Do different, not more.
Go deeper, not wider.
The Third Path:
A Relationship-Based Approach to Student Well-Being and Achievement
The Third Path integrates Path 1 (academics) and Path 2 (well-being) by shifting the classroom focus from tasks to relationships, from check-lists to check-ins.
It views education as a journey of human development, not just for the student, but for the educator too.
The Third Path focuses on the how of education.
The how is twofold: subjects should be taught through a Relationship-Based Approach, and within the Eight Conditions. The Relation-based Approach puts relationships first, and clarifies that it is through strong adult/child relationships that students learn and grow. The Eight Conditions extend the Relationship-Based approach and describe in greater detail the hierarchical series of needs that create a environment for all students to thrive.
The Relationship-Based Approach
Following the Third Path means focusing on the student-educator relationship first. Caring, intentional and responsive relationships are at the heart of learning and growth. This approach leads to understanding each student, and truly knowing their strengths, struggles, and needs.
The Eight Conditions
There are eight hierarchical conditions that support student well-being and academic achievement. Together these create an environment for students to flourish. Educators can start by strengthening any condition. However, if progress is difficult, they should consider focusing on the condition that precedes it.
Students need to feel emotionally safe in order to explore and learn
Engagement is about being fully open to learning, connected to others, able to take on complex challenges, and reach accurate conclusions.
2. Regulation: Students need regulating relationships and supportive environments.
School is important for students’ exposure to a variety of ways of being, and for them to develop a stronger sense of who they truly are.
3. Belonging: Belonging comes from all the moments of connection with others.
A feeling of accomplishment is essential to help motivate students to continue to learn.
4. Positivity: Every student has unseen potential.
Positive feelings lead to optimal functioning.
Meaning is a powerful force for ongoing motivation and personal fulfillment.