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A comparison of feedback procedures on teachers' use of behavior support strategies and children's problem and alternative behaviors in preschool classrooms
h [electronic resource] /
by Jada Traub.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
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Thesis (MA)--University of South Florida, 2010.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two feedback procedures: written feedback and written feedback plus audio feedback on two teachers' use of behavior support strategies and two children's problem and alternative behaviors in two community preschool settings. A non-concurrent multiple-baseline design across teacher-child dyads with an A-B-C sequence was used to assess the effects of the feedback procedures on teacher and child target behaviors. A 10-second partial interval recording system was used to measure child target behaviors during 10-minute sessions and an event recording system to measure teacher use of strategies. The results indicated that the written feedback increased teachers' use of support strategies and reduced children's problem behaviors and increased alternative behaviors; however, the audio feedback with written feedback procedures further increased teachers' use of strategies resulting in further improvement in children's target behaviors. There was some evidence that teachers maintained their use of strategies without feedback procedures and generalized the use of strategies to non-targeted children.
Advisor: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair, Ph.D.
x Child & Family Studies
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
A Comparison of Feedback Preschool Classrooms by Jada Rae D. Traub A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Child and Family Studies College of Behavioral and Community Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Kwang Sun Cho Blair, Ph.D. Bobbie Vaughn, Ph.D. Frans v an H a aren Ph.D. Date of Approval: October 1, 2010 Keywords: teacher training, ge neralization, performance feedback, teacher skills, audio Copyright 2010 Jada Rae D. Traub
jhkllkjljlkjl Dedication I dedicated this manuscript to my family and research participants.
Acknowledgements I would like to acknowledge and thank my advisor, Dr. Kwang Sun Cho Blair for providing me with guidance and support thro ughout my thesis.
i Table of Contents List of Tables i i i List of Figures i v Abstract v Introduction 1 1 Targeted Teacher Skills and Measurement 3 Methods of Feedback 5 Graphical Feedback 5 Written Feedback 6 Feedback via Email 6 Ver bal Corrective Feedback 7 Audio Coaching through Wireless Devices 8 Timing an d Frequency of Feedback 9 Timing of Feedback 9 Frequency 10 Effectiveness of Performance Feedback 10 Generalization and Maintenance 11 Social Validity 12 Method 15 Participants 15 Setting 16 Materials 17 Behavioral Measures 18 Data collection an d Interobserver Agreement 20 Procedural Integrity 21 Social V alidity 22 Experimental Design 23 Procedures 23 Prebaseline 2 3 Baseline 26 Intervention 26 Phase 1: Written feedback 26 Phase 2: Written feedback plus audio feedback 27 Generalization Probes 28
ii Follow up 29 Results 30 Teac 30 Generalization 31 and Alternative Behaviors 31 Social Validity 32 Discussio n 34 Limitat ion and Future Research 37 References 40
iii List of Table s Table 1 Operational d efinitions of target strategie s 19 Table 2 Mean percent of interobserver agreement 21
iv List of Figures Figure 1. behavior. 33
v A BSTRACT The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two feedback procedures: tive behaviors in two community preschool settings. A non concurrent multiple baseline design across teacher child dyads with an A B C sequence was used to assess the effects of the feedback procedures on teacher and child target behaviors. A 10 second pa rtial interval recording system was used to measure child target behaviors during 10 minute sessions and an event recording system to measure teacher use of strategies. The results indicated that t he problem behaviors and increased alternative behaviors ; however, the audio feedback with further improvement target behaviors. There was some evidence that teachers maintained their use of strategies without feedback procedures and generalized the use of strategies to non targeted children.
