Expanding Social-Emotional Support through Conscious Discipline

Sunbeam Family Services, Inc.


Date Submitted: 09/07/2021


Contact Information:

Sarah England

Grants Director

405-609-8994

SEngland@SunbeamFamilyServices.org

Sunbeam Family Services, Inc.

1100 NW 14th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73106


Rating Category: Well-Supported by Research

Focus Area: Social Emotional Learning


Focus Population: Children, Teachers, Owners, Caregivers, Guardians, Administrators, Parents


Goals and Outcomes:

Conscious Discipline is an evidence-based, trauma-responsive, adult-first approach to self-regulation. It integrates social and emotional learning, equitable school culture, theory and application, and research and brain-based discipline practices in a single methodology, providing a pathway to resiliency and creating systemic and sustainable change.


For more than 25 years as an SEL leader, our company’s vision has been to create “an interconnected world of conscious adults capable of responding instead of reacting to conflict, creating safe homes, safe schools and a safe planet.” Conscious Discipline affects this change by requiring adults to examine their social-emotional aptitudes and mental models so they can address or acquire missing, ineffective or weak skillsets. With this upgraded SEL toolbox, adults are then able to teach healthy SEL skills to the children in their care through both lessons and day-to-day interactions.


Conscious Discipline’s adult-first, child-second approach equips educators with the mindset and skillsets needed to internalize and dramatically upgrade their own social and emotional aptitudes. They then infuse SEL into all aspects of classroom management, instructional practices and school culture, and utilize everyday life and conflicts as their core SEL curriculum rather than relying on separate lessons. The social world of the school becomes the core curriculum. In most schools, the socialization process is unconscious— a “Do as I say, not as I do” approach. A common example of this is a school that verbally promotes inclusion while simultaneously relying on reward and punishment systems that inherently support an exclusionary, better than/less than culture. Another common example would be teaching a boxed lesson about respecting others while using a “green to red” card system that relies on fear and humiliation as a discipline strategy.


The goal of Conscious Discipline is to make the cultural socialization of the school conscious, healthy, and in alignment with the vision and mission of the school’s stakeholders. In short, Conscious Discipline empowers teachers to create a conscious “Do as I do” environment in which children can experience the physical, social and emotional safety and connection necessary for them to learn, explore and grow to reach their fullest potential.


Brief Summary of target population and issues/challenges:

Throughout its 25 years as an SEL leader, Conscious Discipline has been rooted in neuroscience, trauma-responsive interventions and an inclusive culture of learning. It utilizes a hierarchical brain state model to increase understanding; is built on the metaphor of a healthy family instead of a factory; and creates an equitable lens and systems that ensure the optimal development and achievement of all.


Conscious Discipline serves infant through elementary aged children. It is suited to any agency or individual that wants to create transformational change by integrating the following initiatives into one comprehensive program:

  1. Social and emotional learning (adults and children)

  2. Equitable school culture (adults and children)

  3. Brain-based discipline strategies embedded in neuroscience

  4. Trauma informed and trauma responsive care (adults and children)

The goal of Conscious Discipline is for adults and children to become disciplined enough to set and achieve goals, conscious enough to know when they’re off track, and willing enough to return to a path of highest potential for themselves and others. To achieve this goal, adults must learn to regulate our thoughts, feelings and behaviors in order to model and teach this process for children. Most of us spend more time thinking about others’ thoughts, feels and actions than our own. We expend more energy trying to control others than we do regulating ourselves. By working with adults first and children second, the above four initiatives merge into one sustainable whole as we learn the fundamental skills and growth mindsets needed to create and maintain healthy relationships.


One of the greatest challenges educators face is how to create healthy relationships with relationship-resistant or reluctant learners. Without a felt sense of safety and belonging, children will act out their inner pain on themselves or others. Disruptive and dangerous behaviors are common, while learning is impossible for them and impeded for others. The human brain is a social brain. Adults’ and children’s brain are always unconsciously asking, “Am I safe?” and/or “Am I loved (do I belong)?” Once we create a learning environment in which all members can answer “yes” to these questions, then and only then, can the brain consciously ask, “What can I learn?”


Visit ConsciousDiscipline.com to learn more or to bring Conscious Discipline to your school or agency.


Rated by another Clearinghouse: Yes

  • Conscious Discipline is on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) national registry of evidence-based programs and practices. SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on American’s communities

  • Conscious Discipline is listed as a SELect program, the highest designation for evidence-based programs in the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) Guide to Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs. The CASEL Guide to Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs identifies well-designed, evidence based SEL programs nation-wide. Qualifying programs must be well-designed, classroom-based programs to be implemented with students within a grade range that spans from pre-K through 12th. They must utilize comprehensive approaches for systematically promoting students’ development across five SEL competencies (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills), have the capacity to provide high-quality training and ongoing support to ensure sound implementation, and have at least one evaluation demonstrating a statistically significant positive impact on student behavioral outcomes and/or academic performance.

