Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


2008 Education Conference

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #10
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
A Place at the Education Reform Table: Why Behavior Analysis Needs To Be There, Why It’s Not as Welcome as It Should Be, and Some Actions that Can Make Our Science More Relevant
Sunday, September 7, 2008
9:00 AM–9:45 AM
Grand Ballroom B
Area: EDC; Domain: Synthesis
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: William L. Heward, Ph.D.
WILLIAM L. HEWARD (The Ohio State University)
William L. Heward, Ed.D., BCBA, is Professor Emeritus of Education at The Ohio State University (OSU) where he taught for 30 years. Dr. Heward has served as a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Portugal and a Visiting Professor of Psychology at Keio University in Tokyo. His publications include more than 100 journal articles and book chapters and nine books, including the widely used texts, Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education, which is in its ninth edition and has been translated into several foreign languages, and Applied Behavior Analysis (co-authored with John O. Cooper and Timothy E. Heron). Dr. Heward has received OSU’s highest honor for teaching excellence, the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award, and the American Psychological Association's Division 25 recognized his contributions to education by awarding him the 2006 Fred S. Keller Behavioral Education Award. Dr. Heward is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and is currently serving as that organization’s President. His current research interests include “low-tech” methods for increasing the effectiveness of group instruction and adaptations of curriculum and instruction that promote the generalization and maintenance of newly learned knowledge and skills.
Abstract: While applied behavior analysis's (ABA) pragmatic, natural science approach to developing a technology that takes practical advantage of discovering environmental variables that reliably influence socially significant behavior offers real hope for public education, ABA has had limited impact on classroom practice. Improving the effectiveness of education is one of society's most important problems, and for more than four decades behavior analysts have provided powerful demonstrations of how learning can be promoted in the classroom. In spite of this evidence, behavior analysis is, at best, a bit player in efforts to reform education. Dr. Heward will identify several reasons why ABA is ideally suited to help improve education, review a somewhat longer list of reasons that work against the widespread adoption of behavioral approaches in education, including several of behavior analysts' own making, and suggest some actions that educators, practitioners and researchers can take to enhance and further ABA's contributions to effective education.
Target Audience:

Licensed Psychologists and Certified Behavior Analysts

Learning Objectives: N/a



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