvery? How well does it fit into the New Zealand Curriculum?
It fits really well into the new curriculum matching the Key Competencies, and the Values. It is also reflected in Inquiry Learning. Students are engaged in Quality Learning.

9. How substantial and valuable are the gains in the students' knowledge, skills, attitudes, confidence and other competencies as a result of Choice Theory and Reality Therapy?
We have noticed a huge difference in students’ achievement and confidence using Choice theory and Reality Therapy. They are more independent, able to work better in groups and able to stand up to peer and other pressure to do the things that are right for them. They know who they are and what their strengths are and what they need to keep working on. The students all use Choice theory language and all have the same understandings. They support each other and are quick to act if they see someone having difficulties, needing support or assistance. Their learning has improved in quality and achievement. They have ownership of their own learning journey.

10. To what extent does Choice Theory and Reality Therapy help enhance communication, co-ordination and/or collaboration amoung the people supporting the students?
All the staff use the same language and students understand what they mean. Students are asked the “connecting questions” which help them self problem solve and take responsibility. All teachers feel supported by others. Parents are also informed about what we are doing and if Choice theory “connecting habits” language is used when talking to parents they are non defensive and supportive.