SWPBIS for Beginners

It is Labour Day in North America today, of course, but in Jamaica, thousands of children are back at school. And they will be the subject this year of a new “behaviour modification” program aimed at fostering better social skills.

Educators recently underwent this training courtesy of an American expert in “SWPBIS“- School-wide Positive Behaviour Support, in non-jargon terms.

Developed by Connecticut-based Dr. George Sugai’s Center for Behavioural Education and Research, the training aims to impart better ways of interacting through positive interventions. Here is Dr. Sugai:

“The outcomes have been reduction in serious problem behaviour, reduction in reactive management, which is sort of punishment; improvement in academic outcomes, improvement in school safety and climate; and improvement in parents’ perceptions of the quality of the school. So the outcomes have been very good.”

It seems the interventions are based on instilling respect for oneself and others. Lovely thoughts, of course, but I always wonder about the cultural translation. American culture is not the same as Jamaican culture, so how was it tailored and received by Jamaican educators?

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