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 #398
The Role of Teacher Education Programs in the Evidence-Based Practice Movement
Monday, May 25, 2009
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
North 122 BC
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Lawrence J. Maheady (SUNY Fredonia)
Discussant: K. Richard Young (Brigham Young University)
Abstract: The term “evidence-based’ has become ubiquitous in education during the past decade (Deitrich, 2008). Yet significant questions remain regarding: (a) what the term means, (b) what constitutes “evidence”, (c) how evidence-based practices are identified, implemented, and sustained, and (d) what role, if any, teacher education programs can play in bringing evidence-based practices to public school classrooms. This session focuses on the last question and will suggest: (a) that teacher education program can and should play a major role in bringing evidence-based practices to public school classrooms and (b) that the success of any teacher education programs should be determined ultimately by the impact that program graduates have on their pupils’ learning and behavior (Greenwood & Maheady, 2001). Each presenter will describe efforts in three different teacher preparation programs to promote the use of evidence-based practices among pre-service and in-service teachers in general and special education. Presenters will describe specific evidence-based practices, discuss how teachers were taught to use them, share data on their implementation efforts, and describe specific successes and challenges associated with their efforts.
Preparing Pre-service Teachers to Provide Supports for Children with Significant Behavioral Needs
FRANK W. KOHLER (University of Northern Iowa), Susan Etscheidt (University of Northern Iowa)
Abstract: This presentation will describe efforts to prepare pre-service teachers to use school-wide positive behavior support with students with significant behavioral needs and challenges. The Department of Special Education at the University of Northern Iowa provides a one year program for pre-service teachers who wish to receive an endorsement to teach children with mild/moderate disabilities. Pre-service teachers complete their elementary education requirements before beginning a 24-credit special education program, which includes two courses in behavior management. Teacher candidates are familiarized with a range of evidence-based practices, including systems of school-wide positive behavior support (Colvin, 2007). They also engage in four different activities to become familiar with SWPBS. These activities include: (a) inter-active class presentations, (b) multiple applied experiences in PBS schools, (c) completion of data-based pupil profiles, and (d) creation of a positive support plan. The ultimate goal is to help candidates create a positive support plan for an actual school setting and include all of the elements outlined by Colvin (2007). Presenters will provide data to illustrate pre-service teachers’ successes and discuss issues and challenges associated with their intervention efforts.
Using Research Articles to Teach General Education Pre-and In-Service Teachers about Evidence-Based Instructional Strategies
TERRI HESSLER (The Ohio State University, Newark)
Abstract: The research-to-practice gap is a well-known phenomenon in general and special education teacher preparation programs. Of particular concern is the impact that a failure to use evidence-based practices has on K-12 students with special needs. Special education faculty working in general education teacher preparation programs may be even more aware of this gap and its potential adverse impact on students with special needs enrolled in general education classrooms. Fortunately, recent legislation has mandated the use of evidence-based practice, thereby prompting reluctant general education programs to infuse research into their coursework. This presentation will share information from a graduate level course in which both pre- and in-service general education teachers acquired strategies for teaching students with disabilities in inclusive settings. The presentation provides descriptive information regarding general educators’ knowledge of evidence-based instructional practices before and after reviewing applied research articles. Verbal report data from 15 pre-service and four in-service general educators at a regional campus of a large mid-western university will be reviewed.
A 9-Credit Research Sequence to Teach General Educators to Design and Conduct Single Case Research
LAWRENCE J. MAHEADY (SUNY Fredonia), Michael Jabot (SUNY Fredonia)
Abstract: The success of teacher education programs may be determined ultimately by their graduates’ abilities to affect positive changes in pupil learning and behavior (Greenwood & Maheady, 2001). Unfortunately, most teacher education programs do not prepare their candidates to: (a) select, implement, and evaluate evidence-based teaching practices, (b) use ongoing progress monitoring systems to assess the impact of their instructional practice, and/or (c) adopt relevant research designs that allow that to link their practice and pupil performance This session will show how a 9-hour research sequence in a small, general education teacher preparation program is used to help candidates” (a) understand applied educational research, (b) design methodologically sound single case research studies, and (c) conduct these investigations with special and general education students enrolled in their own classrooms. The research sequence demonstrates, in turn, how research methods can be used to generate credible evidence to support teacher and program effectiveness and hopefully reduce the gap that exists between research-and-practice in our profession.



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