Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Derek R. Schroll


AbstractThe problem at a high school in the southeastern United States is that students with disabilities struggle to demonstrate appropriate behaviors despite the implementation of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (SWPBIS). Current research findings have suggested that although SWPBIS includes strategies for students with disabilities, the behaviors of students with learning disabilities have not improved during SWPBIS implementation. There was a need to explore teachers’ implementation of SWPBIS for students with learning disabilities. In this basic qualitative study, how teachers at the research site high school were implementing SWPBIS for students with learning disabilities toward improving maladaptive behaviors was examined. The theoretical and conceptual foundations grounding this study were behavioral theory and applied behavior analysis. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit six high school special education teachers who participated in semi structured interviews regarding their classroom SWPBIS practices. Open and axial coding were used to analyze participant responses for emergent themes related to SWPBIS practices. The findings showed teachers’ confusion about PBIS procedures, lack of peer and student buy-in, and weaknesses in communication, leadership, and professional development. Based on the findings, a professional development plan was developed to present findings and recommendations to enhance SWPBIS implementation practices for students with learning disabilities. The results of this study could inform subsequent training for teachers’ SWPBIS implementation behaviors, leading to the eventual amelioration of maladaptive student behaviors.