  • The Wallace Foundation and Harvard’s Graduate School of Education evaluated and described key features of 25 well-known SEL programs in order to support providers in selecting quality SEL programs. The resulting analysis, titled Navigating SEL from the Inside Out: Looking inside and across 25 leading SEL programs: A practical resource for schools and OST providers, noted that “Conscious Discipline provides an array of behavior management strategies and classroom structures that teachers can use to turn everyday situations into learning opportunities.” According to their analysis, Conscious Discipline also provides sufficient evidence to support impact on SEL, is well-aligned with the theory and practice of social and emotional learning, offers accessible materials and available information about implementation, and possesses clear scope and sequence and a well-defined set of activities and supports.


Conducted Research:

The following research on Conscious Discipline supports this submission.

  1. Anderson, K.L., Weimer, M., & Fuhs, M.W. (2020). Teacher fidelity to Conscious Discipline and children’s executive function skills. Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Volume (51), pages 14-25. This study examined the association between preschool teachers’ (N = 45) fidelity to the Conscious Discipline program and students’ (N = 293) EF, social, and basic academic skills development over the course of the school year. We found that higher fidelity to the Conscious Discipline program was positively associated with preschool students’ EF and social skills development but not their basic academic skills development.

  2. Darling, K.E., Deborah, S, Banghart, P., Nagle, K, Todd, M., & Orfali, N.S. (2019). Social and emotional learning for parents through Conscious Discipline. Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, Vol.12 No 1, pp 85-99 The purpose of this paper is to examine Conscious Discipline’s Parenting Education Curriculum (CD PEC). CD PEC shifted parents’ perspectives and practices for managing children’s challenging behaviors, improved parent–child relationships and resulted in decreased child behavior problems. The study also provides evidence that addressing the social-emotional needs of adults is a viable step to helping children improve their social skills, emotion regulation and general behavior, which have all been linked to later academic and life success.

  3. Annette C. Oswald-Hunt. 2019. Early Childhood Educators’ Perceptions of Using Conscious Discipline to Promote Executive Function Development in Preschool Students: A Case Study. Doctoral dissertation. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, Abraham S. Fischler College of Education. (188) This applied dissertation used teachers’ self-assessment surveys, qualitative interviews and direct observations to explore teacher perceptions of the use of Conscious Discipline as a behavioral management system to develop executive function in preschool children. Four themes emerged: Teachers learned the importance of the development of self-regulation in students. Internalization of the teacher’s journey in Conscious Discipline afforded implementation. Teachers increased their awareness of self and lifelong skills. Reaching executive state in Conscious Discipline affords academic successes. An implication is the importance of professional development in Conscious Discipline to help preschool teachers develop executive function of their students.

  4. Darling, K., Todd, M., & Deborah, S. (2019). Resilience and Conscious Discipline. Position Paper by Child Trends. This paper explains the conditions that put children at risk for negative outcomes, describes factors that can reduce risk and buffer the effects of stressors, reviews how social and emotional learning (SEL) curricula can foster resilience, and introduces Conscious Discipline. The conclusion states childhood adversity can negatively affect children’s social and emotional development and other indicators of well-being such as academic success. SEL programs can help build protective factors and teach children acceptable coping strategies. These factors/skills buffer children from negative effects. Conscious Discipline is a healthy school and family model focused on creating supportive environments that foster resilience in the face of adversity. Adults play an important role in promoting physically and emotionally safe environments for children to learn and grow. Conscious Discipline helps adults focus on their own reaction to stressors and approach to discipline, shifting their view of children’s emotional and behavioral challenges to a more positive mindset. This shift—in the context of positive relationships and a supportive school community—enhances children’s ability to demonstrate resilience and builds a strong foundation for healthy individual development.

  5. Rain, J. S. (2014) “Impact of Conscious Discipline on social emotional development, school readiness and school climate.” Final Report. CD-FINAL-Research-Report-for-NREPP-2014.pdf. A multi-site, quasi-experimental effectiveness study examined differences in social emotional development, school readiness, and school climate collected from multiple rating sources (teacher, observer, and parent) when implementing Conscious Discipline. Outcomes were compared between intervention and comparison classrooms from 66 pre- kindergarten teachers (24 school-based and center-based sites, 1,386 children, and three states) over eight months. Implementation fidelity was monitored through teacher and observer reports. Potential threats to study integrity from attrition and confounding variables were examined. Repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) and moderated multiple regression were the main statistical analyses. Results showed significant improvement in social and emotional skills for both teachers and children exposed to Conscious Discipline. School readiness (Language, Literacy, and Mathematics) were significantly higher at posttest for children taught by Conscious Discipline trained teachers. Sites with school-wide implementation of Conscious Discipline show significantly higher organizational and relational support than do sites operating “as usual”. Collectively, results reveal Conscious Discipline produces significant positive results for the quality of student-teacher interactions, improvement in social and emotional behavior skills for teachers and students, student academic preparedness, and overall school climate. Multiple rating sources and multi-site participation suggest the effects of Conscious Discipline are robust at the pre-kindergarten level.

  6. Chavez, Ashly. (2014). The Effects of the Implementation of the Conscious Discipline Program on Social Emotional Learning in an Early Childhood Classroom. Retrieved from Sophia, the St. Catherine University repository website. Results demonstrated an increase in social-emotional learning, an increase in the joy in teaching, a positive classroom climate, a decrease in aggressive acts, and an increase in student respect and responsibility in a social community.

