Improving Student Outcomes by Bridging the Research-to-Practice Gap in Behavior and Classroom Management Practices

Author: ORCID icon
Beahm, Lydia, Education - School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
Cook, Bryan, ED-CISE Department, University of Virginia
Bradshaw, Catherine, ED-EDHS Department, University of Virginia

Challenging behavior is one of the top reasons teachers leave the field and is associated with students experiencing high rates of suspension, academic failure, school dropout, and interactions with the juvenile justice system. Therefore, it is imperative for educators to use evidence-based practices that reduce challenging behavior and improve academic engagement. In order for educators to adopt and maintain evidence-based practices, evidence-based practices and the resources used to support them need to be socially valid (e.g., positively perceived by stakeholders). The first study in this dissertation evaluated the effectiveness and social validity of an app-based token economy system for six adults with disabilities using a multiple baseline across participants design. Results indicate that the app-based token economy increased engagement with non-preferred tasks; however, instructors had mixed reviews on the feasibility of the app. The second study evaluated 168 pre-service teachers’ perceptions of using three research-based websites to learn more about self-monitoring. Results suggest that participants increased their knowledge of self-monitoring after visiting the websites and found the websites helpful. Participants also provided suggestions for improving the website, such as providing more videos, real-world examples, and interactive activities. The third study is a systematic literature review that evaluated the social validity of Tier 2 and Tier 3 practices within the positive behavior interventions and supports literature. Results from our review of 48 experimental studies indicate that educators have generally high perceptions of Tier 2 and Tier 3 practices and find several specific practices (e.g., Check-In/Check-Out, function-based interventions) feasible and effective.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
behavior management, classroom management, social validity, Class Dojo, online resources, SWPBIS
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