School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Gail Collins


Behavior Management, Coaching, School Wide Positive Behavior Support


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe lived experience during School Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) implementation for School Wide Positive Behavior coaches in Pennsylvania public schools. Participants, identified as co-researchers throughout this study, included 11 SWPBS coaches selected from seven elementary schools who are implementing the program with fidelity, as defined by Pennsylvania Positive Behavior Support Network (PAPBS, n.d.). The literature surrounding the SWPBS program is largely quantitative and does not include the coaches' experiences. Thus, this research filled an important gap in the literature on the crucial issue of providing positive behavior support that is facing schools across the United States today. The central question driving the study was: What are the coaches’ experiences during the school wide implementation year? Data was collected through individual face-to-face interviews, an online bulletin board focus group, and a document analysis comprised of letters written by each of the co-researcher coaches addressed to new or prospective SWPBS coaches giving them insight, advice, and information about this role. Throughout the study I practiced epoche by recording my personal experiences and thoughts in a journal. Data analysis followed Moustakas’ (1994) approach to phenomenological research by defining preliminary groupings though horizonalization, identifying themes, constructing structural and textural descriptions, and finally, producing the essence of the experience. The information gleaned from this study illustrated to schools how this program influenced those leading it within the school.