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Overcoming Barriers to SWPBS Implementation Stacy D. Martin, PhD Center for Promoting Research to Practice Lehigh University Working.

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Presentation on theme: "Overcoming Barriers to SWPBS Implementation Stacy D. Martin, PhD Center for Promoting Research to Practice Lehigh University Working."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overcoming Barriers to SWPBS Implementation Stacy D. Martin, PhD Center for Promoting Research to Practice Lehigh University Working with Children with Disabilities: Tools for Parents and Schools Conference Princeton University - May 18, 2012

2 Research Line Understand the process of facilitating implementation of the universal intervention of the SWPBS model Two qualitative studies - Interviews with internal and external SWPBS coaches ◦ What barriers to implementation of the universal intervention did your school experience? ◦ How did your school resolve and transform resistance?

3 Common Barrier Conditions Lack of Administrative Support Skeptical that the Universal Intervention is Needed Hopelessness about Change Philosophical Differences Staff Feel Disenfranchised * Each barrier has its own transformation strategy to promote commitment and cooperation

4 Barrier 1: Lack of Administrative Support “I’ve heard so many times staff saying ‘The principal won’t support this.’ And then they don’t want to put themselves out on limb. It has to be obvious that the principal supports this work.” Administrators do not participate or make public statements of support Resources are not allocated

5 Strategy 1: Transform and Market Administrative Support Administrator demonstrates it is a priority ◦ Model practices ◦ Publicly celebrate staff participation ◦ Frequent written and public statements Encourage administrative involvement ◦ District-initiative ◦ Internal or external coach:  Spends time to establish rapport and expectations  Provide updates, reminders, and encouragement  Helps anticipate specific situations

6 Barrier 2: Skeptical that the Universal Intervention is Needed “Post NCLB, their district really came down on them for their test scores and so they didn’t feel like they could commit their professional development time to PBS in place of reading supports. They didn’t see the connection between behavior and academics.” Staff feel overwhelmed by too much change School personnel do not: ◦ believe their school has discipline or behavior problems that require intervention ◦ understand link between behavior and academics

7 Strategy 2: Build a Case for Change Get to know the school priorities important to stakeholders Construct a profile of the school using existing data Present a logical rationale that includes: ◦ a link to their specific needs ◦ the connection between academics and behavior ◦ how the universal intervention is tied to school goals and other initiatives Hold a staff vote or conduct a survey to determine interest

8 Barrier 3: Hopelessness about Change “We still haven’t been able to make a lot of headway in this school, because there is that dooms’ day belief that staff have, ‘this isn’t going to work in our system. Nothing does.’” School personnel feel : ◦ hopeless because nothing ever results in positive changes ◦ helpless because they attribute greater influence to home and community variables

9 Strategy 3: Show Staff Change is Possible Use local demonstration data Conduct pilots or small scale try outs Use testimonials to share success stories Individualize implementation to move at the school’s pace and responsiveness

10 Barrier 4: Philosophical Differences with the Universal Intervention “The most common attitude barrier I encounter is that it’s not the job of the school to teach social competence. Those are skills kids should have or should be taught by their family.” School personnel believe that: ◦ behaviors in common areas are not their responsibility ◦ a few students account for the problems ◦ teaching social expectations is not their responsibility ◦ older students should already know the expectations School personnel do not agree with the reinforcement system

11 Strategy 4: Find a Conceptual Common Ground Dialogue and discussion to present alternative explanations Empirical evidence Stories and examples Problem solving and negotiation

12 Barrier 5: Staff Feel Disenfranchised “If there’s not a good social relationship between staff, between students, I think it can be enough of an obstacle that can really undermine the process.” Poor morale and school climate Staff feel disenfranchised from each other, administrators, or the school’s mission

13 Strategy 5: Make People Feel Part of the Effort Get staff actively involved ◦ Have staff design components of intervention ◦ Provide opportunities (e.g., focus groups) for staff to comment on plans & raise questions ◦ Use subcommittees to involve additional staff Frequently disseminate information about status Use activities to encourage spirit Provide staff with training

14 Bringing it Back to Your School Recruit allies to build momentum Share information with administrator or at school meetings Build into existing resources and expertise in your building Look into training availability in your state ◦ OSEP Center on PBIS ◦ NJ PBSIS

15 Resources Kincaid, D., Childs, K., Blasé, K.A., & Wallace, F. (2007). Identifying barriers and facilitators in implementing schoolwide positive behavior support. Journal of Positive Behavior Intervention, 9(3), 174- 184. Lohrmann, S., Martin, S., & Patil, S. (in press). External and internal coaches’ perspectives about overcoming barriers to universal interventions. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. Lohrmann, S., Forman, S., Martin, S. & Palmieri, M. (2008). Understanding school personnel’s resistance to adopting schoolwide positive behavior support at a universal level of intervention. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 10, 256-269.

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