Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education


Positive behavioral supports (PBS) and the development of behaviorally oriented planning has become a ubiquitous paradigm in American schools. It is the preferred model for addressing behavioral issues with children as a means of preventing special education identification and placement. The effectiveness of this model has been well documented in peer-reviewed journals and shows an ability to change behaviors and improve academic achievement as measured by empirically designed assessments. However, the measurement of intellectual, moral and behavioral autonomy is seldom measured. Also, researchers from one perspective (Applied Behavioral Analysis) preclude other theoretical perspectives, to create the bulk of the evidence proving the usefulness of PBS as a viable model. It is the purpose of this paper to describe and support the contention that it is the concept of autonomy that is essential in measuring the success of behaviorally related interventions. This goal will be attained by deconstructing the PBS model. Further, it is an additional contention addressed in this paper that various Montessori methods and the theory’s fundamental theoretical concepts do a better job of addressing authentic change and the development of autonomy. This will result in internalized behaviors that behaviorally oriented methods can never demonstrate. A new theoretical model will be presented to illustrate the incorporation of autonomy into the rubric of successful behaviorally related interventions.