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Strategies for Reluctant Learners

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  1. Strategies forReluctant Learners Heather Peshak George, Ph.D. Carie English, Ph.D. University of South Florida

  2. Topics • Current research • Readiness Tools • Better preparing schools and districts • Successful activities with reluctant to change or low performers • Schools • Faculty

  3. Reasons for Attrition Childs, K., Kimhan, C.K., & Kincaid, D. (2007). Examining Reasons for Attrition from Implementing an Evidence Based Program in Florida’s Schools, Fourth International Conference on Positive Behavior Support, Boston, MA. Barriers/Enablers Kincaid, D., Childs, K., Wallace, F, & Blase, K. (2007). Identifying Barriers and Facilitators in Implementing School-wide Positive Behavior Support, Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions 9(3), 174-184. School-Wide Implementation Factors (SWIF) Cohen, Rachel (2006). Implementing School-wide Positive Behavior Support: Influence of Socio-Cultural, Academic, Behavioral and Implementation of Process Variables. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Recent Research on Implementation

  4. Attrition Results(Childs, Kimhan & Kincaid, 2007) • High rates of Turnover in schools • Lack of Time • Administrator • Team • Staff • Lack of Commitment • Administrator • Team • Staff

  5. Barriers(Kincaid, Childs, Wallace & Blase, 2007) High Implementing Schools Low Implementing Schools Philosophical shifts Buy-in Lack of implementation fidelity - demonstration of outcomes Turnover Developing effective reward systems Administrative support Consistency of Implementation Collaborating with district & other schools Teacher Resistance Knowledge of next steps Time

  6. Enablers(Kincaid, Childs, Wallace & Blase, 2007) • Support from State Project • Training staff & students in PBS • Support from district, principal, coaches • Buy-in (staff, students) • A representative/cohesive/committed team • Regular team meetings • Funding • Student input

  7. SWIF: Which of these factors predict SWPBS implementation? (Cohen, 2006) Socio-cultural Factors SES School size Ethnicity Teacher: student ratio Student stability Teacher education % w/ disability % Out-of-field teachers Process Variables Administrative support Coach’s self-efficacy Effective team functioning Behavioral Indicators* % students who received an: in-school suspension (ISS) out-of-school suspension (OSS) office discipline referral (ODR) Academic Indicator* % students below grade level in reading *In the year prior to beginning implementation

  8. SWIF Most Helpful Items(Cohen, 2006)

  9. SWIF Most Problematic Items(Cohen, 2006)

  10. How People Learn Average retention rate 5% 10% 20% 30% 50% 75% 90% National Training Laboratories –Bethel Maine

  11. Sources of Motivationfor Adult Learners (Hieneman, 2007) • Social relationships: to make new friends, to meet a need for associations and friendships • External expectations: to comply with instructions from someone else; to fulfill the expectations or recommendations of someone with formal authority • Social welfare: to improve ability to serve mankind, prepare for service to the community • Personal advancement: to achieve higher status in a job, secure professional advancement, and stay abreast of competitors. • Escape/Stimulation: to relieve boredom, provide a break in the routine of home or work • Cognitive interest: to learn for the sake of learning, seek knowledge for its own sake, and to satisfy an inquiring mind • (From PRINCIPLES OF ADULT LEARNING By Stephen Lieb, Senior Technical Writer and Planner, Arizona Department of Health Services and part-time Instructor, South Mountain Community College from VISION, Fall 1991)

  12. Barriers AgainstParticipating in Learning (Hieneman, 2007) • lack of time, money, confidence, • lack of interest • lack of information about opportunities to learn • scheduling problems, "red tape" • problems with child care and transportation • (From PRINCIPLES OF ADULT LEARNING By Stephen Lieb, Senior Technical Writer and Planner, Arizona Department of Health Services and part-time Instructor, South Mountain Community College from VISION, Fall 1991)

  13. Optimism Training(Hieneman, 2007) • Situation: Triggers to negative thinking • Belief: Unproductive thought patterns • Consequences: Results of negative thinking • Disputation: Accuracy/Usefulness of beliefs(Distraction: Thought stopping) • Substitution: More productive self-talk • Reorientation: New overall perspectiveSeligman, M. E. P. (1998). Learned Optimism: How to change your mind and your life. New York: Pocket Books.

