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The effects of “tootling” on a 4 th grade all boys class. A research study on positive reinforcement vs. negative reinforcement in regards to class productivity.

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Presentation on theme: "The effects of “tootling” on a 4 th grade all boys class. A research study on positive reinforcement vs. negative reinforcement in regards to class productivity."— Presentation transcript:

1 The effects of “tootling” on a 4 th grade all boys class. A research study on positive reinforcement vs. negative reinforcement in regards to class productivity and general classroom behavior. Patrick Attio

2 Table of Contents Rationale Experimental Design Threats to Internal Validity Threats to External Validity Proposed Data Analysis References Appendix

3 Rationale I have been working administering Title 1 services to 4 th graders in an all boys Yeshiva in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York. These classes have no more than 10 students. I have noticed that a lot of time is wasted with simple behavioral issues. Generally these undesired behaviors are calling out or speaking out of turn. My goal in this Action Research is to find a better way to limiting these outbursts and the time that they take away from instruction. More specifically, I indeed to look at positive reinforcement vs. negative reinforcement. Instead of saying “Don’t do that” or “Please stop and sit correctly” I intend to find positive examples of the desired behaviors in the classroom, “I like how nicely Student 1 is sitting”. I will not acknowledge the undesired behavior and only acknowledge desired behavior in the hopes that this encourages everyone to act in a desired way and limit the amount of outbursts and time lost from instruction due to undesired behaviors.

4 Experimental Design  Experimental Desgin – One-Shot Case Study  Symbolic Design – XO  Experimental group of 10 4 th grade boys will be given the intervention (X) and observations will be recorded in the two week period there-after.  Pre-survey and Post-surveys to understand and measure change in the student’s feelings towards: school; behavior; respect, etc.  Observe and record events of undesired behaviors for 2 weeks. Address those behaviors as they occur; negatively reinforcing them.  Observe and record events of undesired behaviors for 2 weeks. Do not address those behaviors directly. Instead find a positive example of desired behavior in the class and give him a compliment.  Compare the amount of events of undesired behavior between the two methods. Also compare the amount of class-time lost from these undesired behaviors with each method.

5 Threats to Internal Validity History - After school program is from Children may be restless - This is in a Yeshiva which has a culture that I am not familiar with Instrumentation - The surveys will be created by myself and not have been tested before. - My own experience as a teacher Mortality - Students may be absent. - Absentee records will be kept to see if there is a correlation between an absent party and the behavior exhibited. Statistical Regression - The mood of the students or time of day may effect the data recorded. Differential Selection of Subjects - All students will be male and come from a religious background. Selection-Maturation Rate - Different students will have different levels of maturity. - Outbursts may be caused by restlessness or the inability to be still for prolonged periods of time.

6 Threats to External Validity Selection Treatment Interaction - The results of the study can be generalized however results are not guaranteed. Specificity of Variables - All boys school - Yeshiva school (Religious) - Time of day 4-5:30pm Multiple Treatment - Dependent on student. If the student has gotten used to the positive reinforcement if is up to him or her whether it is something to still be sought out or something that has become boring. Treatment Diffusion - If a student sees that another student is receiving praise, that student may be better behaved because he or she wants the same praise. Experimenter Effects - Experience level of the Instructor in classroom management - Relationships built with their respective students Reactive Arrangement/Participant Effects - Hawthorne Effect - If the students are aware that their behavior is being evaluated they may act differently. - Compensatory rivalry effect - Each student potentially will want praise so they will be trying to work and behave better than their peers which, would help the study to reach a positive conclusion. - High novelty effect - Depending on teacher bias. A student that is continually behaving admirably and receiving positive reinforcement may see it as a norm for him and may no longer feel that he or she needs to practice good or pro- social behavior to receive praise.

7 Correlations and trends between students feelings and parent’s feelings Correlations Interpretation of Data According to this data, there is a correlation between whether students listening to their parents will mean that they will also listen to their teachers however, since some students do not listen to their parents they do not listen to their teachers either. There is a correlation of.354 (rounded).

8 Correlations (Continued) Correlations Interpretation of Data The data shows a negative Correlation of (rounded) however, I believe that that this shows that there is a connections between a students respect for their classmates and their willingness to listen to them. There were a few outliners which may have skewed the data.

9 The change of feelings on the Pre and Post Survey Questions Change of Feelings Interpretation of Data There is a definitely change in the feelings of students towards how they feel about listening to their classmates. Many more agree and strongly agree while only one is still neutral on the matter

10 The change of feelings on the Pre and Post Survey Questions (Continued) Change of Feelings Interpretation of Data There is a definitely change in the feelings of students towards how they feel about listening to their classmates. Many more strongly agree (70% post as compared to 20% prior) while only one is still neutral on the matter

11 Sample Mean – Disruptions in the classroom before and after Analysis of Data Prior to the intervention I was addressing undesired behaviors as in “Please stop that… please sit correctly” and so on. During this time, there were an average of 8 disruptions during each class which resulted in an average of 5 minutes taken away from class time. During the intervention I was only addressing the desired behaviors via positive examples that other students were demonstrating in the classroom. Instead of “Please stop that… please sit correctly” it became “I like what Student A is doing” and, “I love how beautifully Student C is sitting”. During this time there were on average 4 disruptions for each class. Which is a 50% decrease from the previous method. However, I found that addressing the positive behavior made students respond quicker. They wanted the same compliment that the example of good behavior was getting. Less time was long with each disruption and more time was devoted to learning as opposed to reprimands and discussions on behavior.

12 Sample Mean – Disruptions in the classroom before and after Interpretation of the Data Interpretation of the Data Prior – 8 disruptions and 5 minutes of class time lost on average. During – 4 disruptions and 2 minutes of class time lost on average. The intervention yielded a 50% decrease in the average amount of disruptions in each class and also decreased the amount of time wasted addressing undesired behavior by 60%. Based on these findings, the intervention was a success and demonstrates that positive reinforcement gains the attention of students quicker and encourages them to demonstrate the correct behavior because, they desire the compliment or acknowledgement of doing something right.

13 References O’Connor-Petruso, S. (2010). Descriptive Statistics Threats to Validity [PowerPoint sildes]. Retrieved from Pictures from:


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