PBIS Testimonial

Hi Dave,

Wonderful article. You make some very enlightening points about how a well promoted mascot can lead to positive behavioral change in schools and instill important values within students. Since becoming involved with PBIS, I’ve also begun to see how it’s “effects” are in many ways tied to the simple principles of classical conditioning, modeling, and subliminal persuasion. Young children in school are not only intrigued by a happy, colorful, and relatable mascot. After being exposed to that mascot performing admirable acts, over and over again, and continuously witnessing how such acts are rewarded, children tend to initially want to follow, to earn the tangible gains (e.g., prizes), but eventually the repetition of such behaviors contributes to the mending of personalities and instillation of true internalized values. I also feel that such decorations as the “street signs” and posters are crucial because they serve as everyday, constant reminders for students to follow appropriate expectations (e.g., research showed that if children continuously viewed polar bears drinking Coca Cola on T.V., more children would want to drink Coca Cola – The same applies to children seeing mascots performing admirable acts). In time, I feel this subliminal effect strengthens student dedication towards behaving positively and making smart choices.
Jonathan Ruffus
School Psychologist