  7. Sorell, D. M. Western Carolina University. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, (2013). 1536624. Conscious discipline implementation: A case study on teacher management of chronic problem behaviors. Results indicated trends in increased teacher’s perceptions of improved classroom management. Teachers reported significantly less time spent managing discipline issues. Social-emotional ratings significantly decreased for the target students. Behavior ratings increased academic engagement across both target and students and their peers. Additionally, teachers reported significantly less disruptive behaviors in their classrooms.


Relevant Published Articles with brief summary:

  1. Anderson, K.L., Weimer, M., & Fuhs, M.W. (2020). Teacher fidelity to Conscious Discipline and children’s executive function skills. Early Childhood Research Quarterly. Volume (51), pages 14-25. This study examined the association between preschool teachers’ (N = 45) fidelity to the Conscious Discipline program and students’ (N = 293) EF, social, and basic academic skills development over the course of the school year. We found that higher fidelity to the Conscious Discipline program was positively associated with preschool students’ EF and social skills development but not their basic academic skills development.

  2. Darling, K.E., Deborah, S, Banghart, P., Nagle, K, Todd, M., & Orfali, N.S. (2019). Social and emotional learning for parents through Conscious Discipline. Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, Vol.12 No 1, pp 85-99 The purpose of this paper is to examine Conscious Discipline’s (CD) Parenting Education Curriculum (CD PEC), the parenting component of CD’s research-based social and emotional learning program. CD aims to change child behavior by changing how adults understand and manage their own behaviors and emotions. Researchers explored CD PEC’s association with improved parenting skills, parent–child relationships and child behavior and emotion management. Parents reported that CD PEC shifted their perspectives and practices for managing children’s challenging behaviors, improved parent–child relationships and resulted in decreased child behavior problems. The study also provides preliminary evidence that addressing the social-emotional needs of adults is a viable step to helping children improve their social skills, emotion regulation and general behavior, which have all been linked to later academic and life success.

  3. Rain, J. S. (2014) “Impact of Conscious Discipline on social emotional development, school readiness and school climate.” Final Report. CD-FINAL-Research-Report-for-NREPP-2014.pdf. Conscious Discipline is a social emotional development intervention that uniquely targets teachers as well as child behaviors in a universal intervention approach, but can be applied in vivo to address the specific needs of individual students. A multi-site, quasi-experimental effectiveness study examined differences in social emotional development, school readiness, and school climate collected from multiple rating sources (teacher, observer, and parent). Outcomes were compared between intervention and comparison classrooms drawn from 66 pre- kindergarten teachers (representing 24 school-based and center-based sites, 1,386 children, and three states) over an 8-month period. Implementation fidelity was monitored through teacher and observer reports. Potential threats to study integrity from attrition and confounding variables were examined. Repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) and moderated multiple regression were the main statistical analyses. Results showed significant improvement in social and emotional skills for both teachers and children exposed to Conscious Discipline. School readiness (Language, Literacy, and Mathematics) were significantly higher at posttest for children taught by Conscious Discipline trained teachers. Sites with school-wide implementation of Conscious Discipline show significantly higher organizational and relational support than do sites operating “as usual”. Eta- square and semi-partial correlations indicate moderate to large effects. Viewed collectively, results reveal Conscious Discipline produces significant positive results for the quality of student-teacher interactions, improvement in social and emotional behavior skills for teachers and students, student academic preparedness, and overall school climate. Multiple rating sources and multi-site participation suggest the effects of Conscious Discipline are robust at the pre-kindergarten level.


Promote equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging:

Conscious Discipline’s methodology is steeped in inclusion, equity, diversity, agency and belonging. Its approach is simply not compatible with bias or exclusion. Conscious Discipline promotes equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging in four core ways:

  1. Intentionally examining the mental models and implicit biases of the adults first.

  2. Shifting from a factory model of education to a family model of education.

  3. Shifting from classrooms based on rewards and punishments to classrooms based on safety, connection and problem-solving.

  4. Seeing conflict as a missing skill and an opportunity to teach missing skills rather than something that needs to be stopped or punished.


  1. Intentionally examining the mental models and implicit biases of the adults first. Conscious Discipline addresses the adult’s SEL first and the child’s second, relying heavily on the adult’s internalization of mindset shifts and new skillsets before implementing SEL in the classroom. Conscious Discipline also asks adults to explore their internal world of mental models (implicit bias) first and the external world of application second. By utilizing an approach that focuses on the adult’s internal states and mental models first, Conscious Discipline yields broad and lasting changes. Early in the program and throughout its course materials, Conscious Discipline guides participants to seek and examine their unconscious mental models, including generationally-instilled beliefs and experiences, systemic cultural inequalities, traumas, biases, and social and emotional barriers. They examine how these factors interfere with the core goals of discipline, social skills, emotional wellbeing and academic excellence. As awareness of unhealthy mental models and other blocks to these goals emerge, Conscious Discipline provides the opportunity to release and replace them with a growth mindset based in mental health, mindfulness and neuroscience. This mindset shift empowers participants to develop a new set of skills that promotes the social-emotional health and agency of all. Practical self-reflective activities are woven throughout core materials, and are essential to the process of examining unconscious mental models, shifting unhelpful mindsets and activating change. As educators explore the internal world of mental models, they become better able to affect change in the external world of discipline and policy, creating a sustainable culture of agency and equity that spreads throughout the school, back to the families they serve and ultimately into the community as a whole.

