Effective Education for All

Implementing Positive Behavior Support in Early Childhood Through High School

by Chun Zhang (Volume editor) Carlos McCray (Volume editor) Su-Je Cho (Volume editor)
©2015 Textbook VIII, 271 Pages
Series: Educational Psychology, Volume 25


Effective Education for All deals with cultural-linguistic diversity and how to work in classrooms with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students. It is essential reading for teachers, administrators, parents of CLD students, and policy makers if we are to continue to see progress and success from our graduates. This book is both practical and helpful for educators and their schools in offering Positive Behavior Support (PBS), illustrating key steps in understanding the problem and research on cultural-linguistic diversity. The authors offer resources to help educators and their families to understand the failures and successes with these students within the context of their particular schools and communities. What works with one group and age cohort may change as students develop within local and regional contexts.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Organization of the Book
  • References
  • Section I
  • 1. Factors Influencing Overrepresentation, Underachievement, and School Failure
  • Misconceptions Debunked
  • Mapping It Out
  • Social Cultural Factors to Consider in Service to CLD Students with Special Needs
  • Meeting the Needs of CLD Students with Special Needs
  • Significant Events
  • Community of Practice
  • Sharing a Classroom Story
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • 2. Developmental and Cultural Perspectives of Social and Emotional Development and Its Relation to School Success
  • Development of Social and Emotional Competence and Link to School Success
  • Two Sides of the Same Coin
  • Lack of Social-Emotional Competence and Effects on School Success
  • Individual Factors of Social and Emotional Development in CLD Children
  • Cognition
  • Language
  • Temperament
  • Behaviors
  • Environmental Factors Contributing to Social and Emotional Development in CLD Children
  • Poverty and Neighborhood Community Characteristics
  • Parenting Styles
  • Acculturation Level of the Family
  • Cultural Values
  • Teachers’ Expectations
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • 3. Creating a Culturally Responsive School Climate with School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
  • Factors Associated with Student Performance in Schools
  • School Factors
  • Teacher Factors
  • Family and Community Factors
  • Key Elements for Successful Implementation of School-Wide PBIS
  • School-Wide Agreements
  • School-Wide Teaming
  • Professional Development
  • Resources
  • Partnership with Families and Community Members
  • Data-based Decision Making
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Section II
  • 4. Effective Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports for Students in Early Years and Grades: Practices and Policies
  • Current Status of Diversity in Schools
  • Achievement Gap and Discipline Gap
  • The Role of Cultural Competence in Working with Minority Students
  • Understanding Young Children’s Challenging Behaviors
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: A Promising Model
  • PBIS and Its Implementation in Early Childhood
  • The Pyramid Model
  • Consideration of Cultural and Linguistic Relevance in SWPBIS Implementation
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • 5. Culturally Relevant Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports for Promoting School Success of Young Children with Problem Behavior from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds
  • Designing Culturally Relevant Individualized PBIS Plans
  • Developing a PBIS Team
  • Conducting Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Indirect Assessment—Record Review and Interview
  • Direct Assessment—Observation
  • Summarizing the FBA Results.
  • Collection of Information About the Classroom and Home
  • Testing Hypotheses
  • Developing a PBIS Plan
  • Linking the FBA Results to the PBIS Plan
  • Development of Behavioral Goals
  • Developing Function-Based, Multi-Component Interventions
  • Developing a Plan with Contextual Fit
  • Selecting Effective Intervention Strategies
  • Implementing PBIS Plans
  • Monitoring Child Progress
  • Improving Implementation Fidelity
  • Developing a Fidelity Monitoring Tool
  • Coaching and Feedback
  • Sustaining Effective Behavior Support Systems
  • Leadership Team
  • Administrative Support
  • Access to Consultation
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • 6. Class-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports in the Elementary School
  • PBIS Model at the Classroom Level
  • Classroom Ecology
  • Behavior System
  • Classroom Rules
  • Positive Interaction
  • Classroom Reward Systems
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Supporting Students Needing Secondary and Tertiary Supports Within the Classroom
  • Check In/Check Out (CICO)
  • Social Skills Instruction
  • Function-Based Intervention
  • Issues Related to Implementing Class-Wide PBIS and Teacher Training
  • Classroom Assessments
  • Class-Wide Consultation
  • Supporting Students with CLD Backgrounds
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Section III
  • 7. Culturally Responsive Positive Behavior Intervention and Support for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students Suspected of Having Behavior Problems
  • Punitive Disciplinary Practices
  • Legal Basis for Tiered Intervention Models in Special Education
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
  • Culturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
  • Avoiding “Old” Mistakes: A Critical Look at the Future
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • 8. Promoting Socio-Cultural Justice for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Secondary School Students
  • Integrating Positive Behavior Support
  • School-Wide Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support
  • The Importance of Connecting Culture
  • Infusing Social Justice with Cultural Considerations in School-Wide Positive Behavior Support
  • The Socio-Cultural Justice Framework for Practice in Secondary Schools
  • Flexible Relationships
  • Holistic Uniqueness
  • Moral Language
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • 9. A School-Wide Positive Behavior Support Model in Middle and High School
  • Conceptualizing School-Wide Positive Behavior Support
  • Keys to Reducing and Preventing Problematic Behavior
  • Keys to Building Students’ Academic and Social Skills
  • Keys to Increasing Instructional Capacity
  • Contextual Considerations for SWPBS at the Middle and High School Levels
  • Culture and SWPBS
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Section IV
  • 10. Common and Unique Themes of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Across Grade/Age Levels
  • PBIS Across Age/Grades Levels
  • Early Childhood Through Elementary Grade Levels
  • Middle Grade Level
  • High School Level
  • Discussion and Implications
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • 11. When Good Intentions Are Not Enough: Essentials for Effective Leaders and Educators in Building and Leading Culturally Responsive Schools and Programs
  • Terms and Definitions
  • A Complex Challenge
  • Building a Foundation for Culturally Responsive Schools and Programs
  • The Role of Educators and Leaders
  • Embarking on a Journey Toward Cultural and Linguistic Competence
  • Appendix A
  • Resources for Instruction and Assessment Practices with DLLs
  • References
  • 12. Accomplishments and Directions for Future Actions, Research, and Policy
  • Introduction
  • Future Directions of PBIS and SWPBIS
  • Eradication of Exclusionary Punishment
  • Transformational Leadership for the Enhancement of SWPBIS
  • Strategy 1: Setting the Course
  • Strategy 2: Building People Up
  • Strategy 3: Cultivating a Collaborative Environment
  • Strategy 4: Staffing
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Epilogue. Supporting Success (K to 12) for Diverse Students: What Works, and Why, Now for Teens!
  • References
  • About the Authors
  • Index

