School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Billie J Holubz


Discipline, Phenomenology, Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS), School Climate


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration | Other Educational Administration and Supervision


Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) is a school-wide initiative implemented in many schools across the United States as an approach for addressing discipline concerns and promoting a positive school climate. This study used a phenomenological design to examine the school climate perceptions of 13 staff member from three secondary schools from two school districts in the southeastern region of North Carolina that were implementing PBIS with fidelity. The transformative learning theory, which explains how knowledge may be obtained from lived experiences of individuals, guided the research study in examining three research questions: (a) How do select secondary school staff members describe the influence on school climate of implementing PBIS with fidelity? (b) What benefits, if any, do participants experience in the implementation of PBIS with fidelity? (c) What barriers, if any, do participants experience in the implementation of PBIS with fidelity? Data was collected from individual open-ended interviews, a focus group, and writing prompt responses. Data analysis revealed that all participant used positive terms to describe their school’s climate. Participants also experienced shared benefits and barriers to the implementation of PBIS in their school settings. The results of this study support the implementation of PBIS in secondary schools and addressed implementation barriers. The results could be used to guide the decision-making process of those responsible for the implementation of PBIS at the local school district level as well as at the individual school and classroom level.