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FY Awards

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Positive and Restorative Investment in Discipline Reform in Education (PRIDE): Integrating School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) and Restorative Discipline (RD)

Year: 2017
Name of Institution:
University of Oregon
Goal: Development and Innovation
Principal Investigator:
Vincent, Claudia
Award Amount: $1,398,073
Award Period: 3 years (07/01/2017 06/30/2020)
Award Number: R305A170631


Previous Award Number: R305A170197
Previous Awardee: IRIS Media, Inc

Co-Principal Investigator: Erik Girvan (University of Oregon)

Purpose: Researchers will build on completed pilot work to develop modules introducing teachers to restorative practices, and initial data supporting the modules' acceptability, teachers' increased use of restorative practices, positive changes in Latino students' perceptions of school climate, and reduced disciplinary disparity. Specifically, researchers aim to further develop the positive and restorative discipline curriculum, develop a fidelity of implementation measure to assess the extent to which the curriculum is implemented at the school and classroom levels and identify the active ingredients related to reduced racial disparities in discipline. They will also generate a feasibility and usability analysis and demonstrate the promise of the curriculum's effectiveness to improve student perceptions of classroom climate, decrease racial disparities in discipline, and improve academic achievement for traditionally underperforming groups.

Project Activities: The project team will complete an iterative development process, and then test the promise of the intervention in a pilot test. This iterative process will first involve focus groups to develop socially valid materials for all school stakeholders. Then, early adopters will test the intervention independently at their schools and will complete surveys. This process will be repeated until a moderately high rating of feasibility and utility is achieved. Finally, a pilot study will be conducted as a small-scale randomized control trial through the use of surveys and observation tools to seek the effectiveness of the intervention on student discipline, academic outcomes, and social-emotional wellbeing.

Products: Researchers will produce a fully developed positive behavior and restorative discipline support intervention for high school students and peer-reviewed publications.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The study will take place in high schools in rural and urban Oregon.

Sample: Initial development will occur with focus groups comprising of approximately 10 administrators, 10 teachers, 10 parents, and 10 students. Feasibility testing will occur with approximately 16 high school teachers and approximately 320 students. The pilot study will occur with approximately 64 high school teachers and approximately 1280 students.

Intervention: The intervention will comprise print and video materials for administrators, teachers, and students. The administrator materials will focus on raising schoolwide awareness of implicit bias and using data for decision making. The teacher materials will focus on strengthening positive relationships through restorative practices including affective statements, affective questions, active listening, reframing, and using proactive circles. The student materials will focus on building and maintaining social capital and problem solving.

Research Design and Methods: In the first phase of the project, researchers will solicit feedback on initial drafts through the convening of four focus groups consisting of individuals with various levels of expertise in restorative discipline practices and from various stakeholder groups which will allow researchers to determine the social validity of the intervention. In the second phase, selected schools will receive the various modules of the intervention who will implement the modules at the school. After this implementation, teachers and administrators will be asked to complete the staff survey which includes open-ended items to allow for suggestions for changes. Researchers will repeat this cycle until the participants give at least a moderately high rating of feasibility and utility. In the final phase of the study, schools and teachers in the intervention condition will be given access to the curriculum and coaching. Surveys and observation tools will be used to assess the outcome measures.

Control Condition: During the pilot study, researchers will randomly assign schools to intervention or control condition. The control schools will initially conduct business as usual and gain access to the intervention during the last months of the project.

Key Measures: Primary measures include student discipline outcomes (office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions), student academic outcomes (performance on curriculum-based measures and state achievement tests), students' perception of relationships and procedural justice, and teacher sense of efficacy with restorative practices.

Data Analytic Strategy: Researchers will first use focus group data to develop the intervention in response to practitioner and expert feedback. During feasibility testing, researchers will use descriptive statistics as well as a simple analysis of variance (ANOVA) to examine differences across student racial/ethnic groups. During the pilot study, researchers will test the effectiveness of the study using a three-level linear model whereby students are nested in classrooms which are nested in schools.