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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51423 Find in a Library
Title: BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION IN AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - PROBLEMS AND ISSUES
Journal: PHI DELTA KAPPAN  Dated:(JANUARY 1978)  Pages:334-338
Author(s): R ELARDO
Corporate Author: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation
Bloomington, IN 47401
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A 1-YEAR EXPERIMENT WITH A TOKEN ECONOMY APPROACH TO HANDLING DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS IN A LITTLE ROCK, ARK., ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IS DESCRIBED.
Abstract: THE PURPOSE OF THE EXPERIMENT WAS TO PROVIDE TEACHERS WITH AN ALTERNATIVE TO CORPORAL PUNISHMENT. A TOKEN SYSTEM WAS ADOPTED FOR THE ENTIRE SCHOOL, GRADES 1 THROUGH 5. CLASS RULES WERE DISCUSSED WITH THE STUDENTS ON THE FIRST MORNING OF SCHOOL. THE CHILDREN WERE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP DETERMINE WHAT TYPE OF BEHAVIOR WAS ACCEPTABLE IN THE CLASSROOM, AND THE TOKEN SYSTEM WAS EXPLAINED. UNDER THE SYSTEM, A CHILD MAY EARN UP TO 14 TOKENS FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR AND GOOD ACADEMIC WORK. A CHILD MAY ALSO RECEIVE PENALTIES (TICKETS) FOR MISBEHAVIOR AT LUNCH AND RECESS. THE PRINCIPAL TALKS WITH THE PENALIZED CHILD TO DECIDE HOW MANY TOKENS THE CHILD MUST GIVE UP FOR A GIVEN OFFENSE. TOKENS ARE DEPOSITED IN A 'BANK' AND MAY BE EXCHANGED FOR TICKETS TO PARTICIPATE IN SPECIAL ACTIVITIES (PARTIES, SEWING LESSONS, FIELD TRIPS, ETC.). PRICES FOR THE ACTIVITIES ARE POSTED NEAR THE BANK. CHILDREN WHO DO NOT EARN ENOUGH TOKENS TO BUY ACTIVITY TICKETS SPEND THE TWO WEEKLY SPECIAL ACTIVITY PERIODS IN A QUIET 'HELPING ROOM.' THERE WERE SOME PROBLEMS IN IMPLEMENTING THE SYSTEM. FOR EXAMPLE, SOME STUDENTS HURRIEDLY GATHERED MANY TOKENS AND THEN MISBEHAVED AT WILL. WHEN TEACHERS CHANGED THE RULES IN ORDER TO DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM, THE STUDENTS OBJECTED. IN THE COURSE OF THE YEAR, THE OLDER STUDENTS BECAME ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN RUNNING THE SYSTEM AND IN SETTING RULES. MORE BASIC PROBLEMS HAD TO DO WITH OPPOSITION TO THE PHILOSOPHY OF REWARD, DIFFICULTIES IN USING THE SAME SYSTEM FOR ALL GRADES, INCONSISTENCIES IN TEACHER PARTICIPATION, EVALUATION ISSUES, AND DIFFICULTIES IN HANDLING THE MORE SEVERE DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS. THE EXPERIMENT POINTS TO THE NEED FOR MORE STUDIES OF THE ACTUAL IMPLEMENTATION OF BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION TECHNIQUES IN NATURAL SETTINGS. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Arkansas; Behavior modification; Discipline; Elementary school education; Students; Token economies
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51423

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