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Signature Programs

The Boys Town Education Model®


"There are no bad boys. There are only bad environments, bad examples, bad thinking." Those now famous words were first spoken by Father Edward J. Flanagan, founder of Boys Town, in 1917. 

Since then, Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home has been a beacon of hope for troubled youth from throughout the country. Furthermore, Boys Town has come to serve as the cornerstone of youth care worldwide and a model of how to best help youth develop their personal effectiveness at home and in school settings. 

Boys Town programs, as they are known today, have their origins in the efforts of those professionals who designed, developed, and implemented the Teaching-Family Model at the University of Kansas in it’s Human Development and Family Life Departments in 1967. Founding fathers of the model included Curtis J. Braukmann, Ph.D; Karen B. Maloney, Ph.D; Dean L. Fixsen, Ph.D. Kathryn Kirigin, Ph. D; Dennis Maloney, PH. S. Elery L. Phillips, Ph.D; and Montrose M. Wolf, Ph.D. and many other staff members at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. Since then, Boys Town has devoted time, energy, resources, and personnel toward disseminating its technology to programs serving troubled children and youth nationwide.

The Boys Town Education Model®, is a good example of technology transfer – taking the basic techniques of its Family-Home Model and transferring them to a school setting as a powerful and innovative approach to positive and effective interventions for trouble youth. A success-oriented program of personalized social skills instruction is the hallmark of the Boys Town Education Model®. Initiated in 1977 and further developed.

By implementing its model in the classrooms, Boys Town has demonstrated that school can significantly reduce discipline problems while directly and humanely teaching vital life skills in a positive school climate. Work by professionals at Boys Town and elsewhere (Larson, 1989; and Czerwionka, 1987) has shown that difficult to teach behaviorally disordered adolescents can be effectively taught a variety of social skills. Two years after initiating its campus school program, Boys Town became actively involved in the nationwide dissemination of the Model. Though initially overshadowed by its parent, the Teaching-Family Model, it has gained interest and notoriety on its own. Today, public and private schools across the country implement the Boys Town Education Model® with great success.

Part of this Model’s appeal, is that it is one of the few programs that can be integrated into the entire school day and across the curriculum. This helps to overcome some of the generalization problems associated with programs that occur only in one classroom or outside the school.  

Find out more about Father Flanagan and the history of Boys Town


The Boys Town Education Model® is a school-based intervention strategy that focuses on managing behavior, building relationships, and teaching social skills. It emphasizes preventive and proactive practices rather than reactive responses to deal with student behavior.

Based on the Boys Town Model®, the Boys Town Education Model® puts Boys Town’s research-proven child-care methods to work in a variety of educational settings. Its gives classroom teachers, administrators and support staff the tools to implement key Model components:

  • A curriculum of specific life skills taught as expectations in the classroom

  • Teaching methods that support the life skills curriculum – specific ways to teach the life skills to students

  • Administrative intervention – a method for dealing with students who are referred to the office from the classroom because of disruptive behavior

  • Focus on student competencies – creating a positive classroom environment by encouraging teachers to see the value of developing a positive relationship with each student and praising students’ positive behaviors and successes

These components are part of a complete system-wide approach to creating and encouraging respectful staff-student relationships by changing the way schools address student behavior. 


  1. How to follow instruction.

  2. How to accept criticism or a consequence.

  3. How to accept "no" for an answer.

  4. How to greet someone.

  5. How to get the teacher's attention.

  6. How to make a request.

  7. How to disagree appropriately.

  8. How to give negative feedback.

  9. How to resist peer pressure.

  10. How to apologize.

  11. How to engage in a conversation.

  12. How to give a compliment.

  13. How to accept a compliment.

  14. How to volunteer.

  15. How to report peer behavior.

  16. How to introduce yourself.