Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Data-driven team is key to sustaining positive behavior framework in schools

04.02.2014
Study is part of effort to monitor the success of an approach pioneered at the University of Oregon

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, kentm@uoregon.edu

Links:

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!
Further information:
http://www.uoregon.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Scientists Create New Map of Brain’s Immune System
18.02.2019 | Universitätsklinikum Freiburg

nachricht Forest Bird Community is endangered in South America
12.02.2019 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Regensburg physicists watch electron transfer in a single molecule

For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.

The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...

Im Focus: University of Konstanz gains new insights into the recent development of the human immune system

Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens

Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...

Im Focus: Transformation through Light

Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light

When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...

Im Focus: Famous “sandpile model” shown to move like a traveling sand dune

Researchers at IST Austria find new property of important physical model. Results published in PNAS

The so-called Abelian sandpile model has been studied by scientists for more than 30 years to better understand a physical phenomenon called self-organized...

Im Focus: Cryo-force spectroscopy reveals the mechanical properties of DNA components

Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a new method to examine the elasticity and binding properties of DNA molecules on a surface at extremely low temperatures. With a combination of cryo-force spectroscopy and computer simulations, they were able to show that DNA molecules behave like a chain of small coil springs. The researchers reported their findings in Nature Communications.

DNA is not only a popular research topic because it contains the blueprint for life – it can also be used to produce tiny components for technical applications.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Global Legal Hackathon at HAW Hamburg

11.02.2019 | Event News

The world of quantum chemistry meets in Heidelberg

30.01.2019 | Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

The Internet of Things: TU Graz researchers increase the dependability of smart systems

18.02.2019 | Interdisciplinary Research

Laser Processes for Multi-Functional Composites

18.02.2019 | Process Engineering

Scientists Create New Map of Brain’s Immune System

18.02.2019 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>