Implementing School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in German Schools: The Challenge of Knowledge Politics, Education Cultures and Teacher Perspectives (pp. 101-152)
Authors: (Joachim Broecher, University of Flensburg, Flensburg, Germany)
Abstract: Germany, like most other Western countries, faces the challenge of integrating a
majority of children and youth with emotional and behavioral difficulties (EBD) into the
regular school system. But in contrast to North America, to date Germany does not
possess an evidence-based school-wide model like PBIS that could help to actually
achieve the Europe-wide or global political imperative of effectively including students
with EBD. Learning why it is so difficult to implement PBIS in Germany‘s schools
requires grappling with education studies in the country as well as with the historical
development and present social relatedness of competing theoretical paradigms. From
this starting point, it will be possible to gain a better understanding of the special
professional identity of Germany‘s teachers and other school staff. It is against this
background that the author took initial steps to implement PBIS in German schools.
Sharing lessons learned from in-service training workshops, and using individual PBIS
elements and interventions will help answer the questions of which areas of PBIS pose
the greatest challenges for German teaching staffs and what familiar elements there are in
PBIS for school personnel to rediscover and build on relatively easily. This chapter
concludes with the observation that for teacher training designed to anchor PBIS in
German schools to be successful, it must take into account the prevailing academic
backgrounds and national characteristics that contribute to forming the professional
identity of Germany’s teachers.
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