Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Marilyn Robb


Behavioral issues in the early childhood setting are increasing, which negatively affects learning and development. There are many programs that educators use to decrease behavioral issues, such as the Tribes Learning Community, or the Tribes program. There is very little research on the perceptions about the Tribes program from early childhood educators in the western region of the United States and in the general educational setting. Exploring teachers’ perceptions can help elementary schools determine whether the programs decrease behavioral issues. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to examine K-1 teachers’ perceptions of the use of the Tribes program to address behavioral issues at GHJCN (pseudonym) Elementary School. Sugai and Horner’s behavioral intervention framework guided the study and the research questions, which asked K-1 teachers of their perceptions of the Tribes program on reducing behavioral issues and the training and support needed to implement an effective program. Six K-1 teachers with a shared experience of early childhood education, behavioral issues, and the Tribes program were selected as participants. Individual semistructured interviews were conducted to gather in-depth responses that thoroughly answered the research questions. Structural coding and thematic analysis generated four major themes: teacher buy-in, school support, consistency, and training. Overall, the participants expressed the need for more professional development and knowledge of the Tribes program. A 3-day professional development project was developed based on the findings. Professional development builds K-1 teachers’ knowledge and implementation skills of the Tribes program. The outcome of this study can potentially promote positive social change for teachers by helping them improve on best practices to reduce behavioral issues.

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