Posts Tagged pbis

Tom Sawyer does what behaviorism, such as PBIS, can never accomplish

Tom Sawyer was a better psychologist than any behaviorist. Behaviorism relies on external approaches to control. In contrast, Tom inspired others to whitewash Aunt Polly’s nine feet high, 30 yards long fence. Here is how he did it—using an approach that behaviorism NEVER considers.

On the Saturday morning Tom was engaged in the project, Ben was on his way to the swimming pool and commented to Tom, “What a shame you have to work on Saturday.”

Tom replied, “This is not work. Work is something you are obliged to do.

Besides, I don’t think there may be one, maybe two in a thousand who can do the work the way Aunt Polly wants it done. She’s not too particular about … >>>


Without Stress Newsletter – September 2016

Volume 16 Number 9 September 2016
Newsletter #182 Archived


  1. Welcome
  2. Reducing Stress
  3. Promoting Responsibility
  4. Increasing Effectiveness
  5. Improving Relationships
  6. Promoting Learning
  7. Parenting Without Stress
  8. Discipline without Stress (DWS)
  9. Reviews and Testimonial



“They said I couldn’t sing, but they didn’t say I didn’t sing.”
—Meryl Streep after singing at Carnegie Hall from the movie “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Recently published Without Stress Tips:
28. Stress and Driving
29. Stress and Consistency
30.The Bible and Stress
31. Reduce Stress by Education
32.Focus to Reduce Stress

PiperPress has been updated so viewers can now easily see the FREE downloads.


I received the following email last week and include it in this section because it … >>>


PBIS Another Educational Folly

Behavior Modification or behaviorism in the form of PBIS is widely used in schools and homes.

In fact, this approach of catching kids dong what the teacher wants and then giving rewards to reinforce the behavior is still mandated by state school administrators around the country.

Ask any teacher who has implemented this external approach in the form of PBIS (Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports) to promote responsible behavior and you will hear that, after using this approach for any length of time, it becomes counterproductive. PBIS fails in a number of ways for promoting expected appropriate behavior:

• PBIS is unfair because it is IMPOSSIBLE to reward every student for everything the adult desires.

• Adults are not consistent … >>>


PBIS, Rewards, and Deming

demingprizeThis article is about PBIS, using rewards to control, and how they contrast with W. Edwards Deming’s approach of collaboration being better than competition for improved learning, responsibility, and empowerment.

Chances are that you own a product manufactured by a Japanese company. Before WWII, Japanese products were referred to as cheap junk. Bur today you own a Japanese product because of its quality. The person who changed this was W.Edwards Deming, an American who was put in charge of reconstructing Japanese manufacturing after that war. The most prestigious Japanese award today is the Deming Prize. You can read about Deming’s approach in the Phi Delta Kappan cover article:

Dr. Deming described 14 Points for improving quality. He was firmly committed … >>>


Restorative Justice in the Los Angeles Unified School District

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has adopted Restorative Justice as the district’s discipline policy. This program focuses on community building, repairing harm, and reintegrating students who have been suspended, truant, or expelled.

Restorative Justice was developed years ago and, as the name implies, was originally developed to help incarcerated people make amends for their misdeeds.

Although the intent of Restorative Justice has many good qualities, the program is a process—considering that LAUSD has planned to implement the program over a three-year period.

I should make my position clear regarding my association with the Los Angeles district. To begin, I have great admiration for large urban school districts. I consulted with the New York Board of Education working with … >>>


Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports vs. Internal Motivation

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) is based on external motivation. It asks adults to find some behavior that they wish young people to do and then rewards them for doing it. The theory is that, if a reward is given, the person will repeat what the addult desires. In essence, the purpose is to use rewards to control behavior.

The concept of behaviorism originated with Ivan Pavlov and is referred to as classical conditioning. Ring a bell and give a dog food. Soon you can just ring a bell and the dog will salivate. Pavlov did not experiment with a cat. Cats are much more independent. B.F. Skinner, the famed former psychologist, used this approach to train pigeons and … >>>


Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – February 2015

Volume 15 Number 2


  1. Welcome
  2. Promoting Responsibility
  3. Increasing Effectiveness
  4. Improving Relationships
  5. Promoting Learning
  6. Parenting
  7. Discipline without Stress (DWS)
  8. Reviews and Testimonials 




Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our responses lie our growth and our freedom.
—Viktor Frankl – Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and renowned Holocaust survivor

Last month I indicated that reference to electronic products lacked consistency. Reference is made to e-mail and email; e-book, ebook, and eBook, and e-learning and eLearning.

My experiment of attempting to be consistent by using eBook, eLearning, and (therefore) eMail seemed too strange. I quote Dan Poynter, the guru of self-publishing, who wrote me

>>> READ MORE >>>

Why Programs Can’t Fix Discipline Problems

Every few years a new program aimed at improving behavior and learning while reducing discipline problems is introduced and becomes the silver bullet for “fixing” schools. For example, at one time open classrooms were the magic cure-all. Next, large group lectures, small group discussions, and independent study were the “fix” for high schools. Then “Teaching by Objectives” was the rage. Where are these programs now?

