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Strategies for Reluctant Learners Heather Peshak George, Ph.D. Carie English, Ph.D. University of South Florida.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies for Reluctant Learners Heather Peshak George, Ph.D. Carie English, Ph.D. University of South Florida."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies for Reluctant Learners Heather Peshak George, Ph.D. Carie English, Ph.D. University of South Florida

2 2 Topics Current research Readiness Tools –Better preparing schools and districts Successful activities with reluctant to change or low performers –Schools –Faculty

3 3 Recent Research on Implementation Reasons for Attrition –Childs, K., Kimhan, C.K., & Kincaid, D. (2007). Examining Reasons for Attrition from Implementing an Evidence Based Program in Florida’s Schools, Fourth International Conference on Positive Behavior Support, Boston, MA. Barriers/Enablers –Kincaid, D., Childs, K., Wallace, F, & Blase, K. (2007). Identifying Barriers and Facilitators in Implementing School-wide Positive Behavior Support, Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions 9(3), School-Wide Implementation Factors (SWIF) –Cohen, Rachel (2006). Implementing School-wide Positive Behavior Support: Influence of Socio-Cultural, Academic, Behavioral and Implementation of Process Variables. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

4 4 Attrition Results (Childs, Kimhan & Kincaid, 2007) High rates of Turnover in schools Lack of Time –Administrator –Team –Staff Lack of Commitment –Administrator –Team –Staff

5 5 Barriers (Kincaid, Childs, Wallace & Blase, 2007) Collaborating with district & other schools Philosophical shifts Developing effective reward systems Knowledge of next steps Lack of implementation fidelity - demonstration of outcomes Buy-in Time Turnover Teacher Resistance Administrative support Consistency of Implementation High Implementing SchoolsLow Implementing Schools

6 6 Enablers (Kincaid, Childs, Wallace & Blase, 2007) Support from State Project Training staff & students in PBS Support from district, principal, coaches Buy-in (staff, students) A representative/cohesive/committed team Regular team meetings Funding Student input

7 SWIF : Which of these factors predict SWPBS implementation? (Cohen, 2006) *In the year prior to beginning implementation Socio-cultural Factors SES School size Ethnicity Teacher: student ratio Student stability Teacher education % w/ disability % Out-of-field teachers Process Variables Administrative support Coach’s self-efficacy Effective team functioning Academic Indicator* % students below grade level in reading Behavioral Indicators* % students who received an: in-school suspension (ISS) out-of-school suspension (OSS) office discipline referral (ODR)

8 8 SWIF Most Helpful Items (Cohen, 2006)

9 9 SWIF Most Problematic Items (Cohen, 2006)

10 Lecture Reading Audio-Visual Demonstration Discussion group Practice by doing Teach others 5% 10% 20% 30% 50% 75% 90% Average retention rate How People Learn National Training Laboratories –Bethel Maine

11 11 Sources of Motivation for Adult Learners (Hieneman, 2007) Social relationships: to make new friends, to meet a need for associations and friendships External expectations: to comply with instructions from someone else; to fulfill the expectations or recommendations of someone with formal authority Social welfare: to improve ability to serve mankind, prepare for service to the community Personal advancement: to achieve higher status in a job, secure professional advancement, and stay abreast of competitors. Escape/Stimulation: to relieve boredom, provide a break in the routine of home or work Cognitive interest: to learn for the sake of learning, seek knowledge for its own sake, and to satisfy an inquiring mind (From PRINCIPLES OF ADULT LEARNING By Stephen Lieb, Senior Technical Writer and Planner, Arizona Department of Health Services and part-time Instructor, South Mountain Community College from VISION, Fall 1991)

12 12 Barriers Against Participating in Learning (Hieneman, 2007) lack of time, money, confidence, lack of interest lack of information about opportunities to learn scheduling problems, "red tape" problems with child care and transportation (From PRINCIPLES OF ADULT LEARNING By Stephen Lieb, Senior Technical Writer and Planner, Arizona Department of Health Services and part-time Instructor, South Mountain Community College from VISION, Fall 1991)

13 13 Optimism Training (Hieneman, 2007) Situation: Triggers to negative thinking Belief: Unproductive thought patterns Consequences: Results of negative thinking Disputation: Accuracy/Usefulness of beliefs (Distraction: Thought stopping) Substitution: More productive self-talk Reorientation: New overall perspective Seligman, M. E. P. (1998). Learned Optimism: How to change your mind and your life. New York: Pocket Books.

