Notes on Chapter 2
Behavorial Techniques: Practices used to modify classroom behaviors.
Behavior modification: Programs developed for individual students.
Importance of Pavlov: began the behaviorist movement with his experiment with dogs. He noticed that when a conditioned stimulus is applied with an unconditional response, the result is a conditioned response.
Importance of John Watson (1878-1958): found that learning was the process of conditioning responses through the subsituation of one stimulus for another.
Importance of Edward Thorndike (1874-1949): operant conditions and came up with the Law of Effect (a rewarded behavior will be repeated and an unrewarded behavior will cease).
Importance of B.F. Skinner: operant conditioning is a theory and concentrated on the observation and manipulation of behaviors. What is operant conditioning? describes the relationship between behavior and environmental events and focuses on the use of reinforcement to obtain desired behaviors.
Behavorists: believe that all behaviors regardless of whether they are good or bad, appropriate or inappropriate, are learned and maintained by reinforcement.
Elements of Behavior Management:
Consequences: events or changes in the environment following a behavior.
Three basic consequences of behavior:
1. Behavior followed immediately by a reward (reinforcement) will occur more frequently
2. Behavior followed closely by a punishing consequence will occur less often.
3. Behavior will be extinguished (stopped) when it is no longer reinforced.
As a teacher we have three choices of ways to respond to inappropriate behavior:
1. Rewarding appropriate behavior in order to increase the chances the desired behavior will occur again.
2. Ignoring the inappropriate behavior in hopes of extinction.
3. Punishing the student for inappropriate behavior.
Consequences of behavior:
Reinforcement: operates on the likelihood that the desired behavior will be repeated under the same or similar circumstances. Can be positive or negative.
Positive Reinforcement: presentation of a reinforcer wanted by the student after the desired behavior has been exhibited. This only works if:
1. reinforcement is given only if the student exhibits the desired behavior
2. reinforcement is individualized for a particular child
3. desired behavior is reinforced immediately after it is exhibited
4. verbal praise is combined with the reinforcement
5. the target behavior is reinforced each time it is exhibited
6. the reinforcement is given by someone the child loves, likes, or respects.
Negative reinforcement: strengthens the behavior, a behavior that is strengthened is more likely to reoccur.
It involves the removal of an aversive stimulus following a desired behavior
Removal: something aversive is removed
Desired behavior: wanted behavior, expected behavior
Negative reinforcement is not punishment. Reinforcement strengthens the behavior whereas punishment suppresses the behavior
Punishment: application of an unpleasant stimulus or the withdrawal of a pleasant reward in an attempt to weaken a response
1. Presentation punishment: presentation of an aversive stimulus in order to decrease inappropriate behavior
2. Removal punishment: pleasant stimulus or the eligibility to receive a positive reinforcement is taken away.
Detention, in-school suspensions are examples of removal punishment
3. Three Types of time out:
a. nonseclusionary: The student remains in the classroom but must be completely silent or is required to put his or her head on the desk.
b. exclusionary: Removed from the immediate instructional area to another part of the room
c. seclusionary: The student is removed from the classroom.
Extinction: process of ending undesired behaviors by withholding reinforcement
Schedules of Reinforcement:
1. Continuous schedule: children are reinforced every time they respond
2. Intermittent schedule: child is reinforced after some occurrences of the desired behavior, not each time
a. Interval schedules of reinforcement: distribute reinforcement based on time
b. Ratio schedule of reinforcement: based on the number of responses rather than the passage of time
3. Variable schedule: the giving of the reward is so varied so that no patterns can be established.
Types of Reinforcement:
1. Primary reinforcements: satisfy the biological needs or drives of a student, and their reinforcing value does not have to be explained (eating, water, sleep).
2. Secondary reinforcements: get their power from the significance attached to them by students, can be in the form of a tangible object, approval or attention from another
3. Token reinforcements: has no intrinsic reinforcing properties; its value is based on the tangible object or desired activity for which it can be exchanged
4. Social reinforcers: behaviors of other people (teachers, parents, peers, and administrators) that increase desired behaviors, include compliments, praise, facial expressions, physical contact, and attention
5. Activity reinforcers: rewards by allowing the student to participate in perferred activities and are another natural and easily dispensable reward for desirable behavior, includes extra time at the computer, leadership roles in the classroom, etc.
Working with Individual students:
1. Shaping: used to teach new behaviors and skills and refers to the reinforcement of successive approximations of a terminal behavior
2. Behavior modification: involves systematically applying behavioral principles in an effort to change specific behaviors in an individual
Strategies for dealing with difficult students:
1. Functional behavioral assessment. The research shows that interventions based on functional behavior assessments are more likely to be effective in changing behaviors than interventions developed without the use of a functional behavioral assessment.
What is this type of assessment? multi step process that is designed to identify causal factors associated with challenging behaviors and to generate plausible hypotheses about the functions of problem behaviors and also to develop possible interventions aimed at replacing such behaviors.
Those behaviors that are inappropriate or unwarrented need to be stopped either through negative reinforcement or extinction. Those behaviors that are appropriate need to be encouraged and praised and have positive reinforcement.
The praise needs to be given regularly on some sort of schedule otherwise the student will not know that they are doing well.
We also need to think about our learners when we give positive or negative reinforcement. For instance, in the chapter it talks about a boy whose parents think that baby talk is cute and how it would be much harder for the teacher to stop that behavior. They also state that if you give a student a piece of candy that they do not like, they might not see it as a reward. I think the latter example is a little shallow because the teacher would explain that it is a reward and even if they didn't like the piece of candy they could see that the teacher was proud of them.