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 #246
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Applied behavior analysis in education: What do we have to offer?
Sunday, May 24, 2009
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
North 121 A
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Youjia Hua (The University of Iowa)
Discussant: David L. Lee (Penn State University)
CE Instructor: Michelle Duda, Ph.D.
Abstract: The use of behavior principles to change school-based behaviors has received a great deal of support in the professional literature. Unfortunately, the link between this body of research and teachers is often weak. Two possible reasons for this disconnect are that teachers (a) often fail to buy into the idea of behavior analysis and continue with ineffective interventions that are more congruent with their educational philosophy; and (b) a lack of understanding on the part of behavior analysts on how classrooms operate. This lack of understanding has a profound impact on implementation of evidence-based strategies. What is needed is a mutual understanding of what should be done and what can be done in classroom contexts. The purpose of this symposium is to present data on three topics that are in the forefront of education today -- the use of functional assessments by classroom teachers, promoting independent assignment completion, and strategies to increase reading fluency. The presentations promote this mutual understanding by examining each strategy within the applied context of classrooms (often with teachers implementing the interventions).
Review of Functional Assessment and Intervention Studies: Is there a Demonstration of Contextual Fit?
BROOKS R. VOSTAL (Penn State University)
Abstract: The author reviews the research literature on the use of functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and function-based interventions in which teachers, rather than behavior analysts or researchers alone actively participate in the process. Specifically, studies were examined to determine: (a) the types of students, problem behaviors, and settings in which FBA was used; (b) FBA procedures conducted and by whom; (c) interventions implemented and by whom; and (d) the degree to which teachers found the assessment process acceptable. Results found a prevalence of studies in which FBA was used with students at-risk for high-incidence disabilities and who displayed disruptive behaviors in general education settings. Researcher assistance was needed to complete the various assessment procedures in most studies, though teachers were often able to implement the interventions stemming from FBA. Social validity measures found acceptable ratings. Results are discussed in terms of the contextual fit for functional behavior assessment in school settings.
Effects of Choosing Academic Assignments on Task Completion
YOUJIA HUA (The University of Iowa), Samuel Stansbery (Penn State University), David L. Lee (Penn State University)
Abstract: Several authors have suggested that providing choice making opportunities for people with disabilities is beneficial. However, the underlying mechanism of choice-making is still relatively unknown. The researchers investigated the effects of choice-making on academic task completion when identical tasks presented on worksheets and paper slips were used as choice options. Three students with learning problems were asked to complete math problems under student choice and teacher assigned conditions. An alternating treatment design was used to evaluate the effects of choice making on academic performance. Students' math task performances were compared between teacher-assigned and student choice conditions. Results indicated little or no effect of choice-making on academic productivity.
Science Reading Fluency and Repeated Readings
DOUGLAS E. KOSTEWICZ (University of Pittsburgh), Richard M. Kubina Jr. (The Pennsylvania State University)
Abstract: The current study investigated the effects of repeated readings to a fluency criterion (RRFC) for seven students with disabilities using science text. The study employed a single subject design, specifically, two multiple probe multiple baselines across subjects, to evaluate the effects of the RRFC intervention. Results indicated that students met criterion (200 or more correct words per minute with 2 or fewer errors) on four consecutive passages. A majority of students displayed accelerations to correct words per minute and decelerations to incorrect words per minute on successive initial, intervention readings suggesting reading transfer. Students’ reading scores during post-test and maintenance out performed pre-test and baseline readings provided additional measures of reading transfer. For a relationship to comprehension, students scored higher on oral retell measures after meeting criterion as compared to initial readings. Overall, the research findings suggested that the RRFC intervention improves science reading fluency for students with disabilities, and may also indirectly benefit comprehension.



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