Resources for Teaching Responsible Decision-Making

Resources for Teaching Responsible Decision-Making

These decision-making resources help promote good choices in the classroom and beyond. They reinforce the importance of taking responsibility by following rules, being accountable for actions and their consequences.

Resources for Teaching Responsible Decision-Making

Responsible Decision-Making

Responsible decision-making is one of five components of social and emotional learning. The other components are self-awareness, self-managementrelationship skills and social awareness. 

Responsible decision-making is “the ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the well-being of oneself and others.”

Responsible Decision-Making Characteristics

We all make choices every day, some are thought through while others are more impulsive. Some are straightforward, and others are complex.

Younger children often act without thinking and don’t always see the effect of their decisions. The goal is to help them, as they get older, plan and consider the consequences of their actions on others.

As teachers, we need to help our students understand the decision-making process and its consequences. The more opportunities they have to see positive examples will help them learn good decision-making skills as they grow. Teachers are important role models because we make hundreds of decisions in a classroom which affect our students, and others.

The characteristics, which will exhibit in different ways depending on their age, include:

  • Make positive decisions about personal behaviour and social interactions
  • Consider the wellbeing of themselves and others
  • Brainstorm different strategies or solutions to a task
  • Reflect and evaluate actions to meet set goals
  • Understand how emotions and thoughts influence behaviour
  • Identify rules and social norms of behaviour
  • Understand the consequences of a particular course of action
  • Make appropriate and constructive choices about behaviour and interactions
  • Consider the situation and make an appropriate decision
  • Be proud of their choices
  • Realise not all decisions will be easy
  • Patience, willpower and perseverance
  • Aware of positive and negative consequences to decision-making

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Responsible Decision-Making Teaching Resources

In this section, you will find resources to support your students in making positive decisions. You will find a list of books with resources, short videos, online resources and reading-related questions.

Responsible Decision-Making Picture Books

This collection of books illustrates characters going through the decision-making process and make positive decisions about their behaviour and social interactions.

You can click on the book cover for a synopsis of the book and related online resources. After the list, there is a list of reading questions to use during read-aloud sessions.

Responsible Decision-Making Discussion Questions

  • Did [character] make the best decision under the circumstances? Why?
  • Did [character’s] emotions affect their decision making?
  • What was [character’s] motivation for making that decision?
  • Do you think the outcome was what [character] hoped for?
  • Did [character] think about the consequences of their decision?
  • Could [character] have made a better decision? Why?
  • What should [character] have thought about before making such a decision?
  • Will the results of [character’s] decision have an impact on the other characters or the environment?
  • Who could [character] have discussed their idea before making a decision?
  • Will this decision help [character] reach their goal(s)?
  • Is this a decision [character] can be proud of?

Decision-Making Resources Online

Responsible Decision-Making Videos

These short videos can be used as discussion starters for talking about decision-making skills. Watch the videos before playing them to your students. Some of them are simple while others are more complex or abstract.

In Conclusion...

These decision-making activities and resources will help you promote good choices in your classroom and beyond. Let me know how you support your student’s decision-making skills in the comments below.

You can find a round-up of relationship skills picture books in the post 30 Responsible Decision-Making Books for Children.

Further Reading

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Resources for Teaching Responsible Decision-Making

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