Archive for the 'Press' Category

Help kids learn ABA

Sarah M. Teske wrote a delightful book called “Oh No, Henry” that tells a story about how a youngster employs behavioral procedures to teach his new puppy some important life skills. I was fortunate enough to pre-order it and got to read it just a couple of days ago.

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Talking about Behavior

If you haven’t done so already, take a little time to consume some of Jim Johnston’s blog. Although it’s related to his 2013 book by the same name, the blog provides bites that casual readers will find nourishing.

Teaching classroom management

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), a self-appointed group that generated quite a stir in 2006 with its report about reading education (“What Education Schools Aren’t Teaching About Reading–and What Elementary Teachers Aren’t Learning“), released a report about the absence of high-quality instruction in classroom management for prospective teachers in December of 2013: Training our teachers: Classroom management. Readers of Behavior Mod will likely find the report rather distressing, because it shows a glaring absence of tutelage in the use of behavioral principles in teaching.

The NCTQ identified five classroom management strategies that it considered especially valuable for students to acquire during their teacher preparation programs:

B mod on the Today Show

US television’s the Today Show carried a segment about child management featuring Alan Kazdin’s methods. The segment, called “Meltdown! How to tame your tot’s tantrum,” has two main parts. In the first, Matt Lauer describes some basic features of the parent management procedures, described in Professor Kazdin’s book, The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child while one sees brief video clips of a child tantruming, parents interacting with the child, Professor Kazdin discussing behavior management concepts, and a therapist talking with the parents and child. In the second part, Mr. Lauer and Michelle Borba discuss the ideas parent management (getting some of it right and making a few minor misstatements).

It’s marvelous to see that research-based practices are getting mainstream attention. Thanks for people with the background of Professor Kazdin, whom one might say cut his teeth with behavior analysis, we have prominent proponents of effective methods for parents and teachers. An important task is to get those methods into practice, to get them used (with fidelity). Taking to the airwaves offers potential for doing so. Professor Kazdin’s been actively disseminating the ideas via promotion of his book, as a perusal of his Web site will reveal.

I also see this spot as a good tool for teaching about behavior management. I plan to use this snippet in my classes. Of course, not everyone shares my enthusiasm, so I’ll probably pair it with some criticisms of the content. I found one in which a blogger rejected the idea of ignoring misbehavior: “Parenting through a tantrum.”

For more, see the the Yale Parenting Center site.

Pop and violence?

Regardless of whether you call it soda, pop, or a soft drink, do you think it might cause violent behavior? In “Does Soda Cause Violence? Teens who drink soda may be more likely to get into fights and act violently,” Emily Sohn of Discovery News goes pretty far along the path to answering in the affirmative.

Teenagers who drink lots of soft drinks get into more fights and carry more weapons than their peers who drink less, found a new study.

And while the study couldn’t determine whether soft drinks actually cause violence, the findings add to a growing — yet still controversial — body of research on the effects of nutrition on behavior.
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Kudos for Artie Tyler

Artie Tyler drives a bus in the Frederick (MD, US) area, just a bit northwest of Washington, DC. According to a feature story by Marge Neal of the Frederick News-Post, Mr. Tyler made a difference in the behavior of the students on his buses, taking over challenging routes and turning them into successful rides for the students.

Eight minutes isn’t a lot of time.

But in eight-minute blocks of time, school bus driver Artie Tyler completes his rounds for more than 50 Monocacy Elementary School students each morning and afternoon. He does more than drive — he goes the distance.

“Artie is part of our staff here at Monocacy,” said school Principal Jason Anderson. “He’s concerned not only about their safety to and from school but their academic well-being as well.”

When he took over the routes, he reported that there were fights and other problems. To solve them, it seems that Mr. Tyler hit upon one of the basic tenets of behavior management. He started catching the kids being good. In Ms. Neal’s report Mr. Tyler said, “I worked closely with the school—these people are awesome. We came up with an incentive program that seems to be working.” He provided rewards and gradually stretched the required time for earning them.

Here’s a “Way to go!” Mr. Tyler and the local schools there approached this matter the right way. I am so glad they didn’t adopt the more common approach of passing out office discipline referrals for misbehavior on the bus. Stamp this one with a great big “W” for “winner!”

Read Ms. Neal’s story, “Monocacy school bus driver turns students’ behavior around” from 11 March 2011.




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