  2. Shifting from a factory model of education to a family model of education. The School Family is a compassionate learning environment that promotes inclusivity and diversity; cultivates intrinsic motivation; models respect, responsibility and shared power; and celebrates students’ uniqueness, challenges and successes. Historically, we have used the metaphor of a factory when creating our classrooms and schools. The goal of a factory is to create standardized products, and those who fall outside of the standardized norm are removed. Research and experience prove we need a new metaphor if we wish to build an educational system that is successful, inclusive and safe for all students. The School Family answers this call by providing a healthy family model with the goal of providing for the development of all members. The School Family builds connections that foster impulse control through co-regulation skills, cooperation and willingness to learn through a sense of belonging, and executive skills through extensive modeling, scaffolding and teaching. Students learn better and achieve more within a compassionate, inclusive school environment in which uniqueness, cultural diversity, and a broad spectrum of abilities are celebrated. Within the School Family, all members develop a sense of agency and ownership of the way the group operates as a whole, the way they behave individually within that whole, and their own social, emotional and academic learning. The classroom becomes a place where equity thrives and students’ voices, contributions, responsibilities, agency, social skills, emotional wellbeing, academic efforts and unique inborn talents soar.

  3. Shifting from classrooms based on rewards and punishments to classrooms based on safety, connection and problem-solving. The Conscious Discipline Brain State Model focuses on the brain’s hierarchical needs of safety, connection and problem solving. This research-based model replaces dated systems such as rewards, punishments, behavior charts and card systems that overtly or covertly rely on fear, humiliation and manipulation in attempts to improve behavior. In addition to working against the brain instead of with it, a major side effect of these systems is that they create an exclusionary climate in which there is a clear division between children who receive and those who do not. As educators of all ages will attest, the same children receive rewards or punishment repeatedly. Punitive approaches escalate problem behaviors as they train the child’s brain to be reactive and protective, and positive changes are temporary and/or come at the expense of shutting down the child’s learning and spirit. The entire class readily learns to identify the “good kids” and the “bad kids,” sowing the seeds of division, inequity, bias, future substance abuse and gang-readiness. The Conscious Discipline Brain State Model’s basis of safety, connection and problem-solving helps adults understand why children become increasingly reactive when our skillset relies on unconscious patterns, threats, rewards or manipulation, and why children become more resilient and develop healthy management of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors when our skillset relies on self-regulation and problem-solving strategies that preserve safety and connection. It also provides interventions that increase safety and connection so all children may attain the optimal brain state required for learning and achieving. With safety and connection as the foundational discipline approach in the classroom, outdated punitive and divisive systems naturally fall away.

  4. Seeing conflict as a missing skill and an opportunity to teach missing skills rather than something that needs to be stopped or punished. Using conflict as an opportunity to teach life skills is integral to Conscious Discipline. When a child misstates the same letters repeatedly, this provides the feedback that additional practice or instruction is needed. We do not turn his card from green to yellow or deny him five minutes of recess; we teach. This teaching is how Conscious Discipline constantly and consistently approaches daily conflict. When a child acts in hurtful ways, this provides the feedback that more practice or additional social skill instruction is needed. The social-emotional curriculum in Conscious Discipline does not come from prescribed sequential lessons; the curriculum emerges from navigating transitions, daily challenges, academic struggles, interpersonal conflicts and chronic rule breaking. Rather than problems to avoid or punish, everyday struggles and conflicts become welcome opportunities to teach life skills. For 25 years, Conscious Discipline has led the way with one basic tenant, all behavior is a form of communication. Discipline is not something you do to a child but something you develop within them.”


General Implementation:

As a transformational change model, Conscious Discipline requires both a mindset shift and skillset upgrade in adults. Transformational change is different than traditional change and requires a different process in order to achieve success. Educators may pursue Conscious Discipline independently through the use of the eCourse, attendance at the Conscious Discipline Institute and other means. However, after 25 years of facilitating transformational change, Conscious Discipline has established the following in-person, onsite training plan as a best practice for schools, centers, agencies and districts seeking to achieve long-term fidelity and sustainability.


The transformational process outlines below typically requires three years, but adults with high adverse childhood experience (ACE) scores and those who have experienced trauma may take longer to achieve fidelity. When a school, center, agency or district is willing to commit to a training plan, the Conscious Discipline Professional Development Group matches it with the Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor (CDCI) best equipped to meet its unique needs. The CDCI works closely with the school to assess goals, needs and expectations for the following 3-phase implementation process.


PHASE 1: Phase one involves at least one year of training that focuses on the mindset and skillset of the adults in the school. The goal is not to eliminate old practices, but to learn about and add-on new practices and skills. The Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor (CDCI) leads a 2-day onsite “ignite and excite” kickoff event. An additional, onsite 1-day training is recommended midyear.


