You Can Do It! Education in schools is based on Michael Bernard’s work as a consultant school psychologist in primary and secondary schools. Students and their families were referred for a variety of emotional (anger, anxiety, depression), behavioural (non-compliance, bullying, aggression) and learning challenges (lack of motivation, under-achievement). Michael spent many years helping young people to cognitively restructure negative, irrational ways of thinking about themselves, others and their schoolwork to more rational and positive approaches. Also helping young people acquire a range of rational beliefs (self-acceptance, high frustration tolerance, acceptance of others). Michael saw the strengthening of a rational mindset led to reductions in these student’s emotional and behavioural problems and increases in their positivity, achievement and wellbeing.
As a result of his practical work, Michael Bernard wrote the best-selling book for secondary students and their parents with Darko Hajzler, You Can Do It! What Every Student and Parent Should Know About Success in School and Life, which brought attention to his work from the education community and the general public.
The following research-based framework developed by Michael Bernard and his colleagues forms the basis of our YCDI! Education programs.
This framework addresses the aspects of the psychological functioning of young people that lead to poor learning, behaviour, social and emotional outcomes. Negative Attitudes and under-developed Character (values and strengths) help create five Social-Emotional Blockers. Additionally, the framework represents the Positive Attitudes and Character (values, strengths) that support five essential Social-Emotional Skills all contributing to positive outcomes.
Research on the use of You Can Do It! Education
Research published over the past decade continues to report the positive impact of You Can Do It! Education on the mental health, wellbeing, achievement, behaviour and positive relationships. You can read several of these research articles here.
Initially, You Can Do It! Education usage in schools began in the 1990s by individual teachers and school principals who attended introductory workshops on You Can Do It! Education (YCDI!). Attendees purchased copies of the grade-appropriate YCDI! Education curriculum book of lessons called Program Achieve (new digital edition available) and implemented the program in their classrooms. Success in terms of positive changes in student attitude and behaviour was communicated at staff meetings and, as a result, YCDI! Education became adopted on a whole-school basis.
Michael and his colleagues spent two years developing a social and emotional learning program for the early childhood period used in 1000’s of early learning centres and classrooms. The YCDI! Education Early Childhood Program Achieve newly published fourth edition is available through this website.
Positive word-of-mouth communication by school administrators and teachers about the quality of YCDI! Education and the high level of professional training available to schools contributed to the growth of YCDI! Education Australia-wide. In 2008, The Age newspaper reported that ‘In Australia, the most widely-used social-emotional learning program is You Can Do It Education … used by more than 5,000 early learning centres, primary and secondary schools’.
Today, over 1,000,000 young people have participated in YCDI! Education programs at 1000’s of early learning centres, primary and secondary schools.
YCDI! Education is now used in a variety of countries including England, Ireland, Spain, Romania, Greece, Estonia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada and the United States.
Beyond Blue – Be You recognise YCDI! Education as a best-practice social and emotional learning program. YCDI! Education school curricula are aligned with the Australian national curriculum and teach the Personal and Social Capabilities outlined in the ACARA learning standards framework.
Michael E. Bernard, PhD
Professor, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
University of Melbourne
Emeritus Professor, California State University, Long Beach
Professor Michael E. Bernard, PhD is an international consultant to universities, business, not-for-profit organisations, educational authorities and governments. He is the Founder of You Can Do It! Education, a program for promoting student social-emotional wellbeing and achievement that is being used in thousands of schools in Australia and overseas. He received his doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and appointed as Reader and Coordinator of the Master of Educational Psychology Program at the University of Melbourne.
Michael has worked closely with children of all ages and their families while counselling at one of Melbourne’s leading private schools. He was the first sports psychologist of the Collingwood Football Club.
Michael is a co-founder of the Australian Institute for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy and is the author of many books on REBT. For eight years, he was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy.
Over the past decade, Michael has focused on the design and conduct of high performance and resilience professional development programs. He is the author of over 50 books, 20 book chapters, and 30 journal articles in areas associated with peak performance, resilience, parenting, mental health and school improvement.
Michael's latest book The High Performance Mindset at Work, Home and Life is now available.
Patricia C. Bernard
Patricia Bernard has worked closely together with her husband and business partner, Michael, on projects in education, parenting and business.
Patricia has contributed extensively to the many books, videos, curriculum programs, training programs, public workshops, parent talks and elearning courses they have produced over the last 30 years.
Raising two fine human beings, her children with Michael (now young adults) - Jonathon and Alexandra, her most rewarding experience and success.
During her children’s schooling years, Patricia had the opportunity to serve on educational committees and work closely with educators in her children’s schools. In 2001, she received the Advocacy for Youth Award from the Association of American University of Women for her achievement in running the highly successful monthly parent talks Coffee Break, for her local community in Laguna Beach, California.
Patricia is the author of The You Can Do It! Little Book for Busy Students,, co-author with Michael Bernard of The You Can Do It! Little Book for Parents and The Successful Mind at School, Work and Life.