The triangle of action, below, shows a range of interventions you can make that vary from being directive to non-directive in how you respond to a student. It is based on the ideas of John Heron; details of his work can be found in the Resources section.

Depending on the situation, you will need to decide where on this triangle you need to intervene. At the directive end, you will be required to do something. The bottom half is more supportive and aims to allow the student to help themselves. You may move around the triangle, especially if the student is one with whom you are in contact regularly. The important thing to remember is that you have a range of responses and to keep the student alongside you in the process.

Select the pink markers on the image below.