A major advance in school-wide discipline is the emphasis on school-wide systems of support that include proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments. Instead of using a patchwork of individual behavioral management plans, a continuum of positive behavior support for all students within a school is implemented in areas including the classroom and non-classroom settings (such as hallways, restrooms). Positive behavior support (PBS) is an application of a research, behaviorally-based systems approach to enhance the capacity of schools, families, and communities to design effective environments that improve the link between research-validated practices and the environments in which teaching and learning occurs.
Attention is focused on creating and sustaining primary (school-wide), secondary (classroom), and tertiary (individual) systems of support that improve lifestyle results (personal, health, social, family, work, recreation) for all children and youth by making problem behavior less effective, efficient, and relevant, and desired behavior more functional.
Why is it so important to focus on teaching positive social behaviors?
In the past, school-wide discipline has focused mainly on reacting to specific student "misbehavior" by implementing punishment-based strategies including reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions.
Research has shown that the implementation of punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies, is ineffective. Introducing, modeling, and reinforcing positive social behavior is an important component of a student’s educational experience. Teaching behavioral expectations and rewarding students for following them is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehavior to occur before responding. The purpose of school-wide PBS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.
What is a systems approach in school-wide PBS?
An organization is a group of individuals who behave together to achieve a common goal. Systems are needed to support the collective use of best practices by individuals within the organization. The school-wide PBS process emphasizes the creation of systems that support the adoption and durable implementation of evidence-based practices and procedures, and fit within on-going school reform efforts. An interactive approach that includes opportunities to correct and improve four key elements is used in school-wide PBS focusing on:
Outcomes: academic and behavior targets that are endorsed and emphasized by students, families, and educators.
Practices: interventions and strategies that are evidence based.
Data: Information that is used to identify status, need for change, and effects of interventions.
Systems: supports that are needed to enable the accurate and durable implementation of the practices of PBS.
PRIDE emphasizes a proactive approach to school discipline and deemphasizes a reactive approach to school wide discipline.
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