School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Rollen Fowler


classroom management, instrumental multi-case study, school culture, School Wide Positive Behavior Supports, teacher resistance


Education | Educational Leadership | Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development


Public schools have seen an increase in the use of school-wide positive behavior intervention supports (SWPBIS) to address the emotional and behavioral needs of students. While SWPBIS is a validated, evidence-based practice, teachers often resist the use of this proactive intervention model claiming that they do not have the time or skills to develop interventions to address the students' challenging behaviors. The purpose of this instrumental multi-case study was to systematically explore and compare the personal experiences of staff who ended their resistance to SWPBIS and successfully implemented at the classroom level. A Georgia middle school implementing SWPBIS at the operational level with identified staff who successfully made the paradigm shift to embrace SWPBIS was selected for this study using maximum variation of sampling. Site selection was based on school size, geographic location, Title I status, and inclusion practices. Triangulated data collection methods included semi-structured interviews, Collaborative School Culture Survey (CSCS), direct observations, and field notes. Initial data analysis used research questions as themes along with open coding of emergent themes. Pattern matching techniques allowed cross analysis within case findings using replication techniques and worksheets provided by Stake (2006). Teachers indicated a willingness to turn from resistance to SWPBIS when their administration models the tenants of SWBPIS. The greatest professional development need existed in understanding the basic principles of ABA. Recommendations for future research are given.