Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Sunddip Aguilar


AbstractSchool districts across the United States are using multiple systems to improve teacher instruction and student engagement. The problem at a middle school in North Texas is that it is unknown how middle school teachers are using Positive Behaviors Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to engage students. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore how sixth-grade teachers are using PBIS instructional strategies to engage students, as well as sixth-grade teachers’ perceptions of PBIS for engaging students in the classroom. PBIS, along with Watson’s behavioral theory and Vygotsky’s cognitive development theory, served as the conceptional framework for this study. The research questions concerned how teachers used PBIS instructional strategies to engage students and teachers’ perceptions of PBIS instructional strategies to engage students. This study encompassed open-ended semi-structured interviews using nine participants who were certified teachers, taught a core subject, and used PBIS instructional strategies in their classrooms. The data were collected and analyzed through the process of open, axial, and selective coding. Three themes emerged: effective environment, systems for support, and learning leakages. Based on the findings of this project, professional development was integrated to address concerns and reoccurring themes. Teachers may benefit from positive social change by gaining insight needed to better meet the needs of all students through PBIS systems. Students may benefit from positive social change by an enhance the overall learning experience and in turn, improving student academic achievement.

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