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Tackling School Discipline Issues with Positive Behavior Support
Start date: Oct 1, 2016, End date: Sep 30, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The need to create effective and inclusive European schoolwide frameworks that promote social inclusion and academic engagement has been at the centre of several European policy reports. With the huge influx of migrants and refugees in European societies and school, inclusion becomes of paramount importance.The success of schools as effective learning environments rests in part on establishing a social context that promotes and supports successful academic engagement and establishes a positive and inclusive school climate for all (Barton, 1997; Sugai & Horner, 2008). As a result, this project (TaSDi-PBS) purports in examining the feasibility of a schoolwide framework titled Schoolwide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) across Europe. SWPBS is a research-based educational framework, originally developed in the United States of America (Sugai & Horner, 1999). As of today, SWPBS is implemented in more than 21,000 American schools. Illustrative and empirical research shows that when SWPBS is implemented systematically and with fidelity for at least 2-3 consecutive years, behavioral problems decrease (20 – 60%), student achievement improves, school climate becomes more positive and safer among students and staff, bullying behaviour decreases, and student social competence improves (Horner, Sugai, Todd, & Lewis-Palmer, 2005; Barrett et al. 2008; Eber, 2006; Muscott et al., 2008).In collaboration with local elementary schools and academic institutions in Europe, the project TaSDi-PBS addresses school discipline issues by proposing a preventative approach to school failure and problem behaviors. Specifically, TaSDi-PBS examines the design and implementation of SWPBS across elementary schools with specific emphasis on: (a) training school-based teams to deliver key elements of SWPBS to school staff and students, (b) producing teacher training manuals to teach students schoolwide social expectations, and (c) developing a web-based platform to disseminate project activities for effective communication, use and sustainability among consortium partners and others. Key activities of the project will include systematic professional development, direct behavior instruction based on classroom-based assessments, and continuous progress monitoring of student outcomes and implementation procedures.Project TaSDi-PBS represents a transnational collaboration of practitioners and researchers across Europe, all of whom bring a range of research and practice expertise on SWPBS that would allow mutual collaboration and learning. In addition, they all share a common belief that teaching behavior is essential in preventing and reducing school failure. We know that students who exhibit behavioral problems ranging from mild (e.g., off-task, disrespect, non-compliance) to severe ones (e.g., fighting, swearing, bullying, profanity, etc.) hinder their own learning, their peers’ learning, as well as teacher’s instruction. We also know through research and practice that when students’ behavioural problems become chronic and severe, schools tend to react with stringent and restrictive consequences (e.g, out-of-school suspensions, seclusion, segregation). Students with chronic problems are more likely to enter a snowballing path of academic disengagement and low academic achievement. Consequently, they face school failure and early school leaving.
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