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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #450
CE Offered: BACB
School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports at the Classroom Level
Monday, May 26, 2008
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
Williford A
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Rachel L. White (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Linda S. Heitzman-Powell, Ph.D.

School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (SW-PBS) represents a hierarchical system of proactive interventions to increase positive behaviors in the school setting. At the school-wide level, supports address promoting positive behaviors for all students. Supports at the classroom level increase student engagement and decrease disruptive behaviors. Individual supports are designed for students whose behavior has not responded to school-wide and classroom interventions. In this symposium, 4 papers will be presented on various aspects of classroom level interventions. Natural rates of praise and reprimands found in elementary classrooms and the effects of teacher attention on student engagement will be discussed. A measurement tool for classroom level interventions will be presented and classroom level interventions will be described. Finally, methods for changing the classroom environment will be discussed.

Natural Rates of Teacher Praise and Reprimand in Elementary Schools.
HOWARD P. WILLS (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Rachel L. White (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Numerous studies have looked at the occurrence of teacher approval and disapproval in the classroom. These studies report ratios of approval to disapproval between 19:1 to 1:17, with the average ratio falling at 1:1 approvals to disapprovals. Reviews of studies on the natural rates of approval and disapproval in the classroom suggest that approval rates are higher for academic behaviors than social behaviors. Also, while teachers may maintain a positive ratio of approval to disapproval for academic behaviors, social behaviors often receive more disapproval than approval. This presentation will present natural rates and ratios of teacher praise and reprimands over three years in six Midwestern urban and suburban elementary schools.
Student Engagement as a Consequence of Teacher Attention to Positive and Negative Behaviors.
RACHEL L. WHITE (University of Kansas), Howard P. Wills (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Linda S. Heitzman-Powell (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Researchers have attempted to decrease problem behavior and increase engagement by changing the rate of teacher approval in the classroom. Studies have increased appropriate behaviors by increasing positive teacher attention towards those behaviors and have found that in general, as rates of teacher praise increased, so did attending behavior of elementary school students. This study manipulated teacher attention to positive and negative behaviors to determine the effects teacher attention had on student engagement at the classroom level. Group on-task/off-task data will be reviewed and the effects of teacher attention on student engagement will be discussed.
The Use of a Classroom Atmosphere Scale (CLAS) to Measure Classroom Level Positive Behavior Supports.
LINDA S. HEITZMAN-POWELL (University of Kansas), Rachel L. White (University of Kansas), Howard P. Wills (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)
Abstract: Classroom level interventions are designed to increase student engagement and decrease disruptive behavior. However, in order for interventions to be successful, there are several classroom strategies that can be implemented to create a more effective learning environment. This presentation will outline several strategies reported in the literature that have been demonstrated to be effective at increasing student engagement and decreasing disruptive behaviors. In addition, this presentation will describe a hand-held observation system for measuring their use in elementary school classrooms. Finally, this presentation will describe the use of the data obtained from these observations on predicting which classrooms have higher rates of engagement and lower rates of student disruptive behavior based on the characteristics of the classroom and class-wide strategies employed.
Changing the Classroom Environment.
KIMBERLY K. BESSETTE (University of Kansas), Howard P. Wills (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Rachel L. White (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Research has shown that student behaviors can be changed by environmental arrangements and changes in teacher behaviors. Additionally, many strategies are recommended to improve student behavior in the classroom. However, observations still indicate that the typical elementary school classroom does not regularly employ these strategies. This presentation will discuss methods for systematically modifying the elementary classroom environment and the subsequent effect on student engagement and levels of disruptive behaviors. Methods for changing and maintaining teacher behavior will also be discussed.



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