Title

Reinforcement Interventions for Title I Schools: Realistic Practices for Classroom Behavior and Academic Achievement

First Presenter's Institution

Valdosta State University

Second Presenter's Institution

Valdosta State University

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

The use of the Common Core State Standards is widespread within the United States today. Standardized curricula require standardized academic and behavioral interventions that will meet the needs of all students, especially youth at risk within Title I middle schools. Those who are underrepresented and marginalized within the United States are more likely to receive a disproportionate amount of suspensions and classroom referrals (U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, 2014). This includes those students who receive special education services in public schools, which is approximately 13% of the U.S. population (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2016). Research into practical strategies for students’ success is an ongoing necessity in order to meet the demands of a changing world. This is essential for strategies involving the use of reinforcement because there are contradictory results found within past research (Dreger, 2017).

This proposal will pertain to Strands I (Head) and II (Heart). It will discuss how reinforcement may be used to address the needs of students in Title I middle schools using the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Response to Intervention (RTI) frameworks. Furthermore, this presentation will emphasize a) differences in performance and behavior among reinforcement methods, b) differences in performance according to how groups create goals, and c) important experiences of students who participate in reinforcement systems. Strategies based on research and practicality will be compared, contrasted, and synthesized in order to determine the most reasonable approaches available for students at risk. This will enable educators to gain insightful information about how reinforcement can be utilized within the areas of academic performance, class behavior, goal development, and motivation.

Brief Program Description

The presentation will examine relevant research about reinforcement for youth at risk, particularly those who attend Title I middle schools. It will offer suggestions for educators based on past literature and current practices. This does involve an explanation of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods studies that address how this intervention strategy may benefit students personally and professionally.

Summary

There are key topics within the presentation that will be covered, if accepted:

  1. Feedback Schedules: There are feedback combinations that have been used within various research methodologies to provide motivation for students with problematic behaviors (Barringer & Gholson, 1979; Parish & Parish, 1991). There are research-based ratios as well as theories that need to be consistently applied in order for reinforcement to work. The 4:1 ratio, for instance, is available in past literature about PBIS (Knoster, 2014).
  2. Consequences: There can be consequences for behavior and scheduling options for those consequences. Educators must know what they are and how to monitor them. Examples of basic scheduling options are ratio schedules, interval schedules, and differential reinforcement schedules (Ferster & Skinner, 1957). They must also know how educational trends contradict the research that has been conducted. For instance, what is a punishment within traditional frameworks for reinforcement may not be considered punishment within an individual’s perspective (Maag, 2001). Students may have different responses to different reinforcers.
  3. Program Issues: There are important components to reinforcement systems that need to be satisfied in order for them to be relevant to educators and students (Dreger, 2017; McLaughlin, 1975). This includes effectiveness, affordability, school compatibility, manageability, and student approval.
  4. Program Examples: School systems have used reinforcement and still do to this day (Skinner, Williams, & Neddenriep, 2004). Instructional methods and possible instruments are defined and tied to achievement, motivation, and goal-setting. This can be applied to PBIS and RTI frameworks as well as alternative methods not discussed. There are possible solutions available within the literature and evidence-based practices. Handouts relevant to the presentation will be available for individuals who attend it. They will have key examples about the items discussed.

Evidence

Conceptual frameworks for reinforcement, behavior, and motivation can be developed from the theories of operant conditioning and goal theory. Research based on these theories would be described. Some current examples of reinforcement systems are ticket systems, point systems, and coin systems. Because equity is essential to current practices, it will be stressed that the effectiveness of one or more systems is dependent on students’ needs.

References

(Note: APA styling requires certain indentation for references. I have this in my original document, but it did not paste that way.)

Barringer, C., & Gholson, B. (1979). Effects of type and combination of feedback upon conceptual learning by children: Implications for research in academic learning. Review of Educational Research, 49(3), 459-478.

Dreger, K. C. (2017). Quasi-Experimental study of middle school tokens, behaviors, goals, preferences, and academic achievement (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10428/2831

Ferster, C. B., & Skinner, B. F. (1957). Schedules of reinforcement. New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc.

Knoster, T. P. (2014). The teacher's pocket guide for effective classroom management (2nded.). Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.

Maag, J. W. (2001). Rewarded by punishment: Reflections on the disuse of positive reinforcement in schools. Exceptional Children, 67(2), 173-186.

McLaughlin, T. F. (1975). The applicability of token reinforcement systems in public school systems. Psychology in the Schools, 12(1), 84–89.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). The condition of education. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/pdf/coe_cgg.pdf

Parish, J. G., & Parish, T. S. (1991). Rethinking conditioning strategies: Some tips on how educators can avoid “painting themselves into a corner.” Journal of Instructional Psychology, 18(3), 159-166.

Skinner, C. H., Williams, R. L., & Neddenriep, C. E. (2004). Using interdependent group-oriented reinforcement to enhance academic performance in general education classrooms. School Psychology Review, 33(3), 384-397.

U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. (2014, March). Data snapshot: School discipline (Issue Brief No. 1). Retrieved from Civil Rights Data Collection website: http://ocrdata.ed.gov/Downloads/CRDC-School-Discipline-Snapshot.pdf

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

William Truby, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at Valdosta State University in Curriculum, Leadership, and Technology. Prior to this new career, he was a K-12 educator for 43 years, including principal at all levels and a school system superintendent in Georgia.

Kelly Dreger, Ed.D. is a VSU Alumna with a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. Since 2008, she has been a GaPSC certified middle grades educator with teaching and professional experiences particularly within schools in southwest Georgia.

Keyword Descriptors

Reinforcement, Title I, Students At Risk, Middle School, PBIS, RTI, Classroom Behavior, Academic Achievement, Goal-Setting, Motivation

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

3-6-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

3-6-2018 5:30 PM

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Mar 6th, 4:00 PM Mar 6th, 5:30 PM

Reinforcement Interventions for Title I Schools: Realistic Practices for Classroom Behavior and Academic Achievement

The presentation will examine relevant research about reinforcement for youth at risk, particularly those who attend Title I middle schools. It will offer suggestions for educators based on past literature and current practices. This does involve an explanation of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods studies that address how this intervention strategy may benefit students personally and professionally.