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Students exhibiting behaviours of concern are at increased risk of poor outcomes during their school years. The implementation of school-wide positive behavioural interventions and supports (SWPBIS) has repeatedly been shown to be an effective, evidence-based approach that supports teachers to select and adopt effective practices to meet the social and behavioural needs of all learners. Implementation of SWPBIS within Australian schools is increasing. Although there is considerable evidence supporting the effectiveness and efficacy of SWPBIS as a means to improve the behavioural outcomes of all students, these positive outcomes largely depend on the actions of teachers. To this point, very limited research has been published that explores the experiences of teachers working in Australian schools currently implementing SWPBIS. The current study asked 206 Victorian teachers working in schools implementing SWPBIS two open-ended questions about the factors that they believed were facilitators or barriers to their ability to improve the behavioural outcomes of their students. The most commonly reported facilitators were availability of time, consistency of staff implementation of behaviour support, and adequate training. The most frequently identified barriers were a lack of time and inconsistent implementation. The practical and research implications of these preliminary qualitative findings are discussed.
Ecosystem modeling, a pillar of the systems ecology paradigm (SEP), addresses questions such as, how much carbon and nitrogen are cycled within ecological sites, landscapes, or indeed the earth system? Or how are human activities modifying these flows? Modeling, when coupled with field and laboratory studies, represents the essence of the SEP in that they embody accumulated knowledge and generate hypotheses to test understanding of ecosystem processes and behavior. Initially, ecosystem models were primarily used to improve our understanding about how biophysical aspects of ecosystems operate. However, current ecosystem models are widely used to make accurate predictions about how large-scale phenomena such as climate change and management practices impact ecosystem dynamics and assess potential effects of these changes on economic activity and policy making. In sum, ecosystem models embedded in the SEP remain our best mechanism to integrate diverse types of knowledge regarding how the earth system functions and to make quantitative predictions that can be confronted with observations of reality. Modeling efforts discussed are the Century ecosystem model, DayCent ecosystem model, Grassland Ecosystem Model ELM, food web models, Savanna model, agent-based and coupled systems modeling, and Bayesian modeling.
The systems ecology paradigm (SEP) is presented as the right science and analytical approach at the right time for resolving many of the Earth’s natural resource, environmental, and societal challenges. SEP embodies two major parts. One, the systems ecology approach, which is the holistic, systems thinking perspective and methodology developed for the rigorous study of ecosystems, including humans. Two, the use of ecosystem science, the vast body of scientific knowledge, much of which has been assembled using the ecosystem and systems ecology approaches. The fundamental philosophy, evolution, and application of the SEP are defined in this chapter. The organizing principles of the SEP include: many problems are complex and complicated and may have multiple causes; precise definitions of problems and their spatial, temporal, and organizational hierarchical scales are critical; collaborative decision making including scientists, technical and administrative staff members, and essential stakeholders is essential; transparent, honest, and effective communication is required; globalization of collaboration within interdisciplinary networks has been a hallmark of the paradigm; and integration of simulation modeling, field and laboratory studies has proven indispensable for many scientific breakthroughs. A call for integration of transdisciplinary science, policy making, and management is presented.
The Systems Ecology Paradigm (SEP) incorporates humans as integral parts of ecosystems and emphasizes issues that have significant societal relevance such as grazing land, forestland, and agricultural ecosystem management, biodiversity and global change impacts. Accomplishing this societally relevant research requires cutting-edge basic and applied research. This book focuses on environmental and natural resource challenges confronting local to global societies for which the SEP methodology must be utilized for resolution. Key elements of SEP are a holistic perspective of ecological/social systems, systems thinking, and the ecosystem approach applied to real world, complex environmental and natural resource problems. The SEP and ecosystem approaches force scientific emphasis to be placed on collaborations with social scientists and behavioral, learning, and marketing professionals. The SEP has given environmental scientists, decision makers, citizen stakeholders, and land and water managers a powerful set of tools to analyse, integrate knowledge, and propose adoption of solutions to important local to global problems.
The effective management of chronic asthma requires long-term adherence to both pharmacotherapy and optimal self-management practices. The use of mobile applications (apps) offer a promising and cost-effective platform to support the self-management of asthma. However, students as consumers may not always be sufficiently knowledgeable to select the best app to link with the management of their condition. If school psychologists become familiar with apps, they may be better positioned to provide guidance to students about app selection and how to identify apps that include appropriate behaviour change techniques (BCT). Accordingly, the overall aim of this study was to present a method by which school psychologists could identify quality apps for the purpose of supporting students who need to self-manage chronic asthma. A directed content analysis was used to evaluate asthma apps, based on behaviour change content and app quality. A systematic selection process yielded a total of 36 apps (26 from iTunes, 12 from Google Play) that were evaluated using two published rating measures. Overall, apps contained limited BCTs and a low level of quality health information. Conversely, apps with higher quality health information utilised a larger range of BCTs than lower quality apps. It was concluded that while apps designed to support the management of asthma appear to be a potentially valuable addition to traditional interventions, the technology is still in its infancy, and school psychologists should be aware of the limited behaviour change content, age appropriateness of apps, and whether the health information provided is evidence-based.
A framework was examined to assist school psychologists and counsellors in recommending quality apps for supporting diabetes self-management. A content analysis was undertaken to assess behaviour change strategies in Apple and Android smartphone apps for the self-management of type 2 diabetes. The Behaviour Change Technique Taxonomy was used to assess the presence of behaviour change strategies, while the Mobile App Rating Scale was used to assess overall app quality. Raters found, on average, 7.13 behaviour change techniques out of a possible 93, indicating few behaviour change techniques in apps for the self-management of Type 2 diabetes. Analysis indicated that apps of a higher overall quality tended to incorporate more behaviour change strategies. It was concluded that mental-health professionals are advantaged if they are able to assess and refine selection tools for matching apps with the needs of students with diabetes.
Reducing the excess nutrient and sediment pollution that is damaging habitat and diminishing recreational experiences in coastal estuaries requires actions by people and communities that are within the boundaries of the watershed but may be far from the resource itself, thus complicating efforts to understand tradeoffs associated with pollution control measures. Such is the case with the Chesapeake Bay, one of the most iconic water resources in the United States. All seven states containing part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed were required under the Clean Water Act to submit detailed plans to achieve nutrient and sediment pollution reductions. The implementation plans provide information on the location and type of management practices making it possible to project not only water quality improvements in the Chesapeake Bay but also improvements in freshwater lakes throughout the watershed, which provide important ancillary benefits to people bearing the cost of reducing pollution to the Bay but unlikely to benefit directly. This paper reports the results of a benefits study that links the forecasted water quality improvements to ecological endpoints and administers a stated preference survey to estimate use and nonuse value for aesthetic and ecological improvements in the Chesapeake Bay and watershed lakes. Our results show that ancillary benefits and nonuse values account for a substantial proportion of total willingness to pay and would have a significant impact on the net benefits of pollution reduction programs.
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of a partially parent-implemented self-management intervention incorporating video-modelling for discrimination training on improving social skills in a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The participant was a 9-year-old girl with ASD. A multiple baseline across behaviour design (no interruption, asking for opinions, and appropriately greeting unfamiliar adults) was used to assess the effects of the intervention. Results showed: (a) the intervention was associated with improvements in all target behaviours in the training setting with a strong overall treatment effect; (b) the behavioural gains were generalised to non-training settings and maintained in both fading and follow-up phases; and (c) social validity measured by the Behavior Intervention Rating Scale — Adapted version (pre- and postintervention) was high. The intervention was effective in improving social skills with this participant, with good generalisation and maintenance effects and high social validity.