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School-wide positive behaviour support as evidence-making interventions

Published: 22 July 2021

Abstract: Global implementation of School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) has grown considerably over the last forty years. SWPBS seeks to provide a multi-tiered approach to strategically frame integrated actions responding to matters of wellbeing, discipline and punishment in schools using Evidence-Based Interventions (EBIs). In this respect, EBIs rely on what are presumed to be value-free, reliably generated data which direct the selection, implementation and monitoring of SWPBS in schools. The paper begins by exploring how SWPBS is understood via implementation science. Following an outline of standard SWPBS EBI practice, discussion turns to instead consider this work as Evidence-Making Interventions (EMIs). To do so, first we outline how our before-the-fact anticipations influence relationships and disciplinary actions as they are realised in schools through EBIs. Our focus then turns to explain how SWPBS interventions, using multi-tiered systems of support and technology as examples, might be understood and enacted differently if engaged as EMIs. In conclusion, school-based relationships are subsequently reconsidered as a confluence of human (teachers and students) and non-human (data and policy) liaisons always and already subject to each other’s next move.
Keywords: School-wide positive behaviour support / evidence / intervention / implementation / discipline / behaviour modification

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