Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility BSEM research and evaluation | Berry Street Skip to main content

BSEM research and evaluation

Male teacher talking to student

We conduct ongoing research and evaluation with the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. Our program has benefited from the ground-breaking work of researchers around the world including Bessel van der Kolk, Martin Seligman, Lea Waters, Carol Dweck, and Helen Stokes.

Backed by research

The Berry Street Education Model is the focus of research by the University of Melbourne within mainstream and specialist schools. These studies investigate student behaviours, achievement, engagement and wellbeing using a range of methodologies. Quantitative and qualitative data includes literacy and numeracy achievement, critical incidence reports, attendance and engagement data, wellbeing surveys, and voices of students and teachers through interviews and focus groups. Studies range from pre- to post-implementation as well as three-year longitudinal studies and ongoing investigation into BSEM's continued impact within schools.

There’s a more supportive environment among the children. They’re using de-escalating language, they’re better able to communicate with their teachers.

Deputy Head Wellbeing

Since its inception, independent research with the Melbourne Graduate School of Education suggests BSEM has contributed to improved student outcomes including on-task learning, emotional regulation, increased teaching time for teachers, and enhancements to schools' orderly learning environments. Principals attribute BSEM to strengthening school culture which facilitates improvements in student wellbeing and learning (Stokes, 2022).

Staff practice

BSEM helps staff by developing their capacity to take strategies back to their schools and classes, leading to whole-school changes in school culture and teacher practice.

Whole-school culture

The whole-school approach, involving all school staff, not just teachers, is essential to the success of BSEM in schools. The use of shared language provided by BSEM is also helpful.

The shared language is probably the most powerful and significant difference... amongst staff and the kids.


Evaluation reports

In 2014, the Berry Street invited the Youth Research Centre (University of Melbourne) to undertake a research and evaluation project examining the effectiveness of the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) when used to engage young people in mainstream schools.

Read more

This report provides a three year evaluation which details the findings and identifies limitations and recommendations for the future.

Read more

The ‘Young People’s Voices, Young People’s Lives’ Project (YPVYPL) is a 12-month study that documents and examines the impact of the BSEM on four cohorts of young people in four Victorian schools.

Read more

BSEM is currently being implemented in Darebin in northern metropolitan Melbourne. The implementation is part of the Darebin City Council’s Community of Practice initiative, that has as its focus supporting and bringing schools together.

Read more

BSEM is currently being implemented at Collingwood College, a P-12 facility in inner Melbourne, as part of the Yarra Communities that Care (CTC) initiative.

Read more

Research Articles

As part of their work, senior BSEM trainers have had articles published in leading journals.

Dr Tom Brunzell's book Creating Trauma-informed Strengths Based Classrooms, co-authored with Dr Jacolyn Norrish, is now available as part of Berry Street's professional development resources and bookstore, as well as booksellers world-wide.

Working together, BSEM helps schools strengthen their whole of school approach to build consistency and predictability across all classrooms throughout the school.

Learn how to get started with the BSEM course at your school. Want to talk to someone about our course? Call 03 9429 9266 or email to discuss your tailored program.