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Development funded by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs

Research Connections
in Special Education

Volume 1, Number 1
Fall 1997

School-Wide Behavioral
Management Systems

Behavioral management techniques, a longtime focus of special education research, are being integrated into school-wide systems. This issue describes this promising research that is helping all students manage their own behavior in school settings.

In This Issue

A Promising Practice for Safer Schools
Emerging Models
Views from the Field
State-Wide Initiatives
Contacts & Resources

A Promising Practice for Safer Schools

For over a quarter of a century, the number one concern facing public schools in this country has been discipline. What educators are finding however, is that the root of the problem goes well beyond rule-breaking. Many of today's students need more than just sound and consistent discipline policies--they also need positive behavioral instruction.

"Schools are finding that traditional compliance-based discipline has little effect on children who have significant problems getting along with others," explains Vermont-based independent consultant Jonathan Udis, whose work focuses on helping schools address the behavioral needs of students. Udis is witnessing a new emphasis on student self-control and responsibility. "Strategies are preventive, provide social problem-solving options to punishment, and offer respectful and dignified ways to ensure the safety of all students."

Across the country, educators like Udis have been seeking new ways to move beyond traditional "punishment" and provide opportunities for all children to learn self-discipline. Simultaneously, researchers have begun to study and advocate for broader, proactive, positive school-wide discipline systems that include behavioral support. One promising avenue for achieving the dual goals of teaching self-discipline and managing behavior is school-wide behavioral management.

Next: Emerging Models

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Research Connections is a biannual review of research on topics in special education, focusing on research sponsored by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs.

Research Connections was prepared with funding form the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, under contract no. RR93002005. It is in the public domain and may be freely reproduced and disseminated. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of OSEP or the Department of Education.

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