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Scott Weninger

TITLE:    Self-Reflection as a Tool for Students to Prevent Office Discipline Referrals


My current school had adopted the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) program as a method of addressing student behavior. The purpose of school-wide PBIS focuses on preventative framework for creating an environment that reflects safety, social competence and a healthy school climate” (Cressey, et al., 2014, p. 91). “The PBIS program is designed to promote many favorable qualities such as a vision shared throughout the school to reinforce expectations of positive behavior” (Cofey & Horner, 2012, p. 408). However, at my school I experienced inconsistencies in how adults responded to student misbehavior. For example, two students were too disruptive to carry out a lesson. After several attempts to correct their behavior in class, both students were directed to spend time in the school’s ISS called S.T.E.P.S. or “Stop, Take five, Express, Process and Succeed.”  After a period of 15 minutes both students returned with reward slips for being quiet in the S.T.E.P.S. room. Both students received mixed messages about their behavior, which also led to continued poor behavior.  The poor behavior led to consequences that lacked accountability for them to take responsibility for their behavior. Not experiencing consequences may allow students to miss an opportunity to learn acceptable behaviors.

A perfect system for addressing unacceptable behaviors is difficult if not impossible to achieve. However, I have found in my current school and others that dismissing a student’s behavior without holding the student accountable often leads to unacceptable behavior continuing or possibly leading to more serious behavior infractions. Implementing student guidelines and expectations as a standard to acceptable behavior is a central part of PBIS (Cofey & Horner, 2012). These guidelines and expectations serve as reminders for students to help them determine what is expected as acceptable behavior. However, my school still struggles to implement PBIS and communicate consistent expectations for student behavior. Beyond communicating expectations of positive behavior, I believe students still need to be held accountable by giving them the opportunity to learn acceptable behavior using a term that I call “positive-accountability.”

With ten years of experience working with and teaching youth, I believe that students need to reflect upon the behavior that caused their removal from class. Thus, in this action research study, I examined the role of student self-reflection during regular class instruction for students to learn about their behaviors. The central question I wanted to answer was: Will there be any effect on student behavior if students use self-reflection, as a tool, to learn about their behavior and develop critical thinking skills to prevent repeated misbehavior? I hypothesized that students exploring their behaviors may affect their decision-making through the use of critical thinking and would lead to improved classroom behavior along with a reduction in the frequency of ODRs and ISS. The decision to utilize self-reflection in my science class was made to give students an opportunity to develop critical thinking skills used in science, but assessment of these skills were not included in this study.  


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Author: Urban Teacher Program Manager
Last modified: 1/13/2023 3:40 PM (EDT)