The onsite training(s) are supported by 1.) The identification and activation of a Conscious Discipline Action Team (CDAT) within the school that will lead the Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classrooms book study and Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Schools and Homes eCourse efforts, 2.) Regular coaching of the Administrative Team and CDAT with a CDCI (onsite or virtually), and 3.) Attendance at the Conscious Discipline Summer Institute by as many CDAT and Administrative Team members as possible. A specialized Institute is offered for those working with ages 0-3.


PHASE 2: Phase two involves at least one year in which the school staff focuses on letting go of outdated practices (behavior charts, time outs, rewards, etc.) in favor of implementing new Conscious Discipline practices (Safe Place, Celebration Center, P.E.A.C.E. Process, Conflict Resolution Time Machine). The focus is on implementation in the classrooms.


The CDCI will lead a 6-hour onsite kickoff event for all staff and will continue mentoring the Administrative Team through regular coaching (onsite or virtually). The CDCI will also begin to conduct classroom-level coaching with teachers. The CDAT will undertake a book study for Creating the School Family and lead the study of additional virtual learning opportunities such as the Understanding Trauma webinar series. Because staff turnover is so prevalent, a CDAT member will lead a separate eCourse and bookstudy for Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classrooms for new staff (veteran staff are welcome to attend as well). The CDAT and Administrative Team will identify new staff members to attend the Conscious Discipline Summer Institute.


PHASE 3: Phase three involves staff members “paying it forward” by using its model classrooms and model teachers to assist others in their implementation journeys. The CDCI will lead a 6-hour onsite kickoff event for all staff, will shift the school’s coaching efforts to focus on integrating SEL and academics more seamlessly, and will address the needs of tier 2 and 3 students with a C.A.R.E. room. A CDAT member will lead a Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classrooms eCourse and book study for new staff, and veteran staff are encouraged to join to assist newcomers and deepen their own understanding of Conscious Discipline.


Implementation in Oklahoma:

Sunbeam seeks to increase the social-emotional competency of childcare providers across the state of Oklahoma through training in Conscious Discipline. Positive social and emotional development in the early years provides a critical foundation for lifelong development and learning. Social development refers to a child's ability to create and sustain meaningful relationships with adults and Children. Emotional development is a child’s ability to express, recognize, and manage his or her emotions, as well as respond appropriately to others’ emotions.


Training in the Conscious Discipline curriculum creates a compassionate learning culture and facilitates an intentional shift in adult understanding of behavior. The brain-friendly, research-based strategies embedded in the curriculum help teaching staff respond to child needs with wisdom. The approach is proven to increase self-regulation, sense of safety, connection, empathy, and intrinsic motivation in both children and adults.


Additionally, by increasing child levels of self-regulation and autonomy, the proposed project will also reduce negative behaviors and stress in the classroom, in turn, positively impacting teacher retention and overall job satisfaction. Teacher retention percentages have decreased throughout the pandemic and the pandemic has also made it difficult to recruit new teachers. Providing this foundational training will be imperative to help teachers navigate the multitude of new behaviors children are bringing with them as they enter or re-enter group care. The stress, trauma, and uncertainty for all families are beginning to show up with our youngest citizens, accelerating the urgency for a state-wide approach to research-based, social-emotional training such as Conscious Discipline.


To provide childcare providers with a strong social-emotional foundation, Sunbeam Family Services will provide over 480 teachers, caregivers, childcare providers, and mental health professionals with Conscious Discipline curriculum training. Sunbeam will recruit participants from Oklahoma’s Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) grantees and from child care home providers across the State. EHS-CCP grantees include CAP Tulsa, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Delaware Child Development, Little Dixie Community Action Agency, Northeast Oklahoma Community Action Agency, Sunbeam Family Services, and Tulsa Educare. By recruiting participants through the EHSCCP grantees, Sunbeam will support licensed providers who need social-emotional support, now, more than ever, due to the pandemic. Furthermore, Sunbeam will certify 3 individuals as a trainer for the Conscious Discipline model to build in sustainability across the State.


Sunbeam has used the researched-based Conscious Discipline curriculum for over ten years. In that time, Sunbeam has learned Conscious Discipline is foundational to caregivers’ understanding of social-emotional development in the context of secure attachment relationships and that all behavior has meaning. It has provided a framework and common language across the program to help ground caregivers in understanding the importance of their role as secondary attachment figures in children’s lives. Through the program, caregivers have learned to understand challenging behavior as “brain care, not behavior management”. Through the lens of Conscious Discipline, caregivers are able to recognize and respond to children’s needs differently, supporting co-regulation, and creating positive environments.


Sunbeam has also observed caregivers to be more aware of times when they are dysregulated and to be able to use the tools available to them in managing self-regulation. Caregivers appear more hopeful and confident in their responses to children and colleagues, particularly in times of being distressed or upset. Caregivers experience Conscious Discipline as a way of being rather than something to be “done to” children and are developing reflective capacity. They are observed to be more intentional and responsive in caregiving. It has also enabled them to be more intentional in building connections with children in day-to-day interactions, such as morning greetings, during diaper changes, and during transitions. This creates a sense of perceived psychological safety in children, which is just as important as physical safety. Caregivers have reported feeling hopeful because they have the tools they need. They also report feeling confident and a sense of ownership in sustaining healthy classroom environments, which they report as best for everyone. Families are using skills at home, often demonstrated for them by their children, and have requested more information, reinforcing the school-home connection around Conscious Discipline.

