Positive Behavior Support Systems Headache or Happiness?
As a part of the general applied behavioral analysis, positive behavior support is an approach used to improve the human behavior. This technique distinguishes from all the others as it prefers to use systematic approach as a tool to effectively cope with an inappropriate behavior. This system concentrates on the purposes of the challenging human behavior and tries to reduce all the factors that enforce its development. This form of behavior analysis is usually implemented in schools in order to help teachers and parents to decrease the inappropriate behavior of children, improve their education rates and communication skills. Therefore, there is a series of questions about the effectiveness of the Positive Behavior and Intervention Support Systems (PBIS), the way they achieve the targets and the purposes of the systems effectiveness. In this paper I will study, analyze PBIS and research the means through which they get the result being implemented in practice. During the study, I will study the purpose of the effectiveness of the system and the impact of the effectiveness on students self-esteem, efficacy and rates improvement. The importance of the positive behavior support cannot be over-evaluated as it has created such an environment that reduces the need for the punishment system and in addition it helps students with disabilities who constantly face a number of social problems that affect their studies and communication abilities. That is why I found it is very important to study this particular issue and to give the explanation of its effectiveness. This analysis can help to understand the techniques used within the system and to find the strong sides that have to be regarded in order to use this experience for the perspective innovations and future researches in the sphere.
The key purpose for the use of the positive behavior support is the real need in the effective form of the behavior analysis that can help to improve the behavior of children at schools and help them to reach a better level and communicate easily, both with each other and with their tutors. The problem of the unsatisfactory behavior is one of the main purposes of the low education rates and it is also the leading purpose of the most serious punishments, such as expulsion from school. This problem impacts not just the students, but the whole institution as more that a half of all the incidents that happen in school are connected with the problematic students, even though they might represent less than 20% of the whole number of students. That is the reason why there was elaborated a series of the specific approaches that aimed to reduce the rates of the school expulsions and serious incidents that happen at schools, but the prior harsh policies appeared to be ineffective as well as there was no productivity while implementing a zero tolerance policy. They have not been able to help the students with the problem behavior, to improve their attitude to the education process and their peers and to escape from the problems with the juvenile justice system. The effectiveness of the positive intervention and support system was extremely suitable and it helped to reduce the rates of the school accidents and the percentage of the expulsed school students that got imprisoned after getting out of the institution. If all the previous models appeared to be ineffective, then there is a question how the PBIS could be effective and how it changes life of the school students. That is why there is a need to understand the purposes of the effectiveness of the system and how it can benefit in the sphere where all the prior researches showed much more doubtful results. The role of the system in the contemporary education system is really high and in the long run it can become one of the decisive factors for the academic rates and the level of the education of the whole society.
While writing the paper, I have used a series of useful sources that provided all the necessary information on the topic. First of all, I want to mention the research paper made by Lewis and Sugai which is in their paper Effective Behavior Support: A Systems Approach to proactive School wide Management. Within the work there was represented a broad characteristic of the Positive Behavior Investigation and Support Systems and their difference from al the other initiatives that aimed to improve the behavior of the school students. Another important source is Building Positive Behavior Support Systems in Schools by Crone and Horner that is extremely useful because of the numerous proofs of the advantages of the positive behavior systems in comparison to the alternative initiatives. In addition, the work is full with the reliable evidences of the school staff that underlines the additional advantages for the school teachers that will agree to implement the program in their schools. I continued working with the research of Horner that has been hold together with Todd, Lewis-Palmer, Irvin, Sugai and Boland in the paper The School-Wide Evaluation Tool (SET): A Research Instrument for Assessing School-Wide Positive Behavior Support. In this paper I found very useful definitions of several necessary tools that represent the main secret feature of the successful implementation of the PBIS. Another important source is The Relationship of School-Wide Positive Behavior Support to Academic Achievement in an Urban Middle School by Lassen, Steele and Sailor, where I found the necessary evidence of practical implementation of the ideas and theories of the system in the ordinary urban school and what outcomes followed the experiment. The paper was written in a clear manner with the perfect combination of the theoretical and practical dimensions that resulted in an excellent scientific support for my paper. Also I would like to mention another research of Horner and Sugai Introduction to the Special Series of Positive Behavior Support in Schools. This work provided me with information on the topic of the usefulness of the positive behavior support programs in the cases of the