Evidence from the U.K.

We have undertaken an assessment of the feasibility and acceptability of the GBG in primary schools in Oxfordshire, U.K.  In a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme, six schools and twelve teachers across Oxfordshire took part in the feasibility project. Several hundred pupils were involved and they ranged in age from 4 to 9 years.

Interviews with teachers, head teachers and GBG coaches  showed that the GBG was perceived to be a useful classroom behaviour management strategy, that teachers valued using the GBG as it helped them develop their behaviour management, and self-management skills. A recurrent finding was the increased independence of children and improvements in their learning behaviours. Teachers said that children have been getting more work done with fewer interruptions from aggressive and disruptive behaviour. Teachers also reported very positively about the coaching and mentoring support they received as part of the GBG programme.

We also assessed child social adaptation and behaviour using a validated questionnaire, comprising nine sub-scales (Emotional Regulation, Social Competence, Pro-social Behaviour, Authority Acceptance, Hyperactive / Impulsive, Attention / Concentration, Academic Readiness, Social Isolation, and Teacher-student Relationship), as well as one item asking about the child’s overall behaviour in the last 3-weeks. In a before-after analysis, without a control group, there were highly significant statistical differences between the scores on all these sub-scales from time 1 (beginning of the year) to time 2 (end of the year). These statistically significant differences indicate improvements in classroom social adaptation and behaviour over the GBG implementation year.

We routinely observed classroom behaviour over the course of the GBG implementation year, and recorded the number of rule infractions during a game (game data) and the number of rule infractions when the game was not being played (probe data).  Over the course of the implementation year, rule infractions during the game (game data) remained fairly constant, at around 5 infractions in each class per game. Outside the game (probe data) there was a steady decrease in the average number of infractions, from around 20 infractions in each class per probe at the beginning of the year, to around 5 infractions in each class at the end of the implementation year. This indicates that class behaviour improved over the course of the year, when the game was not being played.  This finding is consistent with the GBG mechanism of effect where behavioural impacts during the game are gradually transferred to non-game settings, indicating that children are internalising rules for behaviour.