Positive Behavior Support
About Us  

Purpose: To increase the capacity of educators, families and support organizations to address challenging behavior using positive behavior support.

Rational: The discipline of students with behavior problems continues to be a major concern in most schools. Many schools use traditional ways to discipline students who exhibit problem behavior. Discipline methods that are very reactive in nature tend to focus on short-term solutions. Typically, a student is disciplined after the problem behavior occurs and little is done to teach appropriate behaviors or prevent the occurrence of further problem behaviors.

Research shows that schools using these traditional reactive types of discipline continue to experience significant increases in violence and destructive behavior as well as increases in the number of students excluded from instruction due to suspension or expulsion.

PBS provides a positive and effective alternative to the traditional methods of discipline. PBS methods are research-based and proven to significantly reduce the occurrence of problem behaviors in the school, resulting in a more positive school climate and increased academic performance.

PBS is consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which advocates the use of positive behavior interventions and school-based disciplinary strategies that reduce or eliminate the need to use suspension and expulsion as disciplinary options.

There is increasingly a movement in the field away from simply training experts in university settings who subsequently go out into the field to instruct others. Instead, there is a movement toward training interprofessional teams, often including parents, that reflects the PBS focus on stakeholder participation. At one level, this trend involves a collaborative relationship between expert professionals on the one hand and parents, teachers, residential and work support staff, and childcare providers on the other. Collaboration occurs with respect to case formulation, goal setting, intervention selection, and ongoing programmatic change made within a collegial and egalitarian model of operation that extends to administrative staff and, ultimately to interagency collaboration (Anderson et al., 996). Thus, training should be viewed not simply as a transfer of strategic information from experts to providers but rather as a process of mutual education involving capacity building that ultimately results in systems change as opposed to narrowly defined changes for a particular individual.

Because of the critical PBS feature of systems change, it is no longer viewed as sufficient to train people to master a laundry list of specific intervention techniques (e.g., extinction, promptin, reinforcement); rather, people need to know how to deal with the systems in which intervention strategies are embedded and how to integrate technology within braoder support infrastructures and networks. Thus, the content of training also has to include knowledge of administrative issues, funding mechanisms, mission and philosophies, and interagency collaboration (Dunlap et al., 2000).


Beyond the school setting, adults who have histories of problem behavior are at great risk of de-valuation in the community and typically have great difficulty in successfully becoming contributing members of society. PBS provides a viable approach to designing and implementing necessary interventiuon and supports that are person-centered that focus on the development of socially acceptable alternative skills (ways) for the individual to meet theeir needs, reductions in problem behaviro, and enhancement of quality of life for all involved in the process.

Target Population: This network is designed to support teachers, administrators, related services personnel, family members, and outside agency personnel in building district-wide capacity to address challenging behavior exhibited by students in regular and special education programs as well as young children and adults in community settings.

Activities: Information dissemination, collaborative problem-solving, as well as training and technical assistance in all levels of positive behavior support.

Supports are tailored to meet individual needs while maintaining our intent to fade out external support by increasing local capacity.

State Training Network Coordinator:
Dr. Tim Knoster
(570) 389-4081

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