image description

Positive Behavior Interventions


Inviting schools are positive schools
The adage “spare the rod; spoil the child,” the teacher’s “hickory stick” in the song “School Days,” and the teacher’s “meanful look” in Chuck Berry’s famous song are a sample of our once pervasive attitude of schooling based on punishment. TIEE’s schools have been in the forefront to change this attitude and make school a positive experience for all students.

Student of the Week is a big deal in TIEE schools

Student of the Week is a big deal
in TIEE schools

“Catch ‘em being good” is essential to developing a positive school atmosphere, but more is necessary. It is also essential that school and classroom procedures be specifically taught to students. How to get ready for instruction, how to manage your materials, how to get the teacher’s attention, how to put away the game equipment are all great examples of procedures that, once learned, will make for a more efficient school—and once students do it, teachers will have the opportunity to “catch ‘em being good.”

We teach our students how to do school
Some students also need to be specifically taught how to interact with others, including both teachers and their peers. That’s called social skills instruction, and it is best done throughout the day, taking each naturally occurring opportunity to teach. Finally, a very few students will display behaviors so troubling that they will require special programs, called Behavior Intervention Plans (or Behavior Support Plans) that are based on careful analysis of the factors that are responsible for their problem behavior, which are called Functional Analyses (or Functional Assessments). These students typically require intensive instruction in socially desirable ways to respond and the instruction is best when based on setting the student up to do the “right thing” and then “catching ‘em being good.” This combination of methods is used in all TIEE schools. We have come to call it Positive Programming.

University of Oregon behavior analysts Rob Horner and George Sugai (who is now at the University of Connecticut) saw the virtue of these practices in making for positive schools some years ago, and they started Positive Behavior Intervention in Schools. Their PBIS concept has become nearly a national movement with literally thousands of schools and school districts participating.

Functional analysis results often clarify why behavior is occurring

Functional analysis results often clarify why behavior is occurring

Functional analysis discovers why problem behavior occurs
Functional Analysis is a set of technical methods used to determine the conditions under which the student displays problem behavior, including what typically happens as a result of the problem behavior. The notion is that the consequences of problem behavior are what maintain or strengthen it, so, if we have a clear understanding of these, we can help the student to display more appropriate ways to obtain the same ends. The plan to teach the student better ways to achieve goals is called the Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) or a Behavior Support Plan (BSP), which is to become part of the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) through the IEP process. Click for a somewhat technical and very thorough discussion of functional analysis.

"You have the most positive schools I've ever seen!" State Department of Education site reviewer