disabled children and in addition I found there a lot of evidence that supported the issue that the program is effective for both students and school staff. One of the researches that helped me to understand how the system is implemented to the common schools and what practical impact is being made by the initiatives, is Reducing Problem Behaviors On the Playground: An Investigation of the Application of School Wide Positive behavior Supports. Here I found a lot of evidence and data that helped me to analyze the question and make the conclusion that there is a positive outcome of the program settlement that gives the real improvement to the academic rates of the students and also improves the whole studying process. In addition, I would like to underline the importance of the work A School Wide Example of Positive Behavior Support written by Scott, where he gives the observation of the more opened perspective of the program settlement and provides the evidence of the positive changes in the long run for the whole education system and all school that participated in the experiment in general. The serious support to my analysis has been given by the research of Cohn Positive Behavioral Supports: Information for Educators that provided me with the important data and evidence that supported the positive outcome of the program implementation in the series of schools. The information was perfectly systematized and put in a correct order that also helped me quickly understand the issue and get involved in the process. I also want to pay attention to the research made by McKevitt and Braaksma that provided me with all the information on how the implementation process is being organized, what factors impact the program and the participants, who and how benefit from the system implementation and what is the final outcome of the experiment. The research was extremely detailed and provided me with the information on the topic of the practical process of implementation.
The methodology of the research required gathering of evidence and data from the specified sources and studying the received information for analyzing the outcome of the implementation of the PBIS in schools that impacted the students with the unsatisfactory behavior. The data and evidence analysis was hold to identify the main tools and techniques that have been used in order to improve the behavior of students, ease their communication and improve their academic grades. A lot of evidence showed that the implementation of these types of system is effective and it works for the improvement of the studying process within the school and gives extra time and new opportunities to both students and school staff. This can be regarded as the positive impact of the series of programs that aimed to reduce the problematic behavior of the school students. In the log run, the program shows the positive impact and works for the improvement of the whole education system. In particular, the detailed analysis showed the complex character of the system and that the programs that have been set required the involvement of all the participants of the process and as the result the programs touched all the spheres of the school life. This character of PBIS defined the positive impact not only on the behavior of the students, but it also improved their self-esteem efficacy and graduation rates.
The system of the positive behavior intervention and support is a complex that requires a lot of processes to be set and controlled within the different spheres of the school life. The perfect and most desirable environment to be created has to be first defined by the school specialists that try to take into account all the specifications of the students so that the created atmosphere will appropriate for the improvement of the studying behavior of all the students. The expectations that teachers have about the future behavior of their students are explained. Teachers constantly tell about them to the students in order to make them behave in the desired way and make them aware of the behavior they are expected of in the concrete situation. The approach needs to be properly evaluated when implemented in practice that requires constant data collecting on the topic of the students results in their academic career. The majority of schools traditionally concentrate on the series of punishments that are well-know to the students and usually fixed in a particular list if rules. Some of them are really extremely strict and this harshness aims to make the students think twice before acting and just to stop the inappropriate behavior because the risk is not worth it; but in fact such a harsh policy appears to be ineffective as even the expulsion does not produce a long-lasting effect. In contrast the positive behavior system is made in a way that promotes the positive behavior and emphasizes on the positive impact of the appropriate behavior for the students and the improvement of the strides in studying and communication skills that will help them to become successful learners and representatives of the society. The implementation of the system in the state schools showed the quick positive outcome of the experiment, especially for the school staff because of the saved time that was previously spent on the students behavior problems experiment. The reasons of the improvement are also numerous as the complex character of the system requires the coordinated work in the different school life aspects to gain the maximum effect from the implementation of the new approach.
First of all, the success of the group in the achievement so the school students depend on the team work. There are a number of school teams that work on different problems, such as student difficulties, school climate, policy, resources and other. The techniques used in the coordinated team work should be implemented in the system of the positive behavior that will help quickly make the effective decision and also involve students in the process. It will help them to understand the purposes of the system and the real profit they might get from the positive behavior at school.
