Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael Raffanti


This study examined factors related to the implementation of a School Wide Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (SWPBIS) program at a large middle school in the United States. Parent Teacher Student Association volunteers at the school reported that teacher fidelity to implementation of SWPBIS activities was inconsistent, threatening the SWPBIS program's effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to identify barriers that hindered teachers' fidelity in implementing SWPBIS. Teacher resistance to change, change leadership framework, and the model for effective professional development were used in this case study to explore the perceptions of 16 participants. The research questions focused on teachers', SWPBIS coaches', and administrators' perceptions and experiences with barriers to implementing SWPBIS in the third year of implementation (2013-2014). Emergent themes derived from coding participant interviews revealed 7 major barriers to teacher implementation fidelity including confusion about priorities, peer and student influences, philosophical differences, and weaknesses in leadership and professional development. The interview data were triangulated with data from archived documents to ensure the credibility of the study. A project recommendation for 6 professional development modules was made to address study findings. Positive social change implications include the efficacy of using the project study as an example for other schools to improve teacher effectiveness by responding to teacher weaknesses and facilitating improved student outcomes.