H. David Cawthon




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Angela Smith


School-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention, B.F. Skinner’s Theory of Operant Behavior and Applied Behavior Analysis, Administrator and Teacher Perceptions, Student Behavior and Mindset, Measures for Administrators in Making Implementation Decisions


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership | Other Educational Administration and Supervision


The purpose of this collective case study was to explore and understand administrators’ and teachers’ perceptions on how a school-wide positive behavior intervention and supports (SWPBIS) framework influences school climate at the elementary school level. The theory guiding this study was grounded in B.F. Skinner’s theory of operant behavior and applied behavior analysis, which supports the use of positive reinforcement to increase desired behavior in a real world setting. A rich description of the perceived influence a SWPBIS framework has on school climate was constructed by answering the central research question: “How do administrators and teachers perceive the influence of a SWPBIS on school climate at the elementary school level?” Although numerous research studies regarding SWPBIS have been conducted, few have addressed the perceptions of administrators and teachers. Participants included 37 administrators, teachers, and school personnel from 3 north Georgia elementary schools within the same district that had implemented SWPBIS. Data was collected during face-to-face interviews, focus group sessions, and from relevant documentation to increase trustworthiness through triangulation. Results of the present study demonstrate that administrators and teachers believe SWPBIS has positively changed the mindset and behaviors of students, teachers, and administrators resulting in a healthier school climate. Implications of the study include measures for central office personnel in making implementation decisions, measures for school administrators to increase buy-in, and measures for teachers to choose specific features to maximize the success of SWPBIS