Lesson 2: Identifying Advantages and Challenges of PBIS.


To return to Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports click here.

To return to Unit 1: Advantages and Challenges of Using PBIS click here.


This lesson focuses on the advantages and challenges of using PBIS. If implemented correctly, PBIS can be a great tool to use in the classroom and in the school.

To return to Lesson 1 to review the definition and purpose of PBIS, click here.

At the end of this lesson you will be able to:

  • Identify advantages of using PBIS;
  • Identify challenges of using PBIS;
  • Identify PBIS misconceptions.


  • Watch the following video on how PBIS builds relationships among students.


Safe respectful responsible.jpg

A few things to take-away:

  • PBIS has many positives, including teaching students to be safe, respectful, and responsible.
  • PBIS is a tool that can be used to help develop relationships among students.
  • PBIS can help students build social skills.
  • When the opportunity for reward is brought up, "Solely with the intent of it being taken away," that is considered negative punishment. - Michael Ryan Hunsaker, Ph.D.
  • Rewards can become expected. This may lead to students becoming frustrated if they do not receive the reward for their behavior.


Let's look two of M. Hunsaker's examples from the article "We Need to Re-Evaluate School-Wide PBIS."

Each of the following examples are of teachers poorly using PBIS, ultimately having it result in punishment. For both examples, you will post in the 'Discussion' page about what you would have done differently in each teacher's situation. Feel free to comment on others' posts.

  • To locate the 'Discussion' page, click here. You may also access the 'Discussion' page by scrolling to the top of this lesson and clicking 'Discussion.'
  • To post your answer, first go to the 'Discussion' page. Once you are there, click 'Edit' in the top right corner. Under each example, post what you would have done differently if you were the teacher.

Example 1: I have had teachers look at a line of students in the hallway and say to their teacher, “I would have loved to give you [a class] dollar, but Student X was out of line. Too bad.” Then the two teachers would passive aggressively talk about how they were 1 student away from getting a class dollar and just how sad that was because those dollars add up to a class party. Can anyone guess what the response from the group was at Student X? It certainly was not kind. In this case the whole class went into an loud uproar (in the hall no less) and started threatening this student for losing them class cash. Did I mention this student was autistic and overloaded with sensory stimulus and had their fingers jammed in their ears? They were. They were just trying to maintain.

Example 2: An autistic student decides to run down the hallway, or else skip because they fell behind. The teacher stops the whole class to lecture this one student publicly on not running. Again, the class is reminded they do not get points or class dollars or rewards for hallway behavior. No one is made to practice, they are just told they lost out on reward.

Look Forward

In the following unit, you will identify where you can use PBIS. You will then determine if PBIS is something you should implement in your school and/or classroom.

Click the following link to continue to Unit 2.

Unit 2: Is PBIS a Good Fit for You and Your Students?