A review of literatur by chen31


									effects of positive reinforcement to the social skills of
students with behavioral problems:A review of
    Effects of Positive Reinforcement on the Social Skills of Students with Behavioral Problems
                                       A Review of Literature
                                         Catherine Balmeo

                      Positive Reinforcement A Behavioral Management Strategy
Does positive reinforcement improve social skills of third grade students with behavioral
disability? Strategies to use to improve the students with behavior disability are often a concern
for almost all teachers. Safe and conducive classroom environment depends on how the teachers
can effectively address the students’ behavioral issues to ensure that learning is happening for
each individual learner. Researchers have found out that positive reinforcement is one of the
behavior management strategies that work in helping the students with behavioral
disability. Teachers need to be equipped with techniques on how to manage the students’
behavior to ensure that students achieve the high learning expectations for each individual learner
in the classroom.
Maag, J.W. (2001) stated that “ Managing students’ challenging behaviors effectively will continue
to be a frustrating endeavor until teachers view misbehavior as an opportunity for increasing
positive social interaction rather than being something to be punished”(p.182). Educators need to
plan a strategy that is positively proactive in managing the challenging behavior rather than be
reactive to the misbehavior. Being proactive always anticipates misbehavior thereby the teacher
can be ready to positively address the behavior even before it occurs. Positive reinforcement
requires planning for it to be efficient and effective. It is necessary to plan the positive
reinforcement strategies in order to maintain a positive classroom environment. Positive
classroom environment ensures that individual learners achieve high learning expectation because
the students and teachers feel safe and secure in their interaction with each other without the fear
of being interrupted by a disrupted behavior.
                             Standard Practice of Behavior Intervention Plan
Educators have long been aware of the needs of the students with behavioral needs. They have
always tried to find ways to address the issue on the effective behavior management to help
teachers manage the students’ behavior that will pave the way to a safe and conducive learning
environment. Killu, K., Weber, K.P., Derby, & K.M., Barretto, A. (2006) conducted a research that
focused on finding out the standard practice in implementing the Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)
for each student with behavioral needs. The result of the research states that though (Individual
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to make and implement a Behavior
Intervention Plan based on the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) for students
with behavioral needs, still many schools fail to comply with the mandate. The school personnel in
different states receive different trainings in implementing the Positive Behavioral Support (PBS)
for each student with behavioral needs. This finding showed that the lack of standard guidelines in
using the BIP’s/PBSPs can lead to ineffective use of the positive behavioral interventions. “The
purpose of developing BIPs/PBSPs is to be proactive in the treatment of an individual with
behavioral problem and not as a reactive measure to deal with problem behaviors of students with
behavioral needs” (Killu, et al, 2006).
Moreover, Gable, R.A., Quinn, M.M., Rutherford, R.B., & Howell, K. (1999) states that in order for
the Behavioral Intervention Plan/Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports to be proactive,
effective and appropriate to the students’ behavioral needs, the BIPs/PBIS should be based on the
completed Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA). This is very important because no individual
has the same severity of behavioral problem. The cause of each individual student’s behavioral
problem also varies depending on the student’s emotional need. The ultimate goal of the FBA is to
tailor-make an appropriate plan that will benefit the student. A BIP can also elicit appropriate and
socially accepted behavior from the students if it is based on the accepted FBA. The success of the
intervention depends on the interrelation of the FBA, BIP and PBIS in working towards the
improvement of the maladaptive behavior.
                           The Importance of Behavior Management
Teachers’ main concern is to help the students attain their optimum level of performance in all
content areas of learning. Teachers can only achieve this goal when they are able to manage the
students’ behavior in the classroom. Behavior management is also needed to effectively deliver
the lessons to ensure that each individual learner in the classroom is learning. Danielson stated
that (2007), “a teacher’s skill in managing student behavior can only be observed in the
classroom” (p.73). Thus, teachers should be equipped with techniques on how to manage the
students’ behavior to ensure that students are performing successfully in school.
                                Self- Monitoring Technique
One of the positive intervention plans that can best apply to students with behavioral needs is the
use of self-monitoring technique wherein the students are the one in-charge of tracking their own
behavior. Ganz (2008) noted that this type of intervention is applicable to all types of learners
with and without behavioral problems. This is also efficient and less time consuming on the part of
the teacher. Among the steps that need to be followed is to identify the targeted behavior and
decide on the possible reward that will best motivate the students to work towards the desired
behavior. The success of this strategy depends on the reward that the students will receive. It
would be best to start small goals for students to feel successful. In doing so, the students’ self-
confidence is also being reinforced enough to focus their interest in achieving the acceptable and
appropriate behavior. According to Ganz, data collection is also important to this type of positive
intervention plan in order to monitor the effectiveness of the program. Varying the reward is
necessary too to ensure the motivating factor for the students to keep on working towards the
desired appropriate and socially acceptable behavior.
                                     Implications for Research
Strong evidence showed that the use of positive intervention plan is very much effective in
molding the students to appropriately behave in the way that can be beneficial to self and to
others. It is important to note that in order for the intervention to be successful, adherence to
IDEA’s mandate be strongly followed. IDEA requires all schools to establish a sound FBA to serve
as a strong foundation to which BIPs would be built upon to ensure the success of the program.
Researches also pointed out that one of the teachers’ responsibilities is to manage the students’
behavior to ensure that the high learning expectations for all individual learners are being met.The
review of literature on the effects of positive reinforcement to the students with behavioral
disability showed that there is a need to develop standard behavioral plan using positive
reinforcement as a strategy. Based on research, positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in
modifying a student’s maladaptive behavior provided that the personnel involve in implementing
the positive reinforcement as a strategy has received standard training to ensure the effectiveness
of the program

Danielson, Charlotte.(2007).Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching
[2nd edition]. Alexandria, Virginia: ASCD
Gable, R.A. et al.(1999). Addressing Problem Behaviors in Schools:Use of Functional Assessments
and Behavior Intervention Plans. Preventing School Failure,42(3),106-
119. http://web.ebscohost.comezp.waldenulibrary.org
Ganz, Jennifer. (2008).Self-Monitoring Across Age and Ability Levels: Teaching Students to
Implement Their Own Positive Behavioral Interventions. Heldref
Publication. http://web.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org
Killu,K.et al.(2006). Behavior Intervention Planning and Implementation of Positive Behavioral
Support Plans: An Examination of States’ Adherence to Standards for Practice. Journal of Positive
Behavior Interventions,8(4),195-200.
Maag, J.W.(2001).Rewarded by Punishment: Reflections on the Disuse of Positive Reinforcement in
Schools. Exceptional Children 67(2),173-181.

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