Sunbeam will evaluate the initial training through pre- and post- survey with participants. Sunbeam will include two rubrics to monitor participant implementation fidelity of the Conscious Discipline curriculum. The Conscious Discipline School Family Components Rubric: assesses the level of Conscious Discipline classroom implementation in the domains of structures, rituals, and routines.


The Administrator’s Self-Evaluation Guide to Conscious Discipline Implementation Rubric: formal assessment that allows teachers and administrators to measure the level of implementation fidelity of the Conscious Discipline curriculum in the classroom.


The Self-Evaluation Guide method of assessment is necessary in order to conduct research or results tracking with Conscious Discipline. When combined with social-emotional data gathered separately, the results from a formal assessment will show a correlation between program fidelity and program effectiveness.


Sunbeam uses the DECA-SE as its social-emotional assessment to monitor student socialemotional skills including initiative, self-control, self-regulation and behavior. Sunbeam will suggest family child-care home participants across the state consider the DECA-SE to monitor program outcomes throughout implementation.


This project includes the following expenses:

  • Training and training coordination for 480 participants at $1,750 each = $840,000

  • Implementation Materials (training guides; classroom materials) for 480 participants at $250 each = $120,000

  • Training Space for 4 Training Cohorts (5 days per cohort) at $5,000 each = $20,000

  • Catering throughout training for 480 participants at $10 per day = $24,000

  • Train-the-Trainer Certification for 3 Sunbeam staff @ $10,000 each = $30,000

  • Total Project Cost - $1,034,000

Evaluation Plan:

Conscious Discipline works with each school/agency to ensure that data collection is seamless and integrated. Many schools collect climate surveys, discipline referrals, and suspension/expulsion data to ensure that their practices are effective. Data that is currently collected by the school is used to evaluate the effectiveness of implementation. Conscious Discipline recommends beginning, middle, and end of year data reviews.


Conscious Discipline has rubrics for fidelity of teachers and administrators available on the company’s website with instructions for how to utilize them.


Additionally, Conscious Discipline has partnered with E-DECA, a web-based application which allows for both teacher and parent ratings of children to be entered online and Reflection Sciences creator of the Minnesota Executive Function Scale (MEFS). The E-DECA completes all scoring, generates reports, provides Conscious Discipline strategies for both school and home settings and stores your data in a secure database. The MEFS APP™ is a direct digital tablet assessment to measure executive function in children. Student data gathered through the MEFS App™ can be used to monitor progress, track the development of executive function, and evaluate the effects of interventions and curricula. The assessment is brief, reliable, and valid and can be administered starting at age two and extending through adulthood.


Supports:

Sunbeam has a long history practicing Conscious Discipline. Under our Office of Head Start federal funding, we are able to support staff to facilitate training, observe classrooms, and monitor outcomes. These operational dollars will continue to support this project.

Sunbeam will federally staff an Education Director for oversite of the project, a Training and Professional Development Coordinator to facilitate the training through Conscious Discipline both virtually and on-site, and Instructional Coaches to support the implementation of the model in classrooms. In addition, our Data Coordinator will aggregate data sets from the project.


This project will require some limited facilitation, however due to the previous use of this research-based model, we know that teachers and caregivers easily understand the curriculum and actively implement strategies. Expanding to family child care homes across the state will be the enhancement and “beyond the walls” of our previous work. Rural providers especially will benefit from implementing this effective model.

Sunbeam has proposed to provide training to 480 participants to maximize state-wide impact. If the review committee, it could reduce (or expand) the number of participants based on funding availability.


For additional information contact program creators:

Dr. Becky Bailey Creator & Chief Knowledge Officer

800-842-2846

Becky.bailey@consciousdiscipline.com

Conscious Discipline

820 West Broadway, Oviedo, FL 32765


Standards/Guidelines, Models, Outcomes, Programs:

This national-model will be implemented based on the recommendations from the curriculum provider and based on Sunbeam's experience implementing the model.


Training materials and manuals:

Conscious Discipline provides hundreds of books, tools, e-courses, webinars and other materials that support implementation and the SEL skills of both adults and children. These items vary greatly in cost. The two core guides for implementation are the Conscious Discipline book and e-course:

Book: Bailey, B. A. (2015). Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classrooms $29.00

E-Course: Building Resilient Schools and Homes. $779.00 *2020 Teacher’s Choice Award Winner


Implementation cost:

In 25 years as a leading SEL provider, Conscious Discipline has developed a wide range of effective materials and training opportunities that allow schools, agencies, centers and districts to personalize their experience based on time, budget, learning preferences and other factors. The following is an outline of three common options: in-person onsite training (preferred), virtual training and in-person workshops.


