- Positive Behavior Supports in Classrooms and Schools: Effective and Practical Strategies for Teachers and Other Service Providers by K. Storey and M. Post
Dr. Keith Storey has contributed to behavior analysis, positive behavior supports and education for over 30 years and is widely recognized for this service. Dr. Storey and Michal Post have continued this service with the recent publication of Positive behavior supports in classrooms and schools (ISBN 978-0-398-08836-1). The stated purpose of the book is to develop knowledge and skills for teachers to develop and implement positive behavior support (PBS) services in academic settings leading to improved student academic performance and social skills. An additionally stated purpose is the book covers “methodology that is seldom covered in detail in most texts” (p. vii). The book was written in a non-technical manner and is intended for education settings training teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, etc.
The book is organized with a preface, twelve chapters with a recurring structure across all of the chapters, an appendix, an author index and a subject index. Each chapter starts with two “window to the world case studies” introducing the topic (which utilized [End Page 177] examples other than autism and drew attention to the interaction between teacher and student affecting student performance), is guided by key point questions, and is concluded with best practice recommendations, discussion questions and school-based activity suggestions. The chapter structure provides a consistent presentation style that should facilitate reading and comprehension for reader’s novel to school wide and classroom positive behavior supports. The discussion questions and school-based activity suggestions could easily be incorporated into student application assignments within an undergraduate college course using this text.
I categorize the content of the twelve chapters within three broad areas: an introduction to applied behavior analysis (ABA) and related principles, a review of several strategies for use in the classroom or school and conceptualization of school wide PBS within schools and outside schools (e.g., families and agencies). The strengths of the content in the chapters are the presentation of basic behavior analytic principles, measurement of behavior and the review of several strategies that can be utilized by educators. A few considerations from the content in the chapters are the conceptualization of PBS, the introduction of the concepts of control and counter control and the use of non-technical language. The authors utilize six pages to define and describe the science of behavior analysis and how it is applied to real world problems. However, only one paragraph is provided describing PBS as stating “the best way to decrease undesirable behaviors is by increasing desirable behaviors and by giving students skills and supports so they do not need to engage in undesirable behaviors” (p. 11). This conceptualization of PBS does not follow the typical distinctions made by others (e.g., Carr et al., 2002; Wacker & Berg, 2002). I do not suggest this conceptualization is better or worse than others but only different. I will leave it to other readers to determine the importance (or not) of this different conceptualization.
Within the second paragraph discussing ABA Storey and Post introduce the ideas of control and counter control. Although these are important considerations I am hesitant to agree that they should be introduced in a text written in a non-technical manner for individuals likely not pursuing a greater understanding of the principles. Professors utilizing this text should be prepared to address these topics further as it is likely to generate plenty of discussion with undergraduate students likely inundated with the evils of “control” perpetuated with behavior analysis.
The non-technical language is a double-edge sword. The authors achieve their original intention to write in a manner that is for practitioners and not “academics.” However, at the same time, the lack of [End Page 178] precision at times lessens the precision required for classroom and school wide supports to be understood and implemented. Related to the use of non-technical language, I had difficulty with...