Tribes, How it Works


Tribes is a democratic process, not just a curriculum or a set of cooperative activities.

A ‘process’ is a sequence of events that leads to the achievement of an outcome.

The outcome of the Tribes process is to develop a positive environment that promotes human growth and learning.  It is about learning how to build community through three stages of group development using four agreements among the students or adults with whom you are working. Four Community Agreements are honoured:


  • attentive listening
  • appreciation/no put downs
  • mutual respect, and
  • the right to pass/the right to participate


Students learn a set of collaborative skills so they can work well together in long‑term groups (tribes). The focus is on how to:

  • help each other work on tasks
  • set goals and solve problems
  • monitor and assess progress
  • celebrate achievements


The learning of academic material and self‑responsible behaviour is assured because teachers utilize methods based upon brain‑compatible learning, multiple intelligences, cooperative learning and social development research.  The teachers and administrators in a Tribes school or district also work together in supportive groups.  They too enjoy the participatory democratic process and creative collegiality. 1


1. Information on Tribes TLC® taken from: Tribes TLC®, A New Way of Learning and Being Together, By Jeanne Gibbs

About Tribes


Thousands of schools throughout the United States and Canada have become Tribes Learning Communities, safe and caring environments in which children can do well!  After years of various “fix‑it” programs focused on reducing student violence, conflict, drug and alcohol use, absenteeism, poor achievement, building character etc., educators and parents now agree, creating a positive school or classroom environment is the most effective way to improve behaviour and learning.  The Tribes TLC® process is the way to do it.

There are certified Tribes TLC® educators serving all U.S. States and Canada, as well as distant lands such as Australia, New Zealand, Guam, British Isles, American Samoa, the People's Republic of China, the Dominican Republic, the Marianas, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Japan, South America and the United Arab Emirates.

The Tribes process can be found in:

Public Schools              Private Schools                Parochial Schools              Native American and First Nation Schools             
International Schools
University Programs     After School Programs     Recreation Programs         Family Resource Centers                                        Drug and Alcohol Treatment Centers
Church Groups             Regional Education Centers

Students achieve because they:

  • feel included and appreciated by peers and teachers
  • are respected for their different abilities, cultures, gender, interests and dreams
  • are actively involved in their own learning
  • have positive expectations from others that they will succeed.


The clear purpose of the Tribes process is to assure the healthy development of every child so that each one has the knowledge, skills and resiliency to be successful in a rapidly changing world.

For more information on Tribes go to:  www.Tribes.com

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