Positive behaviour for learning

Year: 2012

Author: Barker, Katrina, Yeung, Alex, Mooney, Mary

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Positive Behavior for Learning (PBL), a school-wide program that reinforces positive behaviors in schools, was implemented in the Western Sydney Region (WSR) of Australia. PBL emphasizes a school-wide systemic approach and a dual focus on behavior and academic endeavors. A total of 827 boys and 888 girls from 4 primary and 8 secondary schools that had implemented PBL for at least 9 months (experimental group) were compared with 188 boys and 226 girls from 2 primary and 4 secondary schools that were on the wait list (control group) for PBL training and implementation (N = 2129). A multiple-indicator-multiple-indicator-cause (MIMIC) approach to structural equation modeling found that the experimental group scored significantly higher in (a) behavioral management input, (b) positive behaviors, (c) knowledge about behaviors, (d) effort goal orientation, and (e) value of schooling. There were small gender effects for (a), (c), (d), and (e), favoring girls. From the group x gender effects, girls seemed to benefit more than boys in knowledge and value of schooling. Evidence shows that PBL may benefit students in primary and secondary schools in both behavior and motivation variables that are crucial for successful learning, but more work seems to be needed to cater for boys.