Case study – Jackson the non-listener, swearer, rude…


Which child’s name is used the most in your room?

Why? Is it because you must instruct this child the most, usually in a way that is moving them on from an inappropriate behaviour? Try this method below to change the behaviour in your room.

When we talk about behaviour we say we need to meet the child’s needs, but what does that really mean? The steps to meeting children’s needs are:

  1. Know the child from many different perspectives
  2. Write ideas to create curriculum for this child
  3. Implement these ideas
  4. Evaluate and adjust
  5. Repeat

Case study 3 Jackson the non-listener, swearer, rude……

To meet Jackson’s needs we need to know him and create curriculum just for him.

We need to look at this from:

  • Jackson’s Perspective
  • Parent’s Perspective
  • Educator’s Perspective
  • Director’s Perspective

Step 1 what do we know about Jackson?


  • comes to the service 5 days a week
  • lives with his mother and big sister
  • loves trucks, diggers and heavy machinery
  • has a room full of toy trucks, diggers and heavy machinery
  • has many pets including birds of all different types
  • went to see the snow on the weekend
  • loves spending time at Pop’s farm
  • sings with a microphone at his Grandparent’s place
  • is great around animals. I’ve seen him walking with cows and sheep
  • knows a lot about hand raising animals
  • loves fixing mechanical things with his Pop
  • finds building easy. He loves to build and fix things
  • helped his Pop and Mum build their bird cage at home
  • loves to climb. He climbs trees, the tyre tower, on and off the tractor
  • has lots of energy.
Step 2 - Write ideas to create curriculum for this child
What we know Comments and Ideas
Jackson comes 5 days a week Is Jackson bored? Is our equipment really interesting to him? Has he seen it all before? Is Jackson given a voice on what he wants to do? Have we asked him? What could Jackson teach us and the other children?
Jackson lives with his mother and big sister Could we go for a home visit?
Jackson loves trucks, diggers and heavy machinery What does Jackson know about this? We need 5-7 cm ofsoil removed from our mud patch and taken over to the trees in the corner and built up so the chooks don’t get out. Could Jackson be in charge of that? Make a plan, get him to organise, write it, draw it and implement it. Make a big deal out of it.
Jackson has many pets including birds of all different types What can Jackson teach the other children about birds and their care? Could he run lessons in the class to do this? His mum could help prepare it at home with him.
Jackson went to the snow on the weekend I want to know everything about snow -how it is made, how high it has to be before it falls, where they saw it? How could they make snow?
Jackson loves spending time at Pop’s farm What do they do on the farm that we could do here in the centre? For example using a wood work bench and tools. Could we introduce that? Ring Pop to find out more about Jackson and his farm skills we could implement here. What would happen if we asked Pop for help? What could he help with?
Jackson sings with a microphone at his Grandparent’s place We have a karaoke machine and mic in the storeroom. Open mic night here we come.
I heard from a preschool that use a mic at group time and each child speaks into it, one at a time, building talking and listening skills. What a great literacy project, following words on a screen to sing.
Jackson is great around animals. I have seen him walking with cows and sheep Can Pop bring in an animal and we get Jackson and Pop to tell the other children all about it and how to care for it? If we don’t ask we will never know.
Jackson loves fixing mechanical things with his Pop Why haven’t we got old machinery and lawn mower motors out to fix and pull apart? What would happen if we again asked Pop for help or other fathers who could have motors etc.
Building is easy for Jackson. He loves to build and fix things What could he build with a plan and real material? Who knows? A new playground? We sure do need it.
Jackson loves to climb. He climbs trees, the tyre tower, on and off the tractor Where could we go to climb? What could we build to climb? How would we involve Jackson in designing the best ever climbing thing. Could he build a ladder to fill the parent pockets with information?
Jackson has lots of energy Do we need to add a heap more exercise 2 to 3 times a day to wear him out? Should we introduce heavy things to move around, like a sled?

Step 3 Implement these ideas.

Remember the guiding principle is ‘Meeting the Child’s needs.” Jackson’s needs are he wants to be a part of this learning environment and do what the adults are doing. Jackson needs to:

  • Be listened to. He needs to tell you and everybody how much he knows about his world
  • Be a teacher. He wants to show and help others understand about animals and farms because he gets so much pleasure from being on the farm and hanging out with Pop
  • He is always helping Pop and his Mum do things and fix things so he wants to show you how good he is at that.

Jackson to give the class lessons

Get Jackson to give a lesson about what he knows egrRaising lambs, cows, fixing bikes etc. Also at the same time get Jackson’s friend who has a huge interest in pigs to talk about them.

The lesson needs to be 1 minute of Jackson talking, 1 minute with the group of children and educators asking questions and sharing knowledge. This can continue for as long as needed, but ensure you keep going around in one minute blocks. This will encourage turn taking.

At this time educators write down what the children know.

Jackson says “sheep need help because their mother loses them.” Jonty says “the lamb’s wool is soft.” And it goes on and on.

After the lesson add pictures and get Jackson to display the documentation eg hang them in the hallway. Remember he needs to be in control of this lesson, putting it together and displaying it. Jackson and friend are to then take a friend, one at a time, to the display and teach them more about the lambs and pigs. For example Jackson takes Charlotte to learn more about lambs.

Then welcome them back. “Thanks Jackson for bringing Charlotte back. Now Charlotte can you tell me what Jackson taught you about the lambs? Great teaching Jackson. Ask another friend to go out and learn more about lambs with you.”

Repeat the process. This will create trusting relationships and Jackson will have a sense of achievement and a sense of your approval.

Idea to ensure his need for helping is met. Getting the playground ready.

You stand near the door for supervision.

Jackson will be in the yard by himself, but you will be able to see him at all times.

Jackson gets the bikes out of the shed one at a time.

Jackson checks bikes for spiders.

Jackson cleans bikes ready for use by the other children.

Words you need to say

“Jackson, get five bikes out of the shed.  You need to get one at a time. Great work Jackson, this will be a great help to me.

Fantastic, one bike, four to go. (count down and repeat)

Check it for spiders. Make sure it’s a proper look. You know how they can get into small spaces.

Great work Jackson. You are good at looking for spiders. Keep going, 3 bikes to go.

Now you need to wipe and clean the bikes ready for the others to play on. Great.”


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