IN-PERSON, ONSITE TRAINING: Conscious Discipline is transformational SEL that requires adults to change both their mindset and skill sets to reach fidelity and sustainability. A mindset shift can only come through willingness; it will not succeed by demanding or coercing others to change. Through 25 years of successes and failures, we have learned that organization-wide implementation is a 3-step process that can take as little as two or as many as six years.


When a school is willing to commit to a training plan, the Conscious Discipline Professional Development Group matches it with the Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor (CDCI) best equipped to meet its unique needs. The CDCI works closely with the school to assess goals, needs and expectations for the following 3-step implementation process.


PHASE 1: Phase one involves at least one year of training that focuses on the mindset and skillset of the adults in the school. The goal is not to eliminate old practices, but to learn about and add-on new practices and skills. The Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor (CDCI) leads a 2-day onsite “ignite and excite” kickoff event ($7,490/site). An additional, onsite 1-day training is recommended midyear ($3,970/site).


The onsite training(s) are supported by 1.) The identification and activation of a Conscious Discipline Action Team (CDAT) within the school that will lead the book study (book is $29 per person) and eCourse efforts (eCourse site licenses start at $779), 2.) Regular coaching of the Administrative Team and CDAT with a CDCI ($225/hour, $5490 for two days onsite), and 3.) Attendance at the Conscious Discipline Summer Institute by as many CDAT and Administrative Team members as possible ($1,200-1,500 per person). A specialized Institute is offered for those working with ages 0-3.


PHASE 2: Phase two involves at least one year in which the school staff focuses on letting go of outdated practices (behavior charts, time outs, rewards, etc.) in favor of implementing new Conscious Discipline practices (Safe Place, Celebration Center, P.E.A.C.E. Process, Conflict Resolution Time Machine). The focus is on implementation in the classrooms.


The CDCI will lead a 6-hour onsite kickoff event for all staff and will continue mentoring the Administrative Team through regular coaching (onsite or virtually). The CDCI will also begin to conduct classroom-level coaching with teachers. The CDAT will undertake a book study for Creating the School Family and lead the study of additional virtual learning opportunities such as the Understanding Trauma webinar series. Because staff turnover is so prevalent, a CDAT member will lead a separate eCourse and bookstudy for Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classrooms for new staff (veteran staff are welcome to attend as well). The CDAT and Administrative Team will identify new staff members to attend the Conscious Discipline Summer Institute. (Event and coaching prices are the same as Phase 1.)


PHASE 3: Phase three involves using model classrooms and model teachers to assist others in their implementation journeys. The CDCI will lead a 6-hour onsite kickoff event for all staff, will shift the school’s coaching efforts to focus on integrating SEL and academics more seamlessly, and will address the needs of tier 2 and 3 students with a C.A.R.E. room. A CDAT member will lead a Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Classrooms eCourse and book study for new staff, and veteran staff are encouraged to join to assist newcomers and deepen their own understanding of Conscious Discipline. (Event and coaching prices are the same as Phase 1.)


VIRTUAL TRAINING: Conscious Discipline offers multiple options for personalized virtual training, including one-on-one coaching (1 hour, $225), facilitation for the Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Homes and Schools eCourse (10 hours, at $4,000 per site), facilitation of any of our webinars (1 hour, $255), live virtual trainings (1 or 2 hours $225-750), live virtual consultation/support for administrators (1 hour, $255) and a variety of add-ons (prerecorded, 5-10 minutes, prices vary). Groups can choose to view the training all together or allow members to view the videos individually.


Conscious Discipline also offers many options for self-study virtual training, including Conscious Discipline: Building Resilient Schools and Homes eCourse (self-paced, 10 hours, site licenses start at $779), Powers of Resilience: SEL for Adults (self-paced, 5.5 hours, site licenses start at $779), Building Resiliency: Returning to School in Uncertain Times eCourse (self-paced, 30+ hours, site licenses start at $2,500), Understanding Trauma webinar (self-paced, 2 hours, $175), and the Start Strong: SEL Foundations and Resiliency in Infants and Toddlers eCourse (self-paced, 12 hours, starts at $939), as well as hundreds of free webinars and podcasts.


IN-PERSON WORKSHOPS AND EVENTS: The Conscious Discipline Summer Institutes are the flagship events in Conscious Discipline’s lineup of offsite, in-person training opportunities. These week-long institutes are intentionally designed to be experiential learning events that immerse attendees in the Powers, Skills and Structures of Conscious Discipline. Each person experiences what it’s like to learn in a Conscious Discipline classroom, in what thousands have professed to be a “life changing” week. Each Summer Institute is limited to 180 attendees with our Conscious Discipline Master Instructors and Dr. Becky Bailey. ($1,200-1,500 per person)


Additionally, Summer Institutes are broadcasted live to multiple satellite locations throughout the country. At these satellite locations, Conscious Discipline Master Instructors facilitate the event in order to ensure attendees receive top-notch instruction, connection and learning opportunities that complement the broadcasted information.


At the Elevate Social Emotional Learning Conference: Start Strong with Conscious Discipline the First Six Weeks in Orlando, Dr. Becky Bailey and our Master Instructors are joined by dozens of educators who will inform and demonstrate how they’ve implemented Conscious Discipline with fidelity and success in their jobs. Each attendee will leave with a personal SEL plan for the first six weeks of school, preparing them for a year of social, emotional and academic excellence.


