Positive Behavior Supports and Culturally Responsive Practices

Date of Award

Fall 12-18-2020

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Marci Glessner, Shirley Johnson


Positive Behavior Supports, Culturally Responsive Practices, Behavior, Culturally Responsive Teaching


With the increase of English Language Learners and culturally diverse students in our schools, it is crucial to have Positive Behavioral Systems and Supports that are culturally responsive to ensure success for all students. In order for students to succeed academically, they first must feel safe and seen in the classroom. Using culturally responsive practices in a positive behavior system will help to increase equity for diverse learners.

Students from diverse backgrounds are disproportionately represented in disciplinary referrals within a positive behavior system. Culturally responsive behavior supports, when implemented with fidelity, can be effective in decreasing this number of disciplinary referrals of culturally diverse students while increasing academic engagement. The implementation of culturally responsive positive behavior supports requires careful attention to student needs, explicit expectations, school-wide commitment, and data collection. In order for teachers to be able to have a classroom that is culturally responsive, they need to first engage in discussions about diversity and culture while reflecting on their current practices.

Abstract only: No full text available.