by Giles Barrow
TA: Education; Schools; Staff development
This article presents, for the first time, some thoughts and ideas about the nature of developmental TA. I think that they are intriguing and I welcome other’s views about them.
I have been a member of a training group for the past couple of years. The group comprises practitioners working in the field of education and specifically behaviour support work. A recurring theme in our discussions has been to positively re-frame core TA concepts. In other words, as part of our work we routinely set about using TA ideas to account for
individual/organisational potential, promote growth and, importantly, to make TA widely accessible.
An integral dimension of our approach has been to consider how best TA ideas can be applied in non-problem-focussed ways. In other words, to seek out means of ‘mainstreaming’ TA as an approach for schools to use in developing policy and practice. This maybe quite different from other, more familiar applications of TA. For example, common practice has been to use TA concepts in interacting with children and families identified as vulnerable. Whilst the work of the group includes this type of application, making TA a tool accessible to all remains the priority. In practice, this has led to a range of activities involving directly teaching TA to whole class groups, training staff teams in schools and nurseries and running general parent workshops based on TA.