1 Introduction In early childhood settings, there has been an increase in the number of children with emotional and behavioral problems. Lavigne et al. (1996) investigated prevalence rates for children with problem behavior, between the ages of 2 5. The authors reported 16% of children had Oppositional Deviant Disorder. They also reported that nearly 21% of pre school aged children were considered to have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. One reason for attention to problem behaviors of young children is that in many c ases the competence (Kaiser, 2007). Literature indicates that untreated early childhood problem behaviors are associated with substance use, unstable employment, and relation ship difficulties during adulthoods (McMahon, Wells, & Kotler, 2006) Although early intervention for children with behavioral challenges are imperative to prevent future problems, in general, the early childhood educators have limited formal trainin g to work with children who need individualized support (Hemmeter, Fox, Jack, & Broyles, 2007). Preschool teachers report that they are not prepared to address problem behaviors in their classrooms (Fox, Little, & Glen, 2001). As a result of the increase in problem behaviors, children are removed from pre school programs (Hemmeter et al., 2007). The children who have persistent problem behavior that interferes with their development and school success require individualized behavior support. They could b enefit from a behavior support plan based on functional behavioral assessment (Crone,
2 Hawken, & Bergstom, 2007). A behavior support plan (BSP) is intended to provide the child with an appropriate behavior to engage in that serves the same function as the i nappropriate behavior (Sanetti, Luiselli, & Handler, 2007). Also, the BSP includes strategies that manipulate antecedents responsible for problem behaviors to reduce the frequency of unwanted behaviors. The antecedent based, preventative strategies are im plemented to avoid problem behaviors, and a planned consequence is added to increase alternative behaviors while decreasing problem behavior (Blair, Bos, & Umbreit, 1999; Doggert, Edwards, Moore, Tingstrom, & Wilcyznski, 2001). In designing and implementin g the individualized BSP, it is essential for teachers to learn to identify the function of the problem behavior. Also, teachers need training in selecting appropriate preventative and response strategies and to implement the BSP correctly (Blair et al., 1 999; Crone, Hawken, & Bergrstrom, 2007; Schepis, Ownbey, Parsons, & Reid, 2000). However, trainings that consist of workshops have shown to be ineffective in bolstering treatment integrity (Kramer, Cook, Browning Wright, Mayer, & Wallace, 2008; Malone, Str aka, & Logan, 2000). The trainings with these formats do not provide opportunities for teachers to practice steps from the BSP and receive feedback on their performance. Studies have shown performance feedback to be successful in training teachers in the process of implementing behavior support plans (Codding, Livanis, Pace, & Vaca, 2008; DiGennard & Martens, 2007). Findings from studies suggest that performance feedback increases teacher skills, intervention implementation fidelity, and promotes early soc ial competence and communication skills in children with problem behaviors (Codding et al., 2008; Dignnard & Martens, 2007; Goodman et al., 2008; Noell, Witt, Gilbertoson, Rainer, & Freeland, 1997). Performance feedback can be delivered in
3 different ways. It can be delivered using verbal, written, or graphical method during an observation (Casey & Mcwilliam, 2008). Van Houten (1980) described essential elements that contribute to the effectiveness of feedback. Specific statements that inform the leaner wha t behaviors are correct or incorrect led to a greater rate of acquisition than general descriptions of the behavior. The author stated that the immediacy and frequency Althou gh performance feedback has been investigated in the literature, more research is needed to examine the efficacy of feedback procedures on changing teacher behavior in preschool settings. Targeted Teacher Skills and Measurement Performance feedback has be en used to increase various teacher instructional skills or decrease ineffective instructional behavior. For example, Rathel et al. (2008) and Reinke, Lewis Palmer, and Merrell (2008) targeted specific teacher behaviors, such as the frequency of praise and reprimands as the primary dependent variables. Stormont et correction training are o ther behaviors targeted for change (Casey & McWilliam, 2008). A naturalistic teaching strategy using incidental teaching has been found to be beneficial for children with developmental disabilities (Barton & Wolery, 2007; Daugherty, Grisham brown, & Hemmet er, 2001; Kaiser, Istrosky, & Alpert, 1993; Werts, & Holcombe, 1994). Incidental teaching has the potential to increase skills generalizing to other routines and ameliorates teacher and child interactions (Grisham Brown, Pretti Frontczak, Hemmeter,
