Pro-social behaviour

Pro-social behaviour is an important life skill. Knowing how to get on with others promotes positive interactions, builds relationships and helps people to feel connected.

Practicing pro-social skills can stimulate the development of:

  • emotional regulation (being able to manage a range of emotions)
  • social skills and social competence
  • problem-solving skills
  • conflict resolution skills
  • responsible decision-making.

Fostering respectful relationships with students and understanding the circumstances and factors that influence them are important components in providing positive behaviour support.

Pro-social skills need to be explicitly taught, practised and reinforced, as with any new skill. Teachers should provide ample opportunities to continue skill development by encouraging actions such as helping, sharing and volunteering.

Teachers can promote pro-social behaviour in the classroom by modelling daily caring routines such as greeting each student by name at the classroom door. Whole school routines such as breakfast clubs present an opportunity to encourage pro-social behaviour and have been shown to enhance wellbeing as well as preparing students for the day ahead.

When children improve their pro-social behaviours, benefits flow through to their learning, behaviour and wellbeing outcomes. Students who are aware of their own behaviour and can appropriately use a range of emotions and coping skills, are less likely to be disruptive in school. Once pro-social strategies are developed and strengthened, they become part of an individual’s ongoing repertoire of life skills.

More information

To learn more about promoting positive behaviour and setting Kindergarten up for success, visit the Classroom Practice website.

To find out more about co-operative learning, visit the Restorative Practices website.

To learn more about the five broad skill areas of social and emotional learning, visit the Social and emotional learning website.

Be You Programs Directory can help you find the right evidence based program to support social and emotional learning and promote positive mental health.

Information, resources and professional learning on Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) website.

Professional learning

Be You has modules in the Learning Resilience domain that provide an in-depth understanding of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and how to intentionally teach SEL skills. The modules contribute to one hour of NSW Education Standards Authority registered professional learning.

Online Training Australia understanding and supporting student behaviour explores what is meant by difficult behaviour, how teacher practice can influence student behaviour and how positive classroom management practices support the learning and behaviour needs of all students.

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