Case Study 1:
While going through the case study 1, it becomes evident that Doug is an intelligent, creative, and adventurous child who is bound by his fear of beginning or starting an assignment. The foremost option in Doug’s case would be to deal with him by applying the principles of choice making. We know that Doug is limited by his learning disability, but he is confident in the usage of a computer. Therefore, a mixed strategy of providing him with work that can be done on the computer should be implemented. This process will allow him to choose from written work and typed work. If the mechanism does not capture the interest of Doug, then contingent instructions strategy can be employed. As Doug requires straightforward and direct instructions from the higher authorities to complete his work; therefore specific sentences should be tailored to stop him with playing and becoming involved with the work (on the computer) should be given. Private and hushed means of delivering the message to Doug will be more effective than saying out loud in front of the whole class, which might make him uncomfortable (Abramowitz et al., 1988). While delivering the message to Doug, his toys and distracting elements should be taken away. The teacher can say, “Doug! Please put away your Legos and start working on your computer assignment.” The tone of the teacher should be firm, and the process should be repeated several times.
After the initial steps, the teacher can resort to the strategies of criterion-specific rewards, to deeply instill in the mind of the child that he will be rewarded for his actions that comply with the instructions of the teacher (Curran et. al., 2003). The incentives for Doug can either be playing with some special kind of Legos, robots or other video games on the computer after the completion of his class work. This strategy is in concurrence with the rules and norms of psychology, which states dogmas of reinforcement for strengthening particular habits. When harmful habits are to be taken away, then the reinforcing factor shall be taken away to form a new habit for the affected individual. All the suggested reinforcements are readily available in the classroom. They also facilitate the recording of measurable outcomes resulting from the application of criterion-specific reward strategy. The teacher can allow Doug to select his means of reward, which will most definitely revolve around the above-mentioned options. Until the student develops the habit of working on his assignments, the mode of operation should be continued (Kameenui et al., 1995). Measurements about the efficacy of the activities can be noted in the interactions of the children as well as input from parents should be taken. It is also necessary to state in front of Doug the reason for what he is being rewarded. Teachers should also beware of manipulative methodologies employed by students to get a free pass. The intensity of assignments can be increased, but rewards should also be increased proportionately.
Case Study 2:
The case of Ellie is complicated by the fact that she has relocated from a region to a new locality. The probable reasons for Ellie’s behavior might include her fondness for friends made in the previous school or missing the former residence region in general. First of all, the teacher needs to understand that Ellie is at the beginning of her teenage transition period, which makes all adolescents either quirky or docile. Teachers should also take into account the fact that it might not be the first instance of Ellie’s relocation, which should be immediately confirmed by the parents. From the behavior of Ellie, it can be inferred that the relocation is taking place for the first time. Had it taken more than once, then Ellie would have become indifferent towards the incident rather than reacting out. However, the teacher should proceed with extreme caution to minimize the triggering of any other psychological issue for Ellie.
First of all, the teacher should adopt the group contingency mechanism to ensure Ellie’s involvement. By identifying one of the strong areas of Ellie either academically or personally, the teacher can employ the dependent type of group contingency. By praising Ellie regarding her docile nature, the teacher can highlight the level of expectancy from other students as well. Ellie’s behavior of behaving appropriately in the class can earn her and her classmates fifteen minutes of free time in the class. This episode will generate a favorable picture of Ellie in the mind of her contemporaries, as they gain a gift due to her. They will then try to contact her or become friends with her due to the subconscious realization that she has earned something for the entire class. Nevertheless, special care should be taken to choose the appropriate criteria or skill of the student; otherwise, she might end up being more isolated (Gresham & Gresham, 1982).
Surely, the right kind of person will get through to Ellie.
Once a contact between Ellie and her classmates has been established, another dependent contingency behavior can be adopted for the student who has opened up to Ellie (Curran et. al., 2003). Likewise, the teacher can also reward Ellie and the entire class for opening up in another manner, to reinforce the habit in Ellie. The teacher should not communicate the plan with any of the students to generate a natural response rather than an artificial interest in Ellie. Data should be collected on the efficiency of the plan, by observing the change in the behavior of Ellie. If she has become a participant in class activities, then the remedy is successful. If not, then an additional procedure of specific praise should also be imposed. Appraising and commenting on small feats of courage by Ellie should be highlighted in front of the entire class. The teacher can also personally request her to develop habits of interacting with the class or to utilize her constructive academic skills in the class. Another mechanism can be to make Ellie tutor a classmate who is weak in a particular domain, which is a strong talent of Ellie.
Abramowitz, A. J., O’Leary, S. G., & Futtersak, M. W. (1988). The relative impact of long and short reprimands on children’s off-task behavior in the classroom. Behavior Therapy, 19, 243–247
Kameenui, E. J., & Darch, C. B. (1995). Instructional classroom management: A proactive approach to behavior management. White Plains, NY: Longman
Curran, C., & the IRIS Center. (2003), Encouraging appropriate behavior. Retrieved from http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/wp-content/uploads/pdf_case_studies/ics_encappbeh.pdf
Gresham, F. M., & Gresham, G. N. (1982). Interdependent, dependent, and independent group contingencies for controlling disruptive behavior. The Journal of Special Education, 16, 101–110