Journal of Critical Issues in Educational Practice


Positive Behavior Supports, Behavior Management, Teachers' Perceptions



Positive reinforcement is a behavior management technique supported by empirical evidence, known to enhance student performance and their outcomes (Alberto et al., 2022; Fabiano & Pelham, 2003; Scheuermann, 2022). However, many teachers encounter difficulties in effectively implementing this tool in their everyday classroom teaching practices. This mixed methods study aimed to contribute to existing literature focusing on instructional behavior of credentialed teachers. The findings revealed that teachers who received training in PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) observed the following: (1) the overall benefits of rewarding appropriate student behavior with activities, (2) the significance of having adequate resources and school supports to reinforce desirable student behavior, and (3) the necessity of providing reinforcement exclusively for engaging in appropriate behavior. Additionally, the number of years of teaching experience demonstrated significant correlations with: (1) the ease with which teachers found rewarding students, (2) the availability of time to reinforce on-task behavior, and (3) the availability of resources to reinforce desirable behavior. Teachers who reported prior experience in special education classrooms exhibited significant correlations with: (1) the helpfulness of using individual rewards to motivate their students, and (2) the presence of staff in supporting and reinforcing appropriate behavior in the classroom. Interestingly, male participants expressed lower agreement regarding the feasibility of rewarding appropriate behaviors.

Author Statement

Dr. Mari Aceves, Ed. D, DSW, BCBA (she/her/ellá)

Dr. Aceves has worked in the mental health field for over 20 years working with children, adolescents, and adults. She earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership with a P-12 emphasis (CSUF) and a doctorate in Social Work (USC). Dr. Aceves has worked with individuals who have mental health conditions, genetic disorders, and trauma. Dr. Aceves is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with over a decade of experience in working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Her work experience includes working with children with behavioral deficits in orphanages, substance abuse, outreaches to housing insecure and geriatric populations. Dr. Aceves is a former university teacher; and currently consults with mental health firms.

Her expertise includes early intervention, parent education, family systems and interdisciplinary collaboration with educational and health care systems. Dr. Aceves’ focus is to help clients reach independence and social integration; and to teach their support systems to interact more effectively through sustainable practices.