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Colvin & Scott’s “De-escalation Cycle”: Professional Development for High School Teachers

Remensky, Kaitlin (2022) Colvin & Scott’s “De-escalation Cycle”: Professional Development for High School Teachers. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Teachers often receive little formal training in how to effectively intervene when a student is behaving in a non-productive manner. Research shows that punitive consequences are usually not effective and are connected to negative outcomes for students. This study aimed to provide teachers with a working knowledge of Scott and Colvin’s “De-escalation Cycle” through a series of professional development sessions. The participants also assessed the helpfulness of the instructional strategies used in each session.
Thirty teachers volunteered to participate in four professional development sessions about student behavior and effective interventions at each stage of the “De-escalation Cycle.” Instruction included virtual and in-person strategies delivered asynchronously and in real time. Data was gathered through three surveys given over the course of the professional development series. Each survey included closed-ended questions, and responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics in Qualtrics. Results showed that teachers could identify the stages of the “De-escalation Cycle” and recognize at least one indicative behavior and one effective intervention at each stage following the professional development sessions. Respondents found all the instructional strategies used to be helpful to some degree.
Future professional development could practice strategies so that teachers have more than one intervention ready to use at each stage. Various instructional strategies that respondents found helpful should be considered when planning future sessions. The results of this study indicate that a thorough understanding of the predictable “De-escalation Cycle” can help teachers accurately decode student behavior and apply evidence-based interventions to limit non-productive behavior and increase learning opportunities.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Remensky, Kaitlinker122@pitt.eduker122
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTrovato, Charlenetrovato@pitt.edutrovato
Committee MemberKerr, Mary Margaretmmkerr@pitt.edummkerr
Committee MemberNelson, Melissamen49@pitt.edumen49
Committee MemberRalston, Thomastralston@pitt.edutralston
Date: 2 September 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 June 2022
Approval Date: 2 September 2022
Submission Date: 5 August 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 95
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: deescalation, deescalation cycle, student behavior, classroom management, high school teachers, professional development
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2022 18:35
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2022 18:35


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