Free Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Essay Sample

Many different strategies have been employed for handling people's behavior in different social settings; in order to maximumly bring out their success potential. One such behavioral program has been the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (PBIS). Because the program is still in its youth stages, it is still being researched actively and evaluated by many people in an effort increase its effectiveness. This paper is going to look at PBIS and how effective it has been so far.

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Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (PBIS), is also known as PBS. This is a systems change method that is based on research and regards behavior in the context of the settings in which it occurs. Families, schools, and communities work with PBIS to design effective environments so as to improve behavior. It is not a new concept as such; it has roots in psychology through the theory of applied behavior analysis, although it has progressed over the years from settings of special education to the general education for all. In the school environment, strategies are developed to manage student behavior in classroom and outside classroom settings. It is an all inclusive system of behavior management that makes sure that all involved parties are on board. PBIS is not just developed to affect positively the behavior of students, but also their quality of life. PBIS programs are usually behaviorally based on the practices that have been proved to be effective. It is recorded that PBIS evolved from three main areas, the area of applied behavior analysis, the inclusion/normalization movement and the person centered values area (DC State, 2010).

In the area of behavior analysis, PBIS strives to determine what motivates some specific undesirable behaviors so that a personalized intervention planning is made to promote acceptable behavior. This area also addresses various educational methods that can be used to lessen problem, behavior. The inclusion/normalization process promotes those individuals having behavior disorders living in similar settings as those without disability so that they can have fair opportunities in various social places. Person-centered values on the other hand are made in such a way as to meet the unique needs and goals of an individual. It aims to have social involvement, community involvement, an individual's choice, developing self respect and also commanding respect from others. It is this process that individuals are encouraged to set their own targets in life, become independent thinkers, in other words be their own advocates. It seeks to reduce or completely do away with external influences that are negative (CPAC, 2010).

PBIS does not only apply in the classroom setting, as it has already been shown, it encompasses all the aspects in a person's life. It is not meant for quickly fixing people's problems, but it is a long term, diverse support system. All persons interested in an individual's behavior all become in the system of support that helps the particular individual attain improved quality of life. The quality of life of all those involved in the support system, is improved if the system succeeds. The stakeholders in this system actively participate the design, methodology, and in the implementation of the intervention and support program. This is preferred because friends and families will always have the most knowledge of the strengths, challenges, and the needs of an individual. The idea behind PBIS is that efforts should be focused on fixing problem contexts but not problem behavior. All participants must cooperate, and a well organized fashion of planning and implementation is needed. It requires a comprehensive approach and also focus on changing all aspects of an individual's situation and settings that bring about undesirable behavior. It aims at making changes not immediately but for long term benefits (Safe & Civil, n.d).

Many people have questioned whether PBIS works; there is broad and ever increasing evidence that shows that PBIS works. Many schools, districts and educational service districts all over the US have implemented PBIS models with tremendous success. Studies done on elementary schools show that after implementing PBIS, the mean number of office referrals for violating rules each academic year decreased significantly, administrative disciplinary actions, emergency removals, and suspensions also declined. All these can only be attributed to the increased student behavior and a decrease in distractions bright by misbehavior. This allowed student to better concentrate on their studies and a marked improvement in their studies was recorded. Studies carried out at the Maryland elementary schools that had implemented PBIS within a period of six years showed that the program is effective. First the time taken by the school to successfully implement the program was only two years meaning that it was effective on the onset. Studies on the students' behavior during meal times, class times and play time were recorded and analyzed. And from the results, it was confirmed that the school really did a very incredible job in integrating PBIS in its system and has so far shown to be relatively successful at it. This success was measured by the marked reductions in referrals, expulsions, suspensions, and increase in the student and staff attendance and connectedness. In the study it was noted that it is good to point out that although the research showed that the PBIS support was effective, there is still no data to support one PBIS model over the other. All PBIS approaches have earned substantial amounts of data on their efficiency (Responsive Classroom, n.d).

Although it's perceived by many that PBIS is a better approach, it should be acknowledged that not everyone shares this opinion. While it reduces office referrals, it does not entirely eliminate them. Some students still need assistance over and above the PBIS system. Some teachers still do not see PBIS as an improvement over other behavior support management methods. This serves to show the clash between those who advocate for more punitive discipline approaches for behavior correction with those that appreciate positive approaches of reinforcement that acknowledge those students showing desired school behavior. This in itself encourages teachers to promote and use the basic values of PBIS thereby improving the acceptance of the program (Safe & Civil, n.d).

As it has been seen, PBIS is a very effective program if appropriately implemented. If all the stakeholders cooperate in its implementation, the questions as to whether the program works or not will be answered. As concerning its effectiveness, the Maryland case is a model for effective use of PBIS. The Maryland school has benefited from its proven track record of decreased cases of school suspensions and expulsions and less class time in handling behavior situations. The school was successful because it embarked on changing behavioral expectations in the school, but not only on individual student behaviors. It is therefore important to understand that students respond more positively to discipline approaches that are preventive and more positive than punitive and reactive. It is also proved that those people who display behavior that is difficult to manage are more likely to cooperate with the above behavior management tactics. Therefore in order to enhance socially acceptable and academic success, skills, and behavior expectations, should be taught and also practiced in all social settings with emphasis on schools.


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