14 14 Preliminary Results (Hieneman, 2007) Significant decreases in problem behavior for the children of all participants who complete the sessions No change in pessimism scores, regardless of condition Participants in the optimism condition are more likely to finish, and complete the sessions in less time

15 15 Next Steps Examinations thus far have utilized participants who are to some extent still implementing the program in question. A population still implementing with low- fidelity may be characteristically different from those that fail to adopt all together. So what seems to be working?

16 16 Readiness Tools

17 17 District Readiness Overview DVD Overview presentations –solicit interest –build awareness District Readiness Checklist

18 18 District Readiness Checklist District Coordinator identified Awareness presentation District Leadership Team identified –Commit to meet at least annually –Commit to attend training –Complete district action planning* PBS Coaches identified Funding secured District Strategic Plan Superintendent Letter of Support SWIS III awareness Permission to share data

19 District Readiness Checklist

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21 21 District Action Planning Current Status Strengths –Leadership Team/Enroll –Coordination –Funding –Visibility & Political Support –Training Capacity –Coaching Capacity –Demonstrations –Evaluation Goals –Three Years –One Year –Three Months –First Steps

22 22 School Readiness School Readiness Packet –Letter to Administrator –School Readiness Checklist* –School Commitment Form –Initial Benchmarks of Quality –New School Profile –PBS in Today’s Schools: Frequently Asked Questions –Coaches’ Responsibilities –Suggestions for Funding Efforts –Overview DVD –Project Brochure –Project Newsletter

23 23 School Readiness Checklist Awareness presentation Majority interested Team formed Establish ongoing team meetings Pre-assessments completed Principal commitment and active participant School Improvement Plan Secured funding Identified District Coordinator Identified PBS Coach

24 School Readiness Checklist

25 25 Successful Activities

26 26 Pre-Training Steps Administrator must express buy-in Identify volunteers for team –May or may not have staff presentation Form team Team identifies areas to target in upcoming year –Buy-in, specific setting, parent support –Use data Formulate implementation plan

27 27 Small Scale Implementation Have an implementation plan –Team meetings –Weekly, monthly rewards –Least amount of work for faculty Focus on one setting or behavior –Use data to determine starting point Small reward component

28 28 Building Staff Buy-In Main focus of activities prior to training May take a year or longer to obtain 80% Ensure involvement of all stakeholders –Parents –Students

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30 30 Getting, Keeping, and Maintaining Staff Buy-In Least amount of work for those not on team Big bang effect—small focus with largest effect Share data and celebrate success Reward staff behavior Survey staff AND make changes based on survey results

31 31 Student, Parent, & Faculty Input What are the top behavior concerns on campus? What consequences should be used for problem behavior? What expectations and rules should the school focus on? What types of rewards should the school use?

32 32 Student and Parent Involvement Key stakeholders Get input and make changes based on results Student buy-in will change faculty behavior Parental support will foster relationships between school, students, and faculty –Greater support for administrative and faculty decisions

33 33 Team Training Throughout year of pre-training, assist team to: –Use data –Use the problem-solving process Behavior and academics –Identify weak system components –Learn and use principles of behavior

34 34 Role of TA Provider Must build rapport with faculty –Spend time on campus observing, listening to faculty concerns –Allow faculty to feel as is “their own” Cannot come in and tell what to do Assist them in seeing problems and identifying solutions

35 35 Post-Training Cannot withdraw assistance Will need greater support than other schools –Present at team meetings –Assistance in implementing, using data, problem-solving process Fade assistance out systematically

36 36 Florida’s Positive Behavior Support Project Contact:  Heather Peshak George, Ph.D.  Co-PI & Project Coordinator Phone: (813) Fax: (813) Website:


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