A current fashion is Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS or PBS), based on the old Skinnerian erroneous premise that rewarding desired behavior externally is the most effective way to reinforce the behavior and cure discipline issues. PBIS is an outgrowth of working with students who have special needs and where something tangible … >>>


Discipline Without Stress Newsletter – April 2013

Volume 13 Number 4


  1. Welcome
  2. Promoting Responsibility
  3. Increasing Effectiveness
  4. Improving Relationships
  5. Promoting Learning
  6. Parenting
  7. Discipline without Stress (DWS)
  8. Reviews and Testimonials




Ninety-seven percent of what occurs in organizations cannot be measued but must be managed anyway. –W. Edwards Deming


Upcoming Public Seminars: 
April 22 Phoenix, Arizona
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April 25 Salt Lake City, Utah
April 26 Portland, Oregon 

Contact Bureau of Education & Research to receive a brochure and/or to register: 800.735.350.



Thirty-five Atlanta public schools educators and administrators were recently indicted in connection with alleged cheating on standardized testing.

The alleged cheating is believed to date back to early 2001, according to the … >>>


PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) Ethical Consequences


Positive Behavioral and Interventions and Supports(PBIS) is the discipline approach that is being mandated by many states. Do you have any thoughts on this approach?

This antiquated and backwards approach is based on the ideas of Ivan Pavlov, John B. Watson, and B.F. Skinner. Without going into detail explaining the differences, they are “behaviorist” and have the following in common:

1. Behaviorism is naturalistic. This means that the material world is the ultimate reality, and everything can be explained in terms of natural laws. Man has no soul and no mind, only a brain that responds to external stimuli.

2. Behaviorism teaches that man is nothing more than a machine that responds to conditioning. The central tenet of … >>>


PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) Backfires

The following was posted at the DisciplineWithoutStres mailring hosted by yahoo

I just wanted to quickly relay a rewards-based disaster.

One of our seventh-graders, in fact, the daughter of a teacher, recently wanted to go to the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) reward dance. She is an A honor roll student, never a discipline problem, and a wonderful kid. In the haste of “bribing” misbehaving students to be good, we neglected to “reward” her for doing what she had motivated herself to do. Long story short, she did not have enough PBIS tickets to go to the dance. How horrible!!

Looks like rewards systems don’t quite cover the good kids as well as they should. Good thing that … >>>


Classical vs Operant Conditioning

Classical conditioning is identified with Pavlov’s dog. It begins with the observation that some things produce natural responses. “Lucky” smells meat and salivates. By pairing an artificial stimulus with a natural one—such as ringing a bell when the steak appears—the dog associates the two. Ring the bell; the dog salivates.

(Pavlov was smart enough not to use a cat; cats, like humans, are too independent.)

Operant conditioning, in contrast to classical conditioning, is concerned with how an action may be controlled by a stimulus that comes AFTER it, rather than before it. When a reward follows a behavior, then that behavior is likely to be repeated. Today, we refer to this psychology as “behaviorism.”

Burros Frederic Skinner (1904-1990), … >>>


PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) Is Doomed to Failure

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) was established by the Office of Special Education Programs in the U.S. Department of Education. The approach is behaviorally based in that it is a classic use of B.F. Skinner’s positive reinforcement of operant conditioning. The program was developed as an alternative to aversive interventions that were used with students with severe disabilities who engaged in extreme forms of self-injury and aggression. The approach rests on the idea that these students need something tangible to change behavior.

PBIS treats the acquisition and use of social-behavioral skills in much the same way we would academic skills. However, academic skills deal with the cognitive domain, whereas behavior has to do with the affective domain—those factors which … >>>


PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) Transferring Motivation

The following story is about Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).

We know that rewarding fosters competition to see who gets the most number of rewards. We also know that using rewards as incentives to young people fosters feelings of punishments to those in school who believe they should have received a reward, but didn’t.

The comment below posted at the  mailring describes how external manipulators (giving rewards as reinforcers) do not do what adults would like them to do, namely, transfer the desired motivation.

I have a cute story about rewards in the classroom. I teach first grade, and sometimes just getting the kids to remember their folders and to sharpen pencils is a chore. I … >>>


PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) and Special Education

A reader wrote me indicating that knowing the reason for a person’s action is important and can assist in such problems as homework.

I shared my response below.

Many psychologists and therapists believe that knowing the “why” for a behavior is important. However, Dr. William Glasser, an internationally renowned psychiatrist and the author of “Choice Theory,” advocates that knowing the reason for a behavior may be of interest but, in most cases, has little to do with actually changing behavior. Change requires forming new neural connections. This requires new thinking and new behavior—rather than revisiting old memories.

An example of a student’s being non-compliant about doing homework was related in the communication to me. The student was diabetic, and … >>>