Can 'our approach' be informed by someone's need?

Anais Ninn

Senior Member
Korean
As practitioners, we must recognise that the flight behaviour is funcionally significant for the child and our approach towards reducing the behaviour must be informed by the child's need to escape situations they find difficult.

Can 'our approach' be informed by the 'child's need'?

Anais
 
  • MissFit

    Senior Member
    It would make sense for one's approach to be informed, but I can't see how a child's need would be informative. It would make more sense if it said, "...informed by our understanding of the child's need to escape..."
     

    SweetSoulSister

    Senior Member
    American English
    I don't think it makes good sense the way it is.

    It should say something like,

    "...our approach towards reducing the behavior must take into account the child's need..."

    Or instead of "take into account" you could say "consider".
     

    Anais Ninn

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thanks SSS. That's much better. :) But I am not 100% satisfied yet. Wouldn't it be better if I say "...and that, in our approach towards reducing the behavior, we must take into account..."?

    Anais

    I don't think it makes good sense the way it is.

    It should say something like,

    "...our approach towards reducing the behavior must take into account the child's need..."

    Or instead of "take into account" you could say "consider".
     

    SweetSoulSister

    Senior Member
    American English
    No, not in this case. For example, see the following sentences where the method/approach/decision is taking into account something.

    My method/approach/decision takes into account all necessary information.

    My method/approach/decision will be a reflection of all necessary data.

    (The "we" thing you mentioned is implied, yes we are considering it while we create our method/approach. But it is ok to make the approach consider something.)
     
    As practitioners, we must recognise that the flight behaviour is funcionally significant for the child and our approach towards reducing the behaviour must be informed by the child's need to escape situations they find difficult.

    Can 'our approach' be informed by the 'child's need'?

    Anais

    Yes, our approach can be informed by the child's need.

    First, "approach" in this context is not the usual meaning of getting physically closer. Approach here in this academic context means something like the attitude we take, the methods we use, the response we provide, the way we understand or perceive the situation.

    Second, "be informed by" in this academic context means it has an important influence on, has to be taken into account. "be informed by" is a very common expression in educational and sociological discourse.

    So, in my opinion, the sentence is grammatically acceptable and the meaning is clear within the context of academic discourse. It's a rather elaborate way of saying we cannot ignore the child's perceptions/motivation that led to this behaviour if we want to understand the behaviour and to do something to improve it.

    I suppose it might be even better to say:
    ... our approach towards reducing the behaviour must be informed by recognition of the child's need to escape situations they find difficult.
    OR:
    ... our approach towards reducing the behaviour must be informed by a better understanding of the child's need to escape situations they find difficult.

    Someone might argue that the plural pronoun (they) does not agree with the singular noun (the child), but I think this is just to avoid saying he or she.

    Robbo
     
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