Conscious Discipline is an early childhood, social emotional learning (SEL) program that aims to modify teacher and child behavior in order to create classrooms based on safety, connection, and problem solving instead of external rewards and punishments. Conscious Discipline’s goal is to create a systemwide, relationship-based, community model for behavior management, called the “School Family.” The core components of Conscious Discipline center on building skills in teachers that allow them to develop SEL skills and competencies in children, and promote cooperation and the development of connections between and among adults and children. These goals are promoted through program activities that involve intensive teacher training and self-study; coaching and continuing support for teachers as they deploy key conceptual components in the classroom and model behaviors; and exposure of students to various social opportunities, including schoolwide opportunities and practice of skills.
The Conscious Discipline program is a multiyear, multicomponent, school-based intervention that teaches administrators, teachers, and other staff the SEL skills to change the school culture, including discipline strategies and self-regulation skills for children, parents, and other adults. The program includes seven sections that correspond with an SEL behavior; one section is taught per month. Each section aligns with one of the core Conscious Discipline skills and is taught through associated activities (called Structures, Rituals, or Routines). These seven skills and their associated routines are: 1) composure (safe place, circle time, and morning meetings); 2) encouragement (meaningful jobs, friends and family, and ways to be helpful boards); 3) assertiveness (time machine and instant reply); 4) choices (picture rule cards); 5) positive intent (celebration center); 6) empathy (we care center, wish well board); and 7) consequences (class meetings, brain smart start, visual routines).