A new study finds that a dedicated team that makes decisions based on data is crucial for launching and sustaining a framework designed at the University of Oregon in the early 1990s to prevent and reduce behavioral problems in the nation's schools.
The study, published in the January issue of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, involved a comprehensive survey of 257 school team members or school district personnel involved in the implementation of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) at 234 schools in 14 states.
"One of the really interesting outcomes of this study is that school personnel perceive principal support as the most important factor in sustainability," said lead author Kent McIntosh, a professor in the Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences at the University of Oregon. "Although principal support is key, when we factored in other aspects of their implementation, having an effective school-based team that uses data for decision making was even more critical to sustainability. Although it's great to have the support of a strong administrator, relying on one person to sustain a practice is a bad strategy for actual sustainability."
SWPBIS, which centers on teaching strategies, is an approach rather than a program, McIntosh said. "It is a framework -- an umbrella under which you can fit all kinds of behavioral support strategies and practices."
George Sugai of the University of Connecticut and the UO's Robert Horner developed the framework in the early 1990s. At the time, Sugai was a faculty member in the UO College of Education with Horner. Sugai and Horner, a professor of special education, are co-leaders of the National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, a multi-institutional organization funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
SWPBIS is now in 20,011 schools across the United States. Schools in Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Norway also have adopted it. Schools implementing the framework have seen dramatic reductions in discipline referrals, suspensions and expulsions.
Implementation of SWPBIS initially involved trained teams entering schools, but as the framework expanded, its introduction is now done locally, "on a grassroots level," McIntosh said. SWPBIS is supported by national and regional assistance centers that provide materials and access to a growing database on student behaviors based on reports from schools across the nation. By tapping such data, teaching strategies can be adjusted to recapture students' attention, establish expectations and reduce opportunities for misbehavior.
For the study, McIntosh said, participants initially had rated a long list of attributes as vitally important for the successful implementation of SWPBIS. So the study team, which included researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and the University of Texas at El Paso, drilled deeper to identify components that encourage the ongoing use of the framework.
Initial buy-in by a leading administrator is important, especially when the leader makes it clear that SWPBIS is a priority and then attends team meetings. However, McIntosh said, the importance of an implementation team -- with its members representing all interests of the school involved -- emerged as the most significant factor driving sustainability.
"It's not a completely contrasting situation," he said. "We found that both are important, and that if you had a committed administrator and a well-functioning school team that used school-discipline data for decision-making, then you were more likely to sustain and keep it going. If you had to choose one or the other, a well-functioning team was actually more important."
Strong teams, McIntosh said, are able to compensate in instances of less administrator support, overly dominating administrators and for the turnover of top administrators. Building sustainability, in turn, helps schools stay focused on SWPBIS.
McIntosh described the study's findings and ongoing efforts to monitor SWPBIS implementation in a keynote address Jan. 23 at the Illinois PBIS Network Winter Leadership Conference. Illinois is the leading adopter of SWPBIS. McIntosh also will speak at the 12th Annual Northwest PBIS Conference, Feb. 26-28, in Portland, Ore., on the same topic and about a new initiative to use SWPBIS to address racial and ethnic disproportionality in school discipline practices.
"Researchers at the University of Oregon are developing science-based applications that yield effective prevention and intervention strategies," said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation and dean of the UO Graduate School. "This research by Dr. McIntosh and his team examining the various implementation methods of school districts adopting the SWPBIS intervention framework pioneered at the UO has the potential to improve student social behavior and academic performance by optimizing educational reform efforts."
Co-authors were Larissa Predy, Amanda Hume, Mary G. Turri, and Susanna Mathews, all of the University of British Columbia, and Gita Upreti of the University of Texas at El Paso. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (grant: F09-05052) supported the research.
About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.
Editor's Note: The seven leading U.S. states with school districts using or now implementing SWPBIS are: Illinois, Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Louisiana, Maryland and Colorado.
Source: Kent McIntosh, associate professor, Special Education and Clinical Sciences, 541-346-2340, email@example.com
McIntosh faculty page: https://education.uoregon.edu/users/kent-mcintosh
Special Education and Clinical Sciences: https://education.uoregon.edu/department/special-education-and-clinical-sciences
UO College of Education: http://education.uoregon.edu
National Technical Assistance Center on PBIS: http://www.pbis.org/
Follow UO Science on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/UniversityOfOregonScience
UO Science on Twitter: http://twitter.com/UO_Research
More UO Science/Research News: http://uoresearch.uoregon.edu
Note: The University of Oregon is equipped with an on-campus television studio with a point-of-origin Vyvx connection, which provides broadcast-quality video to networks worldwide via fiber optic network. In addition, there is video access to satellite uplink, and audio access to an ISDN codec for broadcast-quality radio interviews.
Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences