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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Time-Out, Response Cost and Extinction: Three Teacher Interventions That Can Be Used To Manage Student Behavior

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices. In particular, behavioral psychology theorists and practitioners have observed that by giving or withdrawing certain positive, and/or negative reinforcers after a student’s behavior is emitted, that student’s behavior can be changed or modified.

The chart at the top of the post identifies several ways that teachers can modify a student’s behavior through manipulating the consequences. You can present something positive- (box 1), present something negative-(box 2), withdraw something positive-(box 3), or withdraw something negative-(box 4). The arrows indicate that behavior will either increase (i.e. arrow pointing up), or decrease (e.g. arrow pointing down).

In today’s post we will describe and give concrete examples of time-out, response cost and extinction.

Box 3 informs us that a teacher can WITHDRAW something POSITIVE from a student, after he or she had emitted some inappropriate behavior. The teacher can administer three different kinds of interventions: time-out, response cost, and extinction. These interventions tend to decrease student misbehavior, and thus you'll notice that the arrow points downward. The chart below will give more specific examples of these three teacher interventions.

On the next post we will explain and give concrete examples of the teacher interventions in box number two including physical punishment, logical, natural and unnatural consequences, and stimulus satiation.

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Richard D. Solomon's Blog on Mentoring Jewish Students and Teachers