Date of Award

1-1-2013

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Leadership and Policies

Sub-Department

Educational Administration

First Advisor

Lynn R Harrill

Second Advisor

Dwight Z Kelehear

Abstract

This study examined behavior modification programs in schools designed to focus on discipline and that aim to reform disruptive behavior in students, usually over a limited period of time. This was a comparative case study of two type II alternative schools in the Upstate of South Carolina. The findings contributed to the research base regarding the practical implementation of the essential components for an effective behavior modification program in type II alternative schools. The primary research question was used to guide the study to discover the most effective components within the behavior modification program used by two leaders of Type II alternative schools. The question explored the perspectives of two Upstate of South Carolina Type II alternative school principals and their staffs regarding the behavior modification program implemented in their schools and its effectiveness.

Furthermore, this study explored the various ways the behavior modification strategies used by these principals and their staffs were based on, or reflected, the current indicators of success identified by Reimer && Cash (2003). The ten elements that have been identified included: 1) student accountability measures, 2) administrative structure && policies, 3) curriculum && instruction, 4) faculty && staff, 5) facilities && grounds, 6) school leadership, 7) student support services, 8) learning community(staff, students, parents, && community), 9) program funding, and 10) school climate. The result of the comparative case study revealed that each school, in fact, expressed or utilized each of the ten essential components, but in varying degrees. The most significant themes that emerged as determinants of effectiveness of the behavior modification programs in the type II alternative schools studied were: 1) Positive behavior supports, 2) Teacher capacity building, 3) Progress assessment, 4) Student empowerment, 5) Transition, and 6) Core values.

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