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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #438
Educating through the physical – Using applied behavior analysis in physical education.
Monday, May 25, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 121 A
Area: EDC/CSE; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Phillip Ward (The Ohio State University)
Discussant: Phillip Ward (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Physical activity holds great promise as a natural setting for learning and for behavioral change. Despite claims that engagement in physical activity can promote socially desired behaviors, there remains a lack of a clear conceptual base that can guide interventions as well as research endeavors in this field. This situation leaves those who utilize physical activity as a learning agent to base their practice on common sense, intuition, or trial and error. The purpose of this symposium is to suggest examine a conceptual framework of ‘Educating through the Physical’. This framework is grounded in the theory of Behavior Analysis and the principles of that science provide the guidelines for application and for the use of various procedures. In this symposium we discuss the rationale of ‘Educating through the Physical,’ present data-based examples of interventions used to educate through the physical and review the literature in physical education using interventions grounded in applied behavior analysis.
Behavioral interventions in Physical Education
PHILLIP WARD (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Two tests of the utility and value of a science to an educational community are the extent to which its findings (a) are used as recommended practices in the preparation of teachers and (b) are incorporated by teachers into everyday practice. This presentation presents the results of a review of experimental research conducted in physical education settings using applied behavior analysis principals and procedures. Following a on-line search, articles were selected from journals by visually inspecting each issue to identify those that used a single subject design to assess the effects of behavioral interventions in P-12 or teacher preparation settings. A total of 44 studies met the inclusion criteria. Studies were categorized according to their focus: (a) preservice or inservice teacher behavior, (b) student learning, (c) class management, or (d) student learning specifically focused on students with disabilities in adapted or inclusive settings. The review describes the scope of the behavioral interventions and examines the research designs used. A methodological critique suggests that while findings have been robust and the designs used are typically rigorous, investigators have not assessed generality, maintenance or social validity as well as they might.
Why Educate Through the Physical? Why Educate through the Physical: A Rationale and Behavioral Interpretation
EITAN ELDAR (Zinman College, Israel), Shiri Ayvazo (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
Abstract: In an era of diversity, inclusive education, and increasing rates of maladaptive behaviors, social competence is essential for successful performance in school and in life. Physical education it has been argued is an effective vehicle for the acquisition of social skills and values. Since the 1980s, there has been a proliferation of prosocial programs in physical education that set the acquisition of prosocial skills as their primary objective. The unique features of physical activity and play highlight it as a constructive context for attaining behavioral goals such as self-control and social skills. Strenuous activity, competition, adherence to rules, team play, frustration and joy are all characteristics inherent in sport that make it a perfect “school for life”. We provide a rationale for teaching prosocial and adaptive competencies of students of various age groups and needs, through a physical education program. Strategies that can endorse educational goals other than those of movement will be suggested with their behavioral interpretation.
Physical Education as a Context for Behavioral Assessment And Intervention – Emerging Data
EITAN ELDAR (Zinman College, Israel), Michal Hirschmann (Zinman College, Israel), Efrat Elran (Zinman College, Israel)
Abstract: We shall present data from two studies that have used Physical Education (PE) for assessing and teaching pro-social skills. In the first study, sixteen male high-school students practiced a movement game. The difficulty level of the game was manipulated through four different difficulty domains: (1) Duration of the game; (2) Intensity of running; (3) Complexity of the physical task; and (4) Distracters during performance. The dependent variable was students' misbehavior. A multielement design showed that the highest levels of misbehaviors occurred with the manipulation of the intensity factor, a pattern that became more pronounced as the task prolonged. The second study examined the contribution of individualized PE program in improving students' behavior and consequently, in facilitating classroom management. Three students from three different classes in a special education school participated in the study. A multiple baseline design across participants indicated an improvement in the behavior of all target students during the individual PE intervention. The reduction in inappropriate behavior was apparent during academic classes as well. Improvement in learning time for all students in two classes and a more stable learning pattern for the third was shown.



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