What is PBIS?
Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) is a framework for creating safe and orderly learning environments in schools, while improving the social-emotional outcomes for students. It is a proactive approach that relies on research based practices, including developing clear behavioural expectations, teaching these expectations, acknowledging appropriate behaviour, consistently correcting inappropriate behaviour and using data to systematically solve problems. PBIS is built on a three tiered model that provides additional behavioural supports to students who are not responding to the tier 1 interventions.
Tier 1 PBIS
The primary goals of PBIS are to prevent the development of inappropriate behaviour, reduce ongoing patterns of problem behaviour and to increase the likelihood of improved academic performance of all students through teaching and learning time gained when the numbers of inappropriate behaviours are reduced.
As staff learn how to consistently embed the teaching and monitoring of appropriate social and behaviour skills into the school day and curriculum, they also learn to anticipate how to structure school environments so the appropriate skills will be utilised more often.
PBIS first establishes strong Tier 1 prevention through employing school-wide systems of actively teaching and recognising appropriate social skills and behaviour, using consistent systems to discourage inappropriate behavior and educating all staff in how to implement and participate in the process. In addition, staff members are taught how to collect and utilise data for effective decision making related to the overall culture and climate of their school and the effectiveness of their Tier 1 systems and practices.
Missouri has identified features or components based on the PBIS National Center Implementer’s Blueprint that together form a highly effective approach to schoolwide discipline (Technical Assistance Center on PBIS, 2010). Each component is vital. They operate together to ensure the positive and proactive approach to discipline that is likely to lead to behavioural and academic success. These components include: 1) Common Philosophy and Purpose, 2) Leadership, 3) Clarifying Expected Behaviour, 4) Teaching Expected Behaviour, 5) Encouraging Expected Behaviour, 6) Discouraging Inappropriate Behaviour, 7) Ongoing Monitoring, and 8) Effective Classroom Practices.
The PBIS Framework
PBIS is grounded in the behavioural and prevention sciences. It is a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) framework which emphasises:
- Measurable outcomes
- Evidence-based practices
- Implementation systems
- Data for decision making
Clearly defined outcomes with the selection of effective practices, use of meaningful data, and attention to systems together lead to successful outcomes. These four features are also interrelated; they interact with and guide each other. For example, data are used to determine outcomes, evaluate progress on achieving those outcomes, guide the selection of practices, and identify the systems needed to implement. Similarly, a school’s desired outcomes are used to guide the selection of practices, define data collection needs, and determine the adequacy of existing systems.
Three Levels of implementation
Focusing on a systems change approach discussed earlier along with validated behavior change techniques, PBIS is designed to meet the unique behavioural needs of each school and every student through three broad levels of implementation. These three levels operationalise prevention and emphasise interventions that range from preventing the development of inappropriate behaviour (universal) to reducing the impact or intensity (targeted or intensive) of problem behaviour occurrences. This continuum of schoolwide, instructional and positive behaviour supports is a defining feature of PBIS (Walker, et. al., 1996; Sugai & Horner, 1999; Sugai & Horner, 2006).