| vii →


We all have gone through many barriers and challenges in our lives in order to achieve the American dream we each have in our mind. Having a strong support system will enable and empower us to accomplish our dreams. My accomplishments have been the result of the inspiration and support from those who have shown confidence and love for me. Here, I want to acknowledge the support from my mom, a strong role model and my hero; and my dad who always shares his pride about me; my husband, Yan Liu, who encourages me to do greater things for myself and profession; and my daughter, Tina Liu, who continues to inspire me with her perspectives of work, life, and Christianity.

Chun Zhang
New York, New York

First, I would like to acknowledge my mother and father, Willie and Joyce McCray, whose unyielding support continue to make such endeavors like this possible. I will always cherish their love.

Second, I would like to thank Floyd, D. Beachum, Bruce S. Cooper, Dean James Hennessy, Sheldon Marcus, Gerald Cattaro, Dean Michael E. Dantley, Jeff Brooks, Linda Tillman, Ira Bogotch, and Festus Obiakor for their professional support over the years. You have truly made a difference in a scholar’s life.

I would also, like to dedicate this book to Fayth Bryant, Caitlyn Copeland, Alana Melton, Corinne Barnett, Isaiah Wright, and Dailyn Raphael Smith. I hope they look upon this work as they get older and find inspiraion in achieving all their goals in life.

Carlos R. McCray
New York, New York ← vii | viii →

I wish to express my sincere gratitude to my dear colleague, Dr. Kwang-Sun C. Blair, for guiding me on this book and writing with me. Her guidance and conversations on our chapters and other projects have expanded my knowledge about the area of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports to a great extent. I would also like to thank my current and former students at Fordham University. In class, we learn from each other about managing challenging behaviors of children attending urban schools; their questions, their comments and their projects have enabled me to read and research more about Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. I am also grateful to Teresa Lopes at Luna Writing and Editing Services who provided her editing services for half of this book. Finally, my deepest gratitude goes to my dear husband, Steven E. Farkas, who always puts my work as priority and offers to read and edit my work.

Su-Je Cho
New York, New York

Most importantly, we, as a team of authors and editors, want to acknowledge the efforts of great teachers, administrators, family members, and policymakers who advocate and provide supportive educational models such as Positive Behavior Support in making school a positive learning environment for students, especially those who were left behind, misunderstood, and given unfair treatment. Providing consistent support for these children at an early age and beyond will help them achieve their American dreams.

