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Evaluating School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for Primary Classrooms

Cwynar, Amanda (2022) Evaluating School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for Primary Classrooms. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The place of inquiry implemented a School-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention (SWPBIS) program during the 2018-19 school year to the large number of students receiving exclusionary discipline at the primary level. Even with the supports in place, a large number of students continued to be removed from class. When students are removed from class, it can have a negative impact on student learning.
This mixed methods study was designed to evaluate the current SWPBIS systems in place at the classroom level based on the exemplary models utilized by the Pennsylvania PBS Network, which uses the exemplary models from the Center on Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS).
The research included a survey of 14 participants, three focus groups that included eight teacher participants, and four individual interviews with staff who have direct access to the primary level classrooms. The survey results indicated that a majority of staff members found that classroom systems that are aligned to the SWPBIS system are in place, except for the ratio of positive praise to negative praise given in the classroom and options in the classroom to continue instruction when negative behaviors occur. Teacher responses varied regarding their confidence levels in determining minor versus major infractions. The focus group results indicated that there is not a set way to analyze discipline data at the primary levels and that teachers do not have alternatives to exclusionary discipline in their classrooms. Similar to the survey results, the participants in the individual interviews were not able to determine the difference between a minor and major discipline infraction and that alternatives to exclusionary discipline are not being used in the classrooms.
The researcher proposed the following recommendations based on the study findings: ongoing professional development in positive praise at the classroom level, professional development in creating positive behavior plans for individual students, including all stakeholders in the review and development of the minor/major discipline infraction flowchart, and coaching support to staff to analyze individual classroom data monthly to identify disproportionalities in the data.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cwynar, Amandaamc346@pitt.eduamc3460000-0001-6150-0760
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKirk, Diane L.dlk@pitt.edudlk31
Committee MemberTrahan, Keithkwt2@pitt.edukwt2
Committee MemberBovalino,
Date: 2 September 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 30 March 2022
Approval Date: 2 September 2022
Submission Date: 28 June 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 102
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: Positive Behavior Interventions, discipline
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2022 18:48
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2022 18:48

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