4 & Ridgl ey, 2002). Casey and Mcwilliam (2008) used graphical feedback in an attempt to increase the frequency of incidental teaching among 21 lead and assistant teachers. Discrete trial training (DTT) is another teaching method that consists of the teachers deli vering instructions followed by prompting and immediate delivery of reinforces in a controlled setting. Downs, Downs, and Rau (2008) sought to increase DTT skills among pre service teachers by delivering feedback at the end of the session. Feedback was del ivered in the form of a treatment integrity checklist accompanied with praise and corrective statements. Scheeler and Lee (2002) also targeted DTT skills among pre service teachers. Performance feedback was delivered immediately through a wireless audio de vice. Also targeted for change was the percentage of treatment steps implemented correctly. Several authors measured the effects of performance feedback on teacher treatment fidelity though permanent products such as charts, completed assignments, and flashcards (Codding et al., 2008; DiGennaro et al., 2007; Gilbertson et al., 2007; Mortenson & Witt, 1998; Noell et al., 1997; Noell et al., 2000). A limitation with obtaining the percentage of treatment steps implemented correctly is a lack of objective measurement of teacher implementation (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2008). Other measurement methods have been used by researchers to evaluate the extent the intervention was implemented accurately. For instance, Jones, Wickstrom, and Friman (1997) used a di rect observational method of partial interval recording to gather data on treatment integrity. With this recording method, observers noted the extent the teacher accurately implemented the treatment steps in the set interval. Reinke, Lewis Palmer, and Mer rell (2008) monitored treatment integrity through self assessment. The
5 teacher gathered data on whether or not the treatment step was implemented. Self Methods of Feedback Perfo rmance feedback can be delivered in a variety of forms. The methods of feedback that have mostly been investigated in the literature include graphical, written or email, verbal corrective statements, and audio coaching through a wireless device. Graphica l f eedback. Graphical feedback has shown to be effective in changing teacher behavior (Casey & McWilliam, 2008; DiGennaro et al., 2007). With graphical feedback, teachers are given a visual representation of their behavior. The graph illustrates past behav ior that will function as an antecedent for reinforcement for future behavior. Prior to implementing graphical feedback, teachers are informed of the target behaviors and given opportunities during training to practice. In the study by Casey and McWilliam (2008), the teachers were provided with a graph with the frequency of incidental teachings along with verbal feedback. During this feedback session, consultants provided praise and corrective feedback. Noell et al. (1997) and Noell et al. (2000) provided teachers with graphical implementation. The visual representation of student performance has potential to reinforce teacher implementation of the BSP. Graphical feedback is provide d in addition to praise and corrective statements. Researches informed the teacher steps implemented incorrectly or missed. DiGennaro et al. (2007) examined the effects of graphic feedback on teacher behavior. This study had different phases. Phase one had goal setting and student performance feedback. During this phase, teachers selected a goal for the student.
6 All the phases in this study administered graphical feedback, but displaying different behaviors. Phase one graphical feedback reflected student pe rformance and phase two graphical feedback illustrated teacher performance. Written f eedback. DiGennaro et al. (2005) used a multiple baseline design across student teacher dyads to assess the effects of written feedback on treatment integrity among elem entary teachers. The written feedback informed the participants how accurately they implemented the interventions. However, the authors provided no information on the length or specific content of the written feedback. Jones, Wickstrom, and Friman (1997) t task behavior. The researchers used written feedback that contained information on the observation session. Specifically, the written feedback gave the percentage of time the student was on task and the percentage of treatment integrity steps implemented correctly. Results showed a significant increase in treatment integrity, but student on task behavior had small increases. Low rates of student behavior could have been a result of a poorly designed BSP Feedback via e mail. An effective tool for delivering feedback is through email. According to Barton and Wolery (2007), this method can potentially save time by minimizing the direct conversations between the consultant and consultee. Also, it is found to be an efficient tool for automatically keeping data for the consultant. Most importantly, feedback sent electronically is reported to increase communication between the consult ant and consultee. It sets the occasion for the consultee to ask questions that otherwise he might not have the opportunity to ask because of factors in the work setting. Rathel (2008) delivered performance feedback through e mails with monitoring graphs t o
7 elementary teachers. The authors used line graphs to illustrate the rate the teacher provided praise. Rathel, Drasgow, & Christle (2008) examined the effects of email feedback on verbal behaviors. In using email feedback, the researcher sent a graph illustrating a frequency count of positive verbal and non verbal behaviors. Each e mail sent h ad a greeting, praise, corrective feedback and an opportunity to ask questions. Researchers have used email to provide teachers with a variety of information about their performance. For example, in the study by Barton and Wolery (2007), the emails contain an opportunity at the end of the email to ask a question to facilitate dialog between the consultant and teacher. He mmeter et al. (in press) delivered e mail feedback to increase descriptive praise statement among four preschool teachers. The teacher participants typically received e mail messages within 24 hours of the observation, containing performance feedback with a web link to a descriptive praise video exemplar. The e mail included opening comment, supportive feedback, corrective feedback, planned actions, and closing comments. The teachers were directed to view a specific video clip of teachers using descriptive praise statements. Verbal corrective f eedback. In some of the studies, the researchers delivered verbal corrective feedback during the intervention session or provided feedback immediately following the session (Downs et al., 2008; Gilbertson, Witt, Lafleu r, Singletary, & VanDerHeyden, 2007). Mortenson and Witt (1998) provided praise to
