About YCDI!

You Can Do It! Education (YCDI!) delivers distinctive, research-based programs and educational resources in areas associated with the social, emotional (SEL), and academic learning of young people.

Kids Pointing

Wheel of Success and Wellbeing

YCDI!’s Wheel of Success and Wellbeing is a visual tool identifying the focus of it’s key audiences,

  • Academically, socially and emotionally accomplished children and adolescents
  • Effective and resilient educators
  • Positive, capable parents

YCDI Wheel of Success

The diagram shows how YCDI! can meet the SEL requirements by delivery outcomes for Educators, Parents and Students. These outcomes are facilitated by the resources identified in the outer circle: 

  • Face-to-face training
  • Online training (tba)
  • Ongoing educational research
  • Educational programs
  • Educational resources

YCDI! attempts to encompass a holistic learning approach for:

  • Early childhood education
  • Teaching excellence
  • Educational leadership
  • School improvement       
  • Parent effectiveness
  • Community development


Theory of You Can Do It! Education

Social and Emotional Learning for All Students:

Prevention and Promotion of Success and Social-Emotional Well-Being You Can Do It! Education (YCDI) has over the past two decades evolved into a distinctive theory that defines and explains the social and emotional competences children and adolescents need to achieve to the best of their ability and experience social-emotional well-being (positive emotions and behaviour; absence of significant emotional and behaviour difficulties).

The below triangle illustrates the main focus of YCDI’s educational programs; namely the social and emotional characteristics of students (The Five Foundations) and supporting ‘Habits of the Mind’ (ways of thinking) that all young people need to achieve the objectives which appear at the top of the triangle.




The 5 Key Foundations of You Can Do It! Education

Our core purpose is the development of young people’s social and emotional capabilities, including:

  • Confidence (academic, social)
  • Persistence
  • Organisation
  • Getting Along, and
  • Resilience.

Central to the development of these 5 Key Foundations is instilling in young people 12 Habits of the Mind, including:

  1. Accepting Myself
  2. Taking Risks
  3. Being Independent
  4. I Can Do It
  5. Giving Effort
  6. Working Tough
  7. Setting Goals
  8. Planning My Time
  9. Being Tolerant of Others
  10. Thinking First
  11. Playing by the Rules, and
  12. Social Responsibility​

This last point includes the values of Caring, Doing Your Best, Freedom, Honesty, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Understanding, Tolerance, and Inclusion.

Extensive theory and research of Albert Ellis, Martin Seligman and other cognitive-behavioural scientists reveals that what fundamentally determines how children achieve and adjust is the “mind-set” they bring with them to life’s experiences. Some bring with them a positive mind-set consisting of well-developed positive Habits of the Mind and associated patterns of positive thinking, feeling and behaving referred to as the “5 Foundations.” Many of the Habits of the Mind are re-naming of Albert Ellis’ rational beliefs (e.g., Ellis & Bernard, 2006) in more child-friendly language. Other positive Habits of the Mind derive from other cognitive-behavioural theories including cognitive therapy (e.g., Beck, 1993), attributional theory (e.g., Dweck & Elliott, 1983), learned optimism (e.g., Seligman, 1975, 1991), self-efficacy (e.g., Bandura, 1986, 1997; Pajares, 1996: Zimmerman, 1991), goal setting (e.g., Schunk, 1996), internal motivation (e.g., Spaulding, 1992), academic procrastination (e.g., Solomon & Rothblum, 1984). and interpersonal cognitive problem solving (e.g. Spivack & Shure, 1974; Spivack, Platt & Shure, 1976). ​


Barrier model

Unique to YCDI! theory is the identification of not only five social and emotional strengths that contribute to positive student outcomes, but also of the following five social and emotional difficulties (the 5 Blockers) that contribute to extreme under-achievement, behaviour problems and low levels of social and emotional well-being.

  • Feeling Very Worried
  • Feeling Very Down
  • Procrastination
  • Not Paying Attention or Disturbing Others, and
  • Feeling Very Angry or Misbehaving.

YCDI is deliberate in restructuring negative ‘Habits of the Mind’ that give rise to these ‘Blockers’ and in the explicit teaching of alternative positive ‘Habits of the Mind’. The relationship of the 5 Blockers to negative outcomes of young people is represented in the Barrier Model.


However, it is clear that in order to change the developmental trajectory of young people with poor mental health (emotional, social and behavioural challenges) and learning outcomes and to accelerate their social and emotional development, it is vital that schools, homes and communities be transformed so that the responsibility for supporting and educating, including quality social and emotional learning experiences and caring relationships, is shared throughout the community.