Date of Conferral



Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)




Cheryl Tyler-Balkcom


Positive behavior intervention and support (PBIS) is a data-driven approach to promoting productive student behaviors and learning. A key facet of sustainable success when using PBIS is evaluation. More insight is needed on the perspectives that teachers have about PBIS and as well as details about whether and why it is accepted. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the perceptions of teachers at 3 high schools in Western Jamaica as it relates to a PBIS pilot program. Twenty-six teachers from 3 schools in Region 4 in Jamaica were interviewed with the aim of understanding how teachers received training on PBIS, how the teachers used PBIS, and what the teachers perceived to be the strengths and weaknesses of PBIS. The findings indicated that participants’ primary education regarding PBIS was internal and external trainings. In implementing PBIS, the participating teachers utilized methods that were similar to, or aligned with, the schools’ systems and practices while receiving support for their own implementation strategies from internal stakeholders. Participants reported that since the implementation of PBIS, students’ behaviors improved and were more positive, more time was spent on teaching and learning tasks, and teacher-student relationships improved. However, the participants explained that, because of insufficient buy-in and support from all stakeholders (i.e., the Ministry of Education, the principal, the administration, the parents, and the community), optimal results were still not achieved. A conclusion was that the strengths of PBIS are best realized in an environment of maximal support and buy-in from all stakeholders. Nonetheless, the use of PBIS, even in the pilot stage, shows the potential to improve student behavior. Improved student behavior may support student learning outcomes as an implication for positive social change.

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