Chun Zhang
Carlos R. McCray
Su-Je Cho

| 1 →



Students who are non-native speakers of English, members of racially and ethnically marginalized groups, and/or economically disadvantaged are far too often represented in the education literature as “at risk” for school failure and behavioral difficulties. The concept of risk at the level of the individual has received a fairly thorough examination, but insufficient attention has been devoted to linking important structural and school characteristics to student learning and behavior. However, structural realities that constrain the success of students deemed “at risk” due to their ethnic and racial heritage or their economic circumstances have been evident in the literature for more than three decades. For example, low-income, ethnic minority students who struggle academically are more often seen as unmotivated or conduct-disordered, while struggling affluent, White children receive services (e.g., counseling, tutoring) to improve learning (Bowles & Gintis, 1976). Such services are less often freely available in urban schools serving racial and ethnic minorities and are economically out of reach for low-income parents to purchase independently. How then can we extend our understanding of school practices and policies as well as students’ social circumstances that constrain student opportunities, and how might these understandings promote positive youth development and positive behavior that underpins academic success?

Thinking about the role of school in supporting social and emotional development for any student and reducing disruptive behavior requires an understanding that behavior does not exist solely at the level of the individual but is a product of the transaction between an individual and the environment in which that person must function (Sameroff, 2009). However, the capacity of schools to provide an environment that serves the needs of an increasingly diverse student population has been constrained by declining funding just ← 1 | 2 → at the time when student and family needs are increasing exponentially. The nation’s economic decline has left many families and schools with dramatically reduced materials, emotional and personnel resources to provide for children’s social, emotional, and academic development.

Unfortunately, one of the responses elicited from children by increasingly inattentive and overextended contexts is behavioral disruption, and behavioral disruption in schools is often met with disproportionately punitive responses for children of color (Hudley & Daoud, 2008; King, 1991). For schools, several climate factors that are relevant to social, emotional, and behavioral development can be influenced by the culture of both the perceiver and the student, including inconsistent and punitive discipline, unfamiliar social skills valued by the school culture, and unspoken expectations governing the school culture (Hudley & Gottfried, 2008). Even efforts to induct students into a school’s cultural milieu may misfire, as education research consistently finds that practices developed for one group are not equally successful with all groups in a diverse society, often resulting in a significant, culturally defined “achievement gap” (McAllister & Irvine, 2000) and discipline gap (Vincent & Tobin, 2011).

However, there is another substantial body of evidence that school culture can successfully adapt to meet the needs of students from a wide range of cultural, racial, and economic backgrounds and support optimal social and emotional development for all students. The chapters in this volume collect and synthesize important literatures relevant to both student development and school culture, resulting in comprehensive representation of students’ needs and the capacity of schools to meet those needs. A comprehensive understanding of the issues is the most reasonable route toward clarifying the relationships between school practices and student outcomes.

Organization of the Book

This edited volume effectively brings together a range of literatures to discuss the impact of school culture on the development and behavior of students from a range of cultural, racial, and linguistic backgrounds. All of the chapters expressly examine culturally and linguistically diverse learners in the schools, and each of the contributors specifically attends to the culture of the school. The organizing principle for the investigation of school culture is the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Model. Taken together, this edited volume will advance research and theory on student development in school context by clarifying the ways in which Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports can impact behavior and achievement for culturally and linguistically diverse learners. ← 2 | 3 →

The first section examines factors that contribute to both social and academic competencies for school success and to school failure. The chapters in this section provide an overview of developmental, cultural, and political perspectives on school success and school failure for these learners. In the first chapter, Diane Rodriguez examines the role of stereotypes and labels in explaining the overrepresentation in special services (e.g., special education) and disciplinary actions (e.g., suspensions) of culturally and linguistically diverse learners, as well as their pervasive underachievement. In Chapter 2, Yi Ding and Dake Zhang examine social and emotional development from both developmental and cultural perspectives. Developmental theories and cultural values are used to explain both universal and culturally unique behaviors that are associated with school success in a given cultural milieu. The third chapter, by Su-Je Cho, Ji-Ryun Kim, Kwang-Sun Cho Blair, and Carlos R. McCray, focuses on several specific characteristics of schools that facilitate either academic success or school failure, and effective strategies for planning and implementing school-wide PBIS.