  14. Preliminary Results(Hieneman, 2007) • Significant decreases in problem behavior for the children of all participants who complete the sessions • No change in pessimism scores, regardless of condition • Participants in the optimism condition are more likely to finish, and complete the sessions in less time

  15. Next Steps • Examinations thus far have utilized participants who are to some extent still implementing the program in question. • A population still implementing with low-fidelity may be characteristically different from those that fail to adopt all together. • So what seems to be working?

  16. Readiness Tools

  17. District Readiness • Overview DVD • Overview presentations • solicit interest • build awareness • District Readiness Checklist

  18. District Readiness Checklist • District Coordinator identified • Awareness presentation • District Leadership Team identified • Commit to meet at least annually • Commit to attend training • Complete district action planning* • PBS Coaches identified • Funding secured • District Strategic Plan • Superintendent Letter of Support • SWIS III awareness • Permission to share data

  19. District Readiness Checklist

  20. District Readiness Checklist

  21. Current Status Strengths Leadership Team/Enroll Coordination Funding Visibility & Political Support Training Capacity Coaching Capacity Demonstrations Evaluation Goals Three Years One Year Three Months First Steps District Action Planning

  22. School Readiness • School Readiness Packet • Letter to Administrator • School Readiness Checklist* • School Commitment Form • Initial Benchmarks of Quality • New School Profile • PBS in Today’s Schools: Frequently Asked Questions • Coaches’ Responsibilities • Suggestions for Funding Efforts • Overview DVD • Project Brochure • Project Newsletter

  23. School Readiness Checklist • Awareness presentation • Majority interested • Team formed • Establish ongoing team meetings • Pre-assessments completed • Principal commitment and active participant • School Improvement Plan • Secured funding • Identified District Coordinator • Identified PBS Coach

  24. School Readiness Checklist

  25. Successful Activities

  26. Pre-Training Steps • Administrator must express buy-in • Identify volunteers for team • May or may not have staff presentation • Form team • Team identifies areas to target in upcoming year • Buy-in, specific setting, parent support • Use data • Formulate implementation plan

  27. Small Scale Implementation • Have an implementation plan • Team meetings • Weekly, monthly rewards • Least amount of work for faculty • Focus on one setting or behavior • Use data to determine starting point • Small reward component

  28. Building Staff Buy-In • Main focus of activities prior to training • May take a year or longer to obtain 80% • Ensure involvement of all stakeholders • Parents • Students

  29. Gerald Adams Elementary School

  30. Getting, Keeping, and Maintaining Staff Buy-In • Least amount of work for those not on team • Big bang effect—small focus with largest effect • Share data and celebrate success • Reward staff behavior • Survey staff AND make changes based on survey results

  31. Student, Parent, & Faculty Input • What are the top behavior concerns on campus? • What consequences should be used for problem behavior? • What expectations and rules should the school focus on? • What types of rewards should the school use?

  32. Student and Parent Involvement • Key stakeholders • Get input and make changes based on results • Student buy-in will change faculty behavior • Parental support will foster relationships between school, students, and faculty • Greater support for administrative and faculty decisions

  33. Team Training • Throughout year of pre-training, assist team to: • Use data • Use the problem-solving process • Behavior and academics • Identify weak system components • Learn and use principles of behavior

  34. Role of TA Provider • Must build rapport with faculty • Spend time on campus observing, listening to faculty concerns • Allow faculty to feel as is “their own” • Cannot come in and tell what to do • Assist them in seeing problems and identifying solutions

  35. Post-Training • Cannot withdraw assistance • Will need greater support than other schools • Present at team meetings • Assistance in implementing, using data, problem-solving process • Fade assistance out systematically

  36. Florida’sPositive Behavior Support Project • Contact: • Heather Peshak George, Ph.D. • Co-PI & Project Coordinator • Phone: (813) 974-6440 • Fax: (813) 974-6115 • Email: • Website: