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What is PAX?

What is PAX?

The PAX Good Behavior Game (PAX GBG) is a scientifically proven classroom based system that teachers use to teach skills for self-regulation, co-regulation, and self-control during any school or after school activity. Students use these skills purposely to collaborate with others to create, peace, productivity, health, and happiness.

What does “PAX” mean?

PAX is Latin for peace. PAX is what we want more of in our classrooms, community, and home. PAX = Peace, Productivity, Health, and Happiness.

When did PAX start?

PAX GBG infuses a set of evidence based strategies called “kernels” and a classroom game which evolved from the original Good Behavior Game, developed and studied during the 1960s.PAX GBG combines proven science from the Good Behavior Game, Peace Builders, PBIS, and evidence based kernels.

Is PAX GBG an evidence-based program?

PAX GBG is a universal, prevention intervention identified as an evidence-based program by SAMHSA’s National Registry for Evidence based Programs and Practices, Washington State Institute for Public Policy, the Institute of Medicine, and teachers’ unions in the U.S and other countries.

What age/grades is PAX for?

PAX GBG can be used with students of all ages. Studies show benefits from PreK- High School. The longitudinal studies focused on first and second grade students. PAX has variations and adaptations for stages of development from Pre K through grade 12 as well as intensive re-entry programming for violent juvenile offenders.

Where is PAX?

PAX classroom can be found throughout the United States in urban, rural, suburban, and tribal communities. PAX GBG is also being implemented in several countries including Canada, Ireland, Sweden, Estonia and Brazil.

Does PAX work for kids who come from difficult situations or backgrounds?

Yes. In fact, PAX has been shown to have the most significant and largest effects on children with the most disadvantages or existing problems. PAX GBG helps to create a nurturing environment antidote for adverse/traumatic childhood experiences (ACE’s). When faithfully implemented, PAX GBG is proven to reduce the symptoms of ACE’s for many.

What are some short term benefits of using PAX GBG?

From the first week of implementation, PAX GBG provides practical tools to nurture self-regulation in any school context to improve attention and reduce impulsivity. When children learn self-regulation from the proven tools of PAX GBG, they do better on short cycle and standardized test. With daily use of PAX GBG, off-task and disruptive behaviors can decrease by 75%, student attendance improves, and teacher stress decreases.

What are some long term benefits of using PAX GBG?

Over time, the benefits of PAX GBG keep getting better! Randomized control studies conducted by Johns Hopkins University have shown that students who received PAX GBG were more likely to graduate from college and go on to college, less like to engage in substance abuse or experience mental health problems than their peers who did not receive PAX GBG. Few prevention strategies have the replicated impact on lifetime development outcomes, as the Good Behavior Game and it’s evidence based kernels.

My students are well behaved, will PAX still help?

Yes! PAX GBG strategies have been shown to be helpful in every classroom. Implementers will notice an increase in prosocial behaviors, marked improvement in academic outcomes, and more joyful teaching moments.

Does PAX take away time from teaching?

No, after you and your students learn to use PAX GBG you will gain 1-2 hours a day for high quality teaching and learning. PAX GBG’s effective strategies are used while you teach to increase focused attention and engagement.


The PAX Good Behavior Game®/Good Behavior Game® builds self-regulation in young people by creating shared classroom/school purpose and vision with adults and peers to create more peace, productivity, health and happiness. Students work together—reinforcing desirable behaviors (called PAX) and inhibiting unwanted behaviors (called Spleems). Over the course of months, children develop agency—the ability to influence their world for the better. And, students reduce impulsivity, leading to ability to delay gratification for a higher purpose. These skills increase their pro-social behavior and self-regulation, paving the way for remarkably better immediate and lifetime academic, behavioral/health, and positive lifetime outcomes (e.g., graduation from high school, university entry, gainful employment). PAX also develops and strengthens peer networks to improve relationships now, in the future, with lower risk of self-harm or harm to others.

Trauma-informed Care?

The PAX Good Behavior Game adheres to SAMHSA’s six key principles of a trauma-informed approach and model for a trauma-informed classroom. PAX creates a nurturing environment in every school and classroom –allowing young people to develop pro-social behaviors in a safe setting far from the predatory environments that encourage anti-social behavior. PAX provides teachers with proven and tested strategies shown to support development—preventing the re-traumatization of children who have been exposed to adversity and violence. PAX strategies allow students to co-create consistent expectations and summon peer support in creating a nurturing classroom/school environment.

