Positive behavior support (PBS), is a relatively newer approach which is used to address disciplinary problems within a school. Many educators consider positive behavior support to be a better alternative than other traditional disciplinary approaches. Positive behavior support includes database decision making and requires the whole teams’ collaboration in order for it to work effectively. There is a rapid increase in the cases of student who exhibit aggressive and delinquent behavior in schools around the country.
The fact that increasing the number and intensity of other punitive practices has not managed to bring these cases down, has led educators and other key players to look for more effective measures to eradicate this increase (Safran & Oswald, 2003). Positive behavior support aims at using a positive and holistic approach to increase the incidences of positive behavior thereby reducing or even eliminating displays of problem behavior. Interventions of positive behavior support are geared towards altering situations that could potentially encourage problem behavior.
The interventions are also geared towards teaching students the possible alternatives to problem behavior (Safran & Oswald, 2003). Positive behavior support interventions can be directed at four different levels: Positive behavior support interventions can be implemented at a schoolwide or universal level. This refers to positive interventions implemented for all students within a learning institution or across any other setting. For these interventions to succeed, it is imperative for educators to have reliable and accurate data sources which are accessible to all key players.
This ensures ease in implementation and allows a holistic approach. Before these interventions are implemented at a universal level, the school discipline policies should be debated and revised accordingly. The institution is mandated to install a central computerized system which is accessible to all teachers. This allows them to input any discipline referrals they make. In addition to using these discipline referrals, the teacher can also use positive behavior coupons and time outs to implement positive behavior change.
A successful universal level implementation requires educators to train respective teachers how to use positive behavior support to handle disruptive behavior and how to effectively reorganize the classroom arrangement to facilitate this implementation (Safran & Oswald, 2003). These schoolwide interventions can be used to facilitate teacher response to student behavior. Schoolwide approaches have also been used to improve behavior among the students. An effective assessment of a universally implemented positive behavior support requires the use of the computerized discipline referrals.
School safety surveys are often used to assess the number and intensity of occurrence of negative behavior. Second step knowledge tests which are given to students within the schools are also used to gauge how effective the implementation is. A needs assessment of the student and the teachers is done by the discipline teams within the school to enable them to identify the problems within the institution. Positive behavior support interventions can also be implemented at the classroom level or in particular groups. These interventions can target students in a grade class or in a school game team.
These group interventions have been shown to be very effective, resulting to better behavior change due to the closer attention which the teacher pays the students. They are applied in order to rectify problem behavior for those students who are not exhibiting positive change through universal interventions (Safran & Oswald, 2003) and who do not yet require individualized intervention. Positive behavior support interventions can be implemented at specific settings within the school. These interventions are implemented at specific areas which aren’t within the classroom like in hallways.
They are used to address particular problems within these areas which account for more than half of all the problem behaviors displayed within a school (Safran & Oswald, 2003). They can be used to address the eating arrangement and behavior displayed in the cafeteria. There is need to implement appropriate strategies in these areas which lack explicit behavior expectations and well founded routines. When used within specific settings, positive behavior support interventions have remarkably reduced the intensity of problem behavior (Lewis et al. , 2000).
To effectively implement positive behavior support, active supervision and intensive training in social skills should first be implemented. Teachers and administrators should precorrect students before they go to these venues. This interaction has been shown to be effective at reducing the occurrence of problem behavior. To assess the effectiveness of these interventions on specific setting settings, direct observations have been found to be most effective (Lewis et al. , 2000) Positive behavior support interventions can be implemented at individual student levels.
These are very effective in dealing with student who exhibit chronic problems and severe difficulties which require intensive and individualized interventions (Lewis et al. , 2000). In the American schools, more than five percent of the total students have chronic behavior problems (Lewis et al. , 2000). These students need to have their problems addressed at individual levels if they are to change their behavior. Students with chronic problems should be taught the expected behavior in different places to ensure that awareness is created. This has been shown to help improve their concentration within the classroom and their performance.
School based positive behavior support is an effective method of preventing and avoiding the occurrence of problem behavior within the school. An effective method of assessment is necessary to ensure successful implementation of the positive behavior interventions.
REFERENCES Lewis, T. J. , Colvin, G, & Sugai, G. (2000). The effects of precorrection and active supervision on the recess behavior of elementary students. Education and Treatment of Children, 23(2), 109-121. Safran Stephen P. & Oswald Karen. (2003). Positive Behavior Supports: Can Schools Reshape Disciplinary Practices? Exceptional Children. 69, (3), 361-373.
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