Bright Start TN Clearinghouse


Pyramid Model / Early Childhood Program-Wide Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS)

What is it?

The Pyramid Model is a multi-tiered intervention framework that promotes young children’s social, emotional, and behavioral development. The primary focus is to build adults’ skills so that they are equipped to support and enhance children’s social and emotional health. The Pyramid Model includes practices that promote healthy social-emotional development, reduce challenging behaviors, educate and support families, and establish instructional routines in early learning classrooms. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) initiatives are often combined with Pyramid Models. PBIS is a three-tiered framework that supports students’ behavioral, academic, social, emotional, and mental health. Tier One involves universal support, establishing a foundation for positive and proactive support. Tier Two involves targeted approaches to at-risk students. Tier Three involves intensive and individualized approaches to students who need additional support. 

What is the evidence base?

Children in classrooms that use the Pyramid Model have better social skills and fewer challenging behaviors. Additionally, children with elevated risk for behavior disorders show improvements in their social interaction skills. PBIS establishes healthy school culture, increases student engagement, enhances social-emotional competence, and improves academic achievement. PBIS also reduces bullying behaviors, rates of drug and alcohol abuse, and racial inequities in exclusionary discipline practices. For teachers, PBIS improves the perception of teacher efficacy and school safety. 

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