In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are only consequences.- Robert B. Ingersoll
Behavioral Consequences Balance of positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior and logical consequences for inappropriate behavior Research shows that a combination of using positive reinforcement and logical consequences is more effective than either approach used alone
Consequences Key assumptions- Consequences are used as a pause to get our students’ attention. Consequences should be organized in a hierarchy, starting with the mildest first. Consequences teach students that they have the power of choice.
Consequences Consequences need to be: Related Respectful Reasonable - Nelson, 1985
Choosing an Appropriate Consequence Consequences should be arranged in a hierarchy: from a redirect, to a minor response, to a major response strategy. All consequences should: Be natural and/or logical Provide some wiggle room for the teacher Be specific and concrete
Natural Consequences Consequences that follow naturally from an event or situation. Places responsibility where it belongs- on the child. Require little or no involvement from the adult.
Logical Consequences Logical consequences are structured learning opportunities. Arranged by the adult, experienced by the student, and logically related to the situation or misbehavior. Have their greatest impact when they are immediate, consistent, temporary, and followed by a clean slate.
Wiggle Room for the Teacher Let students know your job is to do what will most help each student. Fair is not everyone getting the same thing. Fair is everyone getting what they need. Your response can vary slightly from student to student and from situation to situation.
Wiggle Room for the Teacher Having a hierarchy of consequences allows us to make professional judgment calls while still being consistent. Follow the PRIDE flow chart.
Be Specific and Concrete Consequences should be thought out in advance. Consequences should be behavioral in nature. Consequences should clearly delineate the actions that the student needs to take.
Implementing Consequences Be consistent! Move up the hierarchy from a redirect to a Major. Justifying the implementation of a consequence. Keep it short and simple! Watch the volume of your voice. Recognize appropriate behavior. Deliver a PRIDE paw ticket, as soon as possible.
Logical Consequences vs. Punishment LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES Teach Leave the child with feeling of control Use thinking words Provide choices within firm limits Are given with empathy Are tied to time and place of the infraction Are similar to what would happen to an adult in comparable situation Emphasizes what a student should do Teaches students to take responsibility for their choices Increases self-esteem PUNISHMENT Control Leaves the child feeling powerless Uses fighting words Demands compliance Is given with anger Is arbitrary Emphasizes what a students should NOT do Results in the student focusing on the adult rather than on their choices Decreases self-esteem
Punishment Risks Least effective response for reducing anti-social behaviors Provides short-term outcomes, but may not produce desired long-term outcomes Decreases positive attitudes-increases withdrawal, aggression, vandalism, truancy, tardiness, drop out rate
Risks of Misusing Negative Reinforcement Inadvertently reinforcing inappropriate behaviors Missing the opportunities to teach coping strategies and appropriate behaviors Losing the opportunity to understand why (function) the behavior occurred
How Positive Reinforcement Can Be Misused Providing a “reward” rather than a reinforcer. Inadvertently reinforcing the wrong behavior. Reinforcing a present behavior, rather than an intended (past) behavior. Providing too few reinforcers for too short of period of time.
It is possible, within the SAME interaction, for one person to be positively reinforced and another person to be negatively reinforced. Keep in Mind
Menu of Reinforcers Escape/Avoid-tasks, situations, people Physiological-food, touch Tangibles-stickers, money, tokens Closure-completing a task, end of the year Privileges-line leader, free time Social Status/Recognition-star student Attention-peer/adult, public/private Praise-adults, parents, teachers/staff, peers Belonging/Acceptance-individual, groups Intrinsic-self-satisfaction
Reinforcement Frequency-how often given? Variety-how many choices? Power-how desirable? Immediacy-how soon?
Rules for Using Positive Reinforcement Establish yourself as a reinforcer Be sincere Be simple and clear Tell people they are appreciated Avoid using “but” Don’t reinforce and punish or ask for more at the same time
Responding to Misbehavior Handle the misbehavior gently and in private Move toward the student in an aura of personal contact Develop non-verbal cues Direct student toward the desired behavior Direct consequence to the individual -Effective Strategies for Successful Teaching, Diana Browning Wright
When Consequences do not Work When students are not learning from the consequence, ask yourself: Was the consequence immediate? Was the consequence applied in a consistent manner? Was the consequence temporary in duration? Was the consequence followed by a clean slate and forgiveness?
Positive Reinforcement All of us adapt our behavior depending on how we are reinforced. Positive reinforcement encourages positive behavior. Extrinsic reinforcement may be needed until intrinsic reinforcement takes over. Allow students a choice of reinforcement. Only give reinforcement after it has been earned.
I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or dehumanized. - Hiam Ginott Teacher and Child 1976 Avon Books
“Since you change people everyday, make sure you change them for the better.” -Aubrey C. Daniels
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