Classroom-Based Interventions for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Joseph Wehby Associate Professor Special Education, Peabody College Overview Interaction patterns in classrooms Child effects on adult teaching behaviors Academic problems associated with emotional/behavioral disorders Recommend treatment of emotional/behavioral disorders in classrooms Classroom instruction for students with EBD Several descriptive studies on children with or at-risk for EBD have shown that teacher behavior may occasion and maintain some of the problem behaviors that are characteristic of these children. Descriptive Classrooms Studies of Children with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Less than 2 praise statements per hour More engaged students received more positive teacher behaviors, less engaged students received more neglect and coercion from teachers, and were treated with less consistency Twice a many negative statement to students with or at-risk for EBD Over sixty percent of “to do” statements are social in nature High risk students received more reprimands, more behavior requests, and few opportunities to respond academically Students rated as aggressive are twice as likely to receive reprimands following inappropriate classroom behavior Compared to students with EBD, students without EBD are treated less harshly when committing similar behavioral offenses. Child Effect on Adult Behavior In effective schools literature, practices highlight the role teacher plays in directing students. This adult focus suggests that children play a passive role in these interactions. However, research has shown that children may actively influence the behavior of adults. An Emerging Model of Deprivation within Classrooms Students with emotional and behavioral disorders enter school with poor self-control, inadequate social skills, and above average levels of inappropriate behavior. Current classroom interactions focus primarily on behavior (not academics); however, this focus is typically punitive and somewhat inconsistent. When interactions occur, most often around nonacademic issues. Instructional interactions the teachers do initiate often involved less challenging tasks that typically elicited lower levels of student problem behavior. Correct academic responses by a student does not occasion teacher praise above chance levels. Curriculum of “non-instruction”. This deprivation model suggest that a molar perspective of the causes of classroom misbehavior should be incorporated within the more tradition molecular focus by looking at generalized patterns of teacher-student interactions. A molar perspective assumes the need for assessing the relation between problem behaviors and events that may be seemingly unrelated (at least on a temporal basis). How do children who exhibit significant behavior problems behavior respond when more consistent and appropriate teacher interactions occur? Behavior Toward Peers During Class 0.6 0.5 0.4 Teacher Instruction On 0.3 Teacher Instruction Off 0.2 0.1 0 Negative Behavior Negative Verbal Social Talk Academic Behaviors 0.6 0.5 0.4 Teacher Instruction On 0.3 Teacher Instruction Off 0.2 0.1 0 Compliance Academic Questions Instructional Talk Hand-raises Child Removal It appears that one solution to addressing the relationship between school performance and students with EBD is to change the nature of teacherstudent interaction patterns within classrooms. Instructional Interactions Teaching Behaviors Targeted for Intervention Instructional Talk Opportunities to respond Feedback Contingent Praise Opportunities to Respond Studies indicate increased OTR leads to increased academic outcomes increased task engagement decreased inappropriate behavior Teacher Praise Studies indicate increased praise leads to increased academic outcomes increased task engagement decreased inappropriate behavior It has been suggested that ratios of praise to reprimands should range from 3:1 to 4:1 Descriptive research indicates ratios of praise to reprimands of 1:2 to 1:4 Possible Solutions Determine ways to help teachers monitor their instructional behavior toward students who engage in problem behavior. Self-Evaluation Prediction Sharing of observed rates of praise. Examples of effective praise. Training Goal setting. Total Praise 2 Mean TP per min Treatment No Treatment 1.5 1 0.5 0 Pretreatment Treatment Time (phase) Maintenance Total OTR 2.5 Treatment No Treatment Mean TOTR per min 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 Pretreatment Treatment Time (phase) Maintenance Students’ Correct Responses 2 Mean CR per min Treatment No Treatment 1.5 1 0.5 0 Pretreatment Treatment Time (phase) Maintenance Academic Characteristics of Students with EBD Relationship between behavioral problems and academic underachievement has been well documented in research literature Prognosis for students who have both behavioral and learning problems is extremely poor; they experience school failure and drop out of school at much higher rates than any other disability group Ineffective Classrooms As a Cause of Antisocial Behavior Academic failure leads to little reinforcement for students. School begins to take on aversive properties. Increase in negative behavior. Students influence teacher instructional behavior If this cycle continues, may lead to more delinquent acts and school failure or dropout. With increased academic standards, an increasing number of children who are at-risk for academic problems may show problem behavior. Overemphasis on behavior control Teacher reliance on ineffective strategies Inadequate teacher preparation and support Lack of an effective on academic instruction Conclusions from Classroom Interactions Research It seems clear that children with emotional/behavioral disorders actively influence the behavior of adults in classrooms. Yet, when appropriate adult instructional patterns are observed, students seem to engage in higher levels of engagement and lower levels of inappropriate behavior. An unanswered question is what levels of support are needed to maintain ‘good teaching’ when working with students who display emotional/behavioral disorders. Keys to Effective Support Early intervention is key, before behavioral and academic deficits become too pronounced. Target both child and adult behavior in order to promote development and maintenance of new skills. Emphasize the importance of addressing both academic and social behaviors simultaneously. Provide ongoing support for both teachers and students. Increase the frequency of critical teaching behaviors like praise and opportunities to respond. Interventions should be comprehensive. Vanderbilt Behavior Research Center The purpose of the project is to focus on assessing the impact of a classroom- and teacher-focused intervention. More specifically, using research sites across three states, random assignment of participants, and multiple behavioral and academic measures, we will assess the impact of an empirically-valid classroom management program supplemented with teacher self-evaluation, a group contingency reinforcement system, and academic tutoring on the social and academic performance of students identified as having emotional and behavioral disorders. Intervention Components Classroom Organization and Management Program (COMP) Teacher Self-Monitoring Good Behavior Game 3-5 hours of behavior consultant in classrooms each week. Reading tutoring 3 times per week Vanderbilt Behavior Research Center Vanderbilt University Virginia Commonwealth University University of Minnesota Participants 90 elementary and special education classrooms. 217 elementary age students 67 1st graders 81 2nd graders 69 3rd graders 83 students identified as at-risk 134 students receiving special education students for behavior problems (e.g. emotional disturbance, learning disabilities, mild mental retardation) VBRC Intervention is designed to last 12 months Assessment will take place at 5 time points plus a 1 year follow-up. Data will include evaluation of intervention for sample as a whole as well as special education classrooms versus general education classrooms.