The power of an inclusive culture at school

The Good Samaritan caring for the wounded traveller

More than 20 years ago I met a street priest who recognised MOT’s work.

I call the work you are doing the pursuit of the faster donkey

I did not understand what he meant, but he proceeded to tell me the following story.

A man was assaulted by thieves and left wounded in the ditch. Later, a Samaritan finds the man and stops to heal his wounds. The Samaritan lifts the man up on his donkey and carries him to an inn where he receives the care he needs.”

The work MOT does is like a pursuit to find a faster donkey. If the Samaritan had had a faster donkey, he would have arrived before the thieves assaulted the man. But then there would be no story to tell. MOT prevents problems and contributes to there being fewer negative and dramatic stories to tell.”

I find this to be a good picture of how we work in MOT.

We pursue the faster donkey by working proactively by building people and cultures. MOT is up on the bridge, making sure that our youth do not end up in the river.

Good and inclusive cultures at home, in local communities and at school prevents problems. You don’t notice the effect of a good culture until it is gone. I know schools that have terminated MOT because of a tight budget, only to come back three years later because of the school culture taking a turn for the worse after they quit the programme. It became more costly for the school without MOT.

Good culture prevents extra measures, but some things we don’t consider until it’s gone.

A school culture where everybody feels seen prevents destructive behaviour. It leads to fulfillment of the need to be accepted, which reduces the need to gain attention – no matter the cost – later in life.

An inclusive school culture strengthens feelings of mastery and belonging. These are important protective factors for the most vulnerable, as they reduce mental illness, bullying and exclusion. It promotes youth feeling as winners and in control of their lives. It promotes that nobody feels like a loser.

Inclusive school cultures are likely the most important tool a local community has to avoid that the consequences of exclusion and problematic behaviour become too great.


Wish you a unique weekend.

Best regards from

– Atle –