A lot depends on teachers and their personal attitude as the teacher has to support the system and be willing to implement the models of the positive behavior investigation and support his/her teaching process. It is very hard to achieve the general agreement within the big working society as there always appear doubts on the theories and ideas of approaches, the effectiveness of the system and its suitability. There is an evidence of the efficiency of the system that also gives a real profit to the school staff. In the researches of Barrett, it can be seen that teachers save approximately 16 days a year when they are not dealing with the issues connected with the inappropriate student behavior (Scott, 2001). In addition, the support of the system gives much more effect as students are influenced by their teachers and if they do believe in the system, then the positive outcome is getting stronger and the effect stays strong for the whole period of studying.
In addition, the interest to the new approaches and the efforts to improve the behavior problem leads to the improvement of the school staff and their professionalism. This also improves the efficacy of the students as they now receive more information from teachers who are willing to give the needed knowledge for the audience with the appropriate behavior a little bit more and to make them interested. This for sure gives the positive outcome to the academic score of the school students. In return, teachers will be able to improve their skills and provide more knowledge to the students. That will improve the academic rates of the students and also work for the reputation of the institution and the whole education system (Crone & Horner, 2003).
Another factor that improves the students efficacy and self-esteem is that the PBIS proposes the involvement of the family and community members in the process. The successful implementation of the system requires the attention of the other society members that also have the influence on the students and communicate with them as close as the classmates and teachers. The system is effective because it takes into account the fact that the behavior of the students does not stop to affect their lives after leaving the school building. The social stakeholders provide the PBIS with the additional views on the possible outcomes of the system implementation and the impact which it might have on the students. This alternative opinion can be extremely important for the effectiveness of the system (Lewis & Sugai, 1999). In addition, it is another assistance and help that will make the implementation of the system more quick and widespread.
The important role in the improvement of the students self-esteem plays school psychologist. Psychologists can be the most effective team leaders as they can provide the process with the professional help in collecting the necessary data and analyzing the changes in the school environment, the opinion of the school, teachers and students. School psychologists can also effectively evaluate the ongoing programs and give them objective professional mark. This can help to reduce all the disadvantages and make the program suitable for the particular institution. They effectively control the process to make the improvement of the students behavior and self-esteem.
According to the researches of Cohn, the process of settlement of the new systems within the state institutions is showing the ongoing progress in the academic score of the school students and the improvement of their behavior that highly affects all the spheres of school life. In the last fifteen years there have been a stable growth in promotion of the students behavior and their involvement in the different academic activities. Schools that have implemented the positive behavior systems have stated about the enlargement in the amount of time spent on the school activities as well as the increasing number of the free time that has been previously spent on the variety of issues considering the problems with the students that had an inappropriate behavior that have fallen for the 20-60% in different schools within the country. There improvement in the behavior of the students has shown the rate of almost 90% in the series of cases, which shows that the system is really effective and that it can meet the specific demands of practically all the students that are a key factor for the success of such programs. This high rate shows the evidence of almost a half of all the schools that implemented the new program to stop the problematic behavior of their students. Moreover, the 26% of the cases stated the complete disappearance of the cases with the inappropriately behaving students.
In this paper I studied and analyzed the issue of the Positive Behavior Intervention and Support System (PBIS) and how it impacts on the improvement of the students behavior, their self-esteem, efficacy and the graduation rates. The system appeared to be the unique because of the positive outcome that has never been fixed during the previous innovation settlement. The system appeared to be effective and reliable. Its theoretical dimension is highly supported but not the practical efficiency that it showed after the series of school implemented programs in their studying process. The high rates of the positive impact were set with the help of the team work, the involvement of the families of the students and the society members that also produced an additional influence and provided the necessary assistance for the process of program implementation. It was also founded on the law need of additional funding, the involvement of the professional school psychologists, the support of the program from the academic staff and the complex nature of the system that required the involvement of all the spheres of the school life.