Conscious Discipline also offers a series of subject-specific 2-day events that change each year depending on education trends and needs. Past events include Conscious Discipline with Children with Autism, Conscious Discipline Action Team (CDAT) Training and Building Success Plans for Students with Struggling Behaviors. ($349 per person)


For advanced implementers who have attended the Summer Institute, the Conscious Discipline Advanced Institute is an invitation-only event currently offered to advanced practitioners from schools and communities where Conscious Discipline’s success and/or need is highest. ($2,550-2,650 per person)


Additional Information:

  1. In August of 2021 an article was posted by Malkia “Kia” Mcleod from the Maryland State Department of Education entitled, “Can Conscious Discipline (CD) Address the COVID-19 Mental Health Crisis? Dr. Hall and the Department of Equity, Engagement and Early Access team stated that Conscious Discipline training aligns with Head Start’s Parent, Family and Community Engagement Framework and is mindset shift. They have found that “CD training effectively drove social and emotional learning, increased literacy skills and promoted family engagement.

  2. The Wallace Foundation conducted a study in conjunction with Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, with the purpose of describing key features and rating 25 well-known SEL programs in order to support providers in selecting a program. According to their analysis, Conscious Discipline: Provides sufficient evidence to support impact on SEL, being well-aligned with the theory and practice of social and emotional learning, offering accessible materials and available information about implementation, and possessing clear scope and sequence and a well-defined set of activities and supports. Received high ratings in 8 of 10 categories. Relies on developmentally appropriate instructional methods such as skills practice, songs/chants and visual display more than other programs. Relies on formal discussion less than other SEL programs. Is one of three programs that focuses three-quarters or more of their content on Emotional Processes (specifically Emotion Knowledge/Expression and Emotion/Behavior Regulation). Is one of 13 programs that focuses more than half the program content on Interpersonal Skills. Is one of only six programs to offer professional development opportunities that focus explicitly on building adult social-emotional competence Is one of only two programs to offer tools for assessing positive changes in adult behaviors or skills. Additionally, the authors note that “Conscious Discipline provides an array of behavior management strategies and classroom structures that teachers can use to turn everyday situations into learning opportunities.” Jones, S., Brush, K., Bailey, R., Brion-Miesels, G., McIntyre, J., Kahn, J., Nelson, B., & Stickle, L. (2017). Navigating SEL from the Inside Out: Looking inside and across 25 leading SEL programs: A practical resource for schools and OST providers.

  3. Conscious Discipline is a SELect Program, the highest possible rating from the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) Guide to Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs. CASEL has reviewed evidence-based SEL programs since 2003. The CASEL Guide to Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs identifies well-designed, evidence-based SEL programs that have the potential for “broad dissemination to schools across the United States.” Qualifying programs must be well-designed, classroom-based programs to be implemented with students within a grade range that spans from pre-K through 12th. They must utilize comprehensive approaches for systematically promoting students’ development across five SEL competencies (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible, decision-making and relationship skills), have the capacity to provide high-quality training and ongoing support to ensure sound implementation, and have at least one evaluation demonstrating a statistically significant positive impact on student behavioral outcomes and/or academic performance. CASEL’s SELect Program designation indicates that Conscious Discipline can play a central role in a school’s approach to promoting student social and emotional learning.

  4. The Conscious Discipline E-Course is a Teachers’ Choice Professional Development Award winner. Teachers’ Choice, from Learning Magazine, is the only awards program exclusively judged by teachers through real-time classroom application. It is one of the most recognized and prestigious awards in the education market. Submissions are evaluated on quality, instructional value, ease of use and innovation. Conscious Discipline’s 10-session, self-paced online course received the Teacher’s Choice Professional Development Award in 2020. The online course is available for both individual and group learning experiences, with several levels of site licenses available.

  5. Conscious Discipline is recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), which promotes the adoption of scientifically established behavioral health interventions. Certified NREPP reviewers independently assessed and rated Conscious Discipline’s effects on individual outcomes. NREPP subsequently endorsed Conscious Discipline as “effective” for improving social functioning and competence, as “promising” for improving educational achievement and attainment, and stated that Conscious Discipline yielded “strong evidence” of a favorable effect. SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) is a searchable database of more than 330 interventions for the prevention and treatment of mental and substance disorders. It was established to help the public learn more about available evidence-based programs and practices in their communities and determine which of these may best meet their needs.

  6. Tabatha Rosproy, 2020 National Teacher of the Year, is the first early childhood educator ever to receive this honor, and is a devoted Conscious Discipline practitioner. Tabatha served as a Keynote Speaker at the 2021 Elevate: Social Emotional Learning Conference, where she emphasized how Conscious Discipline influenced her teaching practices and how embedding Conscious Discipline in a center or school can inspire inclusion and equity, transform educators’ personal and professional lives, and skyrocket student achievement, problem solving capabilities and SEL skills. Tabatha is quoted saying she “believes that Conscious Discipline not only transforms classrooms, it transforms the hearts of educators.”