Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Development of a Systemic Approach to the Positive Management of Behaviour in One Secondary School

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Version 2 2023-03-14, 22:33
Version 1 2021-11-05, 03:07
posted on 2023-03-14, 22:33 authored by Hill, David James

This thesis demonstrates one way in which the tenets of positive behaviour support could be used to meet the challenges of enhancing the academic and social learning of students in secondary school. Positive behaviour support (PBS) is a relatively new concept (and certainly new to New Zealand secondary education) which provides innovative ways in which students at secondary school can be supported and their progress through school sustained at the best possible level. A school-wide approach to developing positive behaviour support involves the integration of ecological assessment, measurable outcomes, data-based decision making, evidence-based practices and development of systems supports for these implementing change. This study centres on the development of a Positive Behaviour Support system in one secondary school. The researcher began this study as a collaborative intervention with class teachers to assist individual students at risk of failure or exclusion from school. What emerged was a wider study to meet the developing needs of the school and the staff and students. The emergent study was conducted in three distinct phases. The (original) individual student investigation was followed by a classroom investigation phase using a case study research approach. The third phase, school development, evolved into the beginning of a community of practice model. This mixed method approach to research uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative data sources to record the experience of this secondary school embarking on a journey of school reform as it moves to a school-wide positive behaviour support approach. This thesis describes the development of three tiers of support in a systemic model. It identifies the constituent elements of each tier and makes suggestions about how other schools could initiate a similar model of support in their own context. The study concludes that it is possible to develop a systemic approach within existing school systems. The result of such a development is improved academic outcomes for students, increased efficacy for teachers and effective processes for student support.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Education Studies


Hall, Cedric; Brown, Charlotte