Response Ability Pathways (RAP)


rapgraphicResponse Ability Pathways (RAP) is the training curriculum for the Circle of Courage development model. RAP provides essential strength-based strategies for all who deal with young persons in family, school, or community. Children and youth need supportive persons who respond to their needs rather than react to their problems. RAP trains for these response-abilities to enable adults to guide young persons on pathways to responsibility.

RAP applies Circle of Courage principles to meet growth needs of all young persons. Children need opportunities to develop belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. RAP methods are grounded in research evidence on resilience, brain science, and positive youth development. RAP translates the latest research into practical methods for building strengths in all youth, even those experiencing difficult behavioral challenges.

RAP taps into and develops the innate strength and resilience of young persons. Focus is on three basic capacities, connect, clarify, and restore, which are the normal “abilities” of the resilient human brain. We are hardwired: to connect to others for support, to clarify challenging problems, and to restore harmony and respect. Utilizing RAP methods and strategies, adults can disengage from adversarial encounters, connect with adult-wary youngsters, and restore bonds of respect.

“Universal design” principles of RAP are relevant to all settings. These include:

  • Stimulating, jargon-free content
  • Attunement to diverse backgrounds
  • Practicality and easy implementation

A powerful alternative to either punitive or permissive approaches, RAP counters current approaches that lock adults in conflict with young people. Instead of reactive, coercive interactions, youth are enlisted as responsible participants in positive change. RAP deals with problems by focusing on strengths and solutions. Brief “teaching moments” instill positive behaviors and values. Rather than enforcing obedience, RAP sets high expectations for youth to take responsibility and show respect for self and others.

Turtle Island Learning Circle provides the RAP training with certified trainers and materials from Starr Global Learning Network. For further information or to arrange training contact Adrienne Brant James at 605-864-1769 or