PBIS and Tiered-Intervention

The PAX Good Behavior Game provides teachers and administrators with practical tiered-intervention strategies to implement PBIS in the classroom. These strategies work together to reinforce expected, pro-social behaviors while inhibiting problematic behaviors. PAX ensures evidence-based strategies and expectations for every student and uses data-driven decision-making to provide multiple levels of support for students with more intense needs. PAX creates for a unified, multi-tier approach that establishes consistent expectations throughout for a successful and safe school.

Social and Emotional Learning

The PAX Good Behavior Game promotes social and emotional learning in all students. How? By engaging students in co-creating expectations and developing shared purpose and relationship building tools, children can begin to recognize their own thoughts and feelings as well as regulate their own emotions and behaviors. PAX also improves awareness for the needs of others and helps to improve peer support by developing and maintaining positive relationships with others. All this helps children to regulate their own behavior and choices in order to live peaceful, productive, healthy, and happy lives.

Happy Educators

PAX is one thing that actually makes teachers happier, healthier and love their job. As educators will tell you, “When my students are happy, I am happy.” PAX demonstrably reduces teacher stress and burnout, when teachers and others faithfully use PAX GBG.

Gold Standard Science

The Good Behavior Game®/PAX Good Behavior Game® has 158 research publications in the leading index of behavioral science, American Psychological Association’s psycnet.apa.org. The National Library of Medicine (www.pubmed.gov) has 71 research publications on this work. By “gold standard” studies, this means randomized students, classrooms, and/or schools were randomly assigned to receive these strategies or not. Additionally, many of those studies involve long-term follow up to measure the lasting effects of the Good Behavior Game or its components. Recently, our research colleagues at Johns Hopkins have received funding to examine the lasting benefits of the Good Behavior Game® in the 35th year of life.

PAX Training FAQ

What types of trainings do you offer?

The following trainings are offered for initial implementation or when PAX is new in your area:

  • PAX Strategic Planning and Development: Strategic Planning and Development occurs before training begins and provides expert planning and collaboration necessary for schools, agencies, and communities to get the most from their PAX implementations.
  • PAX GBG Initial Teacher Training : Classroom implementations begin with an initial teacher certification. This training along with a PAX Kit provides each teacher with the skills and materials necessary to begin implementing PAX GBG the very next day. This training is offered four formats.
  • PAX Partner Initiation: This training provides participants with the skills to support PAX Teachers, integrations with school initiatives, strategies to improve implementations. To become a certified PAX Partner, participants must complete the Initial Teacher Training, the 4-6 hour self paced online modules, and the 2 day in person PAX Partner training.

The following is offered as Professional Development or for those already trained in PAX.

  • 4th Edition Update: This Professional Development training introduces participants to the developments and enhancements to PAX GBG since the 3rd Edition manual. This is a full day 6 hour in person training.
  • PAX Next Steps: This Professional Development training helps teachers address difficulties they may be experiencing in implementations and provides enhanced strategies for using PAX GBG. Sites can opt for a full or ½ day training.
  • PAX Heroes Teacher Certification: This training provides teachers with additional strategies to scaffold PAX Kernels for children who continue to struggle, including Tier 2 and 3 enhancements. This is a full day 6 hour in person training.
  • PAX Hero Partner Certification: Experienced and Certified PAX Partners will develop the skills to collaborate with teachers and school staff to develop Tiered Strategies using PAX GBG for children who continue to struggle. This is 2 full day in person training.
You may also see all the trainings available under the training tab - https://www.goodbehaviorgame.org/training

How can I sign up for a training?

Please email training@paxis.org to inquire about trainings in your area.

Who should attend a PAX training?

PAX Training is recommended and available for any staff member working with students. This includes all administrators, counselors, and support staff.

What kind of materials are included in training?

Participants receive all the necessary materials to begin implementing PAX GBG strategies the very next day. This includes the PAX UP! App to help facilitate implementation, track and report data, plus send positive notes home.

Should my administrator attend training?

Yes! We encourage administrators to be involved in training and implementation from the very beginning. Administrators will learn ways to support implementation, integrate PAX with other building initiatives, and how PAX strategies can decrease office referrals and teacher stress levels.

What will I learn in a PAX training?

During the full day 6 hour training, participants will learn specific strategies to create a more peaceful and productive classroom. PAX GBG training will promote development of skills and strategies to:

  • Increase task completion
  • Increase positive pro-social behaviors
  • Regulate individual and group behavior
  • Improve classroom participation
  • Improve peer networks
  • Increase student focus during instruction

Can our entire staff attend a training?

Of course! Our initial PAX GBG training can hold up to 40 participants.