Circle of Courage

How do you support the young people in your life? Are there any specific actions or words that you use?

This is the “Circle of Courage”, a model which shows the four core needs of all children as they journey towards adulthood: Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity.

Belonging: “I am Loved”
Mastery: “I can succeed”
Independence: “I can make decisions”
Generosity: “I have purpose in my life”

This philosophy uses the wisdom of traditional Native American/First Nations philosophies of raising children, combined with Western practices of Positive Youth Development (PYD). The Circle of Courage emerged from the collaboration of Martin Brokenleg, a professor of Native American Studies, and Larry Brendtro, a professor in children’s behaviour disorders.

The Aotearoa New Zealand version is called “The Circle of Mana,” adapted from the Circle of Courage (with permission) by Praxis, a youth development education provider. It places a person’s mana at the centre of the model. So, anyone working with young people should ask “what does a young person need from their connections with people in their world, in order to grow into their potential?”

Back to Latest News