Section II of this volume explores social and emotional development and school success for culturally and linguistically diverse students in the early childhood and childhood (or elementary) grades. The construct of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports is used as a lens to conceptualize school readiness gaps, discipline gaps, school underachievement, and school failure. Chapter 4 by Chun Zhang, Angie Chai, and Kwang-Sun Cho Blair describes the Pyramid Model for early intervention to decrease behavior problems of young children while increasing their academic engagement and success. Chapter 5 by Kwang-Sun Cho Blair, Chun Zhang, and Angie Chai presents a model of culturally relevant Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports for culturally and linguistically diverse learners. That model is contrasted with extant, highly problematic strategies such as harsher punishment, high suspension and expulsion rates, and disproportionate labeling of emotional disturbance for this population. Chapter 6 by Su-Je Cho, Kwang-Sun Cho Blair and Ji-Ryun Kim presents class-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports in the elementary school. The chapter details a variety of strategies effective for implementing the three-tier PBIS.

Section III is analogous to the previous section in examining social and emotional development and school success for culturally and linguistically diverse learners in secondary schools, and analyzing strategies and interventions for this population grounded in principles of PBIS. In Chapter 7, Tachelle Banks and Festus Obiakor critically evaluate the assertion that a positive school climate promoting a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports system must be adopted by educators and school leadership in order to ← 3 | 4 → reduce high levels of school dropout among the most vulnerable student populations. Chapter 8 by Floyd Beachum and Gina Gullo reviews the literature linking culturally relevant Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and academic success among African American and Latino students. Culturally relevant PBIS is discussed in the context of culturally relevant leadership and culturally relevant pedagogy in promoting social-cultural justices. Chapter 9 by Christopher Yawn and Lenwood Gibson Jr. presents a school-wide PBIS Model for middle and high school students. The chapter argues that a PBIS system can increase educators’ understanding of student behaviors and increase the support needed for middle and high school students to excel.

The final substantive section discusses the implications of social and emotional development and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports for educational policy and practice to support the school performance of culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Chapter 10 by Carlos R. McCray, Chun Zhang, Su-Je Cho, and Samual Martin synthesizes research and evidence-based practices that support social and academic development across all ages and grade levels. Chapter 11 by Rosa Milagros Santos and Lillian Durán synthesizes culturally relevant practices, highlighting the roles of educators and school leadership in providing culturally responsive teaching and policymaking to promote positive outcomes for culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Chapter 12 by Carlos R. McCray, Su-Je Cho, Chun Zhang, and Heather Wynne highlights the limitations of existing literature and outlines a vision for future research, practice, and policy to support positive behavioral and academic outcomes for culturally and linguistically diverse learners. The Epilogue by Bruce S. Cooper reiterates various ways to support success for diverse students.

In conclusion, each of the chapters in this volume will make an important contribution to promoting school success for culturally and linguistically diverse learners, from early childhood to high school. This volume offers a unique synthesis of research on social and emotional development, the education of marginalized groups, and the role of positive behavioral support in supporting optimal development and academic achievement for culturally and linguistically diverse learners.


Bowles, S., & Gintis, H. (1976). Schooling in capitalist America: Educational reform and the contradictions of economic life. New York: Basic Books.

Hudley, C., & Daoud, A. (2008). Cultures in contrast: Understanding the influence of school culture on student engagement. In C. Hudley & A. Gottfried (Eds.), Academic ← 4 | 5 → motivation and the culture of schooling in childhood and adolescence (pp. 187–217). New York: Oxford University Press.

Hudley, C., & Gottfried A. (2008). Academic motivation and the culture of schooling in childhood and adolescence. New York: Oxford University Press.

King, J. (1991). Dysconscious racism: Ideology, identity, and the miseducation of teachers. Journal of Negro Education, 60, 133–146.

McAllister, G., & Irvine, J. (2000). Cultural competency and multicultural teacher education. Review of Educational Research, 70, 3–24.


VIII, 271
ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2013 (August)
problem research diversity
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2014. 271 pp.

Biographical notes

Chun Zhang (Volume editor) Carlos McCray (Volume editor) Su-Je Cho (Volume editor)

Chun Zhang is a professor at Fordham University. She received her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and recently completed her Fulbright scholarship at the University of Macau. She has been widely published in culturally and linguistically appropriate services for young children with disabilities and their families. Carlos R. McCray is an associate professor at Fordham University. He received his doctorate from Bowling Green State University. He recently co-authored the books, Cultural Collision and Collusion: Reflections on Hip-Hop Culture, Values, and Schools and School Leadership in a Diverse Society: Helping Schools Prepare All Students for Success. Su-Je Cho is an associate professor of special education at Fordham University. She received her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests include assessment and interventions for culturally and linguistically diverse children with disabilities.


Title: Effective Education for All
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