21 teachers from DEIS schools in Dublin and the Midlands took part in the first pilot of the PAX Good Behaviour Game in Irish classrooms between January and May 2015. The evaluation was conducted by Professor Mark Morgan and Dr Margaret O’Donnell from St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.

The evaluation involved the researchers visiting each classroom before the implementation of PAX GBG commenced and after the 12 week implementation was completed to observe and quantify off task behaviours in each classroom. Teachers were also asked to complete Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ) for each student before and after the implementation phase. The researchers also conducted face to face interviews with the teachers before and after the implementation phase.

The key findings from the research were:

  • An average reduction of 43% in off task behaviours across the 21 classrooms (Classroom observations)
  • Highly significant reduction in the incidence of hyperactivity (restless, overactive, cannot stay still for long) (SDQ)
  • Highly significant reduction in emotional symptoms (many worries, often seems worried) (SDQ)
  • Highly significant increase in pro-social behaviours (helpful if someone is hurt, upset or feeling ill) (SDQ)
  • Highly significant reduction in total problem scores (SDQ)
  • Almost one third of the children reported by teachers as displaying challenging behaviours at the start of the study were reported as showing no challenging behaviours after the 12 weeks. (SDQ)

Feedback from teachers also demonstrated the positivity generated by PAX GBG in their classrooms.

Classrooms have become calmer, children are taking control of their behaviour and teacher/pupil relationships have been positively impacted. An interesting feature of the teacher comments is the positive impacts reported for both themselves as teachers and for their pupils.

“In a school like this, a DEIS school we are inundated with programmes – this is the first one that I felt really enthusiastic about and I guess my enthusiasm effected them as well. I’m hoping it has. I was amazed how interested they were even the hardest chaws.”

“I hear less shouting out, less noise, hands going up more and often, they correct each other. Less chit chat while they are on task, less arguing, less telling on each other, hearing more helpful words and nice words to each other.”

“The strength of the programme is that it is a positive programme – every aspect of it is positive, it’s created by the children, it comes from the children and it is fun and the children enjoy it. They are the driving force- in this programme discipline is never mentioned – it’s all pure positive and that makes a huge difference.”

“Also I get time to focus on the more able pupils. Before, I was busy correcting misbehaviours that I had no time for them”

To view the full evaluation report, please click here: Evalution of the PAX GBG Pilot Study in Ireland – Final Report

To view the shorter Summary Briefing Document, please click here: PAX GBG Pilot Study in Ireland – Summary Briefing Document

PAX Good  Behaviour Game Handout: PAX HANDOUT 24 jan