8 elementary teachers for correct implementation of the behavior support plan. As well as corrective statement for treatment steps reported inaccurately. An opportunity to ask and answer questions regarding the behavior support plan was given during the meeting. Audio coaching through wireless d evices Immediate and corrective feedback can be delivered through a wireless device such as an FM radio. Audio coaching allows for th e researcher to conduct in situ assessments with minimum interruptions in the natural environment (Scheeler & Lee, 2002). Delivering feedback with this type of technology facilitates transfer of stimulus control to the participants at a faster rate as oppo se to having the researcher in the room delivering feedback in person (Oliver, 2008). Another advantage to this covert method is the participants will not practice incorrect responses. Since immediate corrective feedback will inform the participant of an e rror. When the error occurs the participant will immediately correct their behavior due to the feedback sent through the audio device (Goodman et al., 2008). prompts and praise to their child. In the training phase, the parent wore a wireless radio device while the researcher gave instructions to the parent to complete everyday activities. The purpose of this phase was for the participants to become acclimated to wearing the device and following directions without being able to communicate to the researcher. The participants were children with autism and their parents. The coach instructed the parent with the type of prompt to deliver and to praise the child for task completion. Corr ective feedback was also delivered at this time. Together the parent and researcher identified problematic daily routines in the home. These included, bath time,
9 tar get behavior n ecessary to complete the task. Another study (Scheeler & Lee, 2002) evaluated the effects of feedback delivered contingency trials completed. Traini ng consisted of role playing and modeling the behaviors involved in the delivery of this type of teaching strategy. Prior to receiving feedback on the use of the three term contingency, feedback was given to the participants on a novel teaching task. Durin g the intervention sessions, feedback was provided in short corrective statement with in 1 to 3 seconds of the target behavior. Goodman and his colleagues (2008) also used a wireless device to provide feedback to change the same teacher behavior. Although the researches referred to this behavior as a learned unit t rainings were similar to the above studies, in that, the participants wore the wireless device during unrelated activities from the intervention session and received feedback. Unlike Scheeler and Lee (2002), in this study the researcher and participants met briefly after the intervention session to review the lesson. This provided the participants with opportunities to ask questions and receive clarity on target behaviors. Timing and Frequency o f Feedback Timing of f eedback. The rate of acquisition is affected by the timing of feedback. Feedback immediately following the target behavior results in a higher rate of acquisition than feedback that is delayed (Van Houten, 1980). Given that, delayed feedback will not be delivered contingent upon the target behavior and unwittingly an incorrect response can be reinforced (Scheeler, Ruhl, & Mcafee, 2004). Delayed feedback was given following the sessions, prior to the sessions, or a few days after the sessions. The method
10 for delivering feedback varied across the studies, but the content was similar, in that, corrective statements were provided and praise was given for correct responses (Downs et al., 2008; Mortenson & Witt, 1998; Reinke et al., 2008;) In one study (Barton & Wolery, 2007). Feedback delivered via e mail was sent within 4 hours following the observation session. Although the time the teacher read the email ranged from the evening or the next day. The content of feedback was similar for studies that used delayed feedback. The researcher provided corrective statements and praise for correct responding Frequency. Another element that affects the rate of acquisition is the frequency of feedback. In general, feedback provided often results i n a high rate of teacher acquisition of instructional skills (Van Houten, 1980). Across the studies the frequency of feedback varied. In Gilbertson et al. (2007) the frequency and amount of feedback given by researchers was 4 5 days a week for 5 6 weeks. A similar frequency of feedback was used in Goodman et al. (2008) where feedback was given 3 5 days per week. In some studies, the frequency of feedback was provided once a week or daily. For the studies with daily feedback, the frequency usually corresp onds with how many interventions sessions were implemented (Casey & McWilliam, 2008; Goodman et al., 2008; Mortenson & Witt, 1998). Effectiveness of Performance Feedback Performance feedback resulted in behavior changes for teachers and students (Gilber tson et al., 2007; Mortenson & Witt, 1998; Reinke et al., 2008). Clearly, performance feedback was shown to consistently change behavior more than phases with no feedback. The teacher performance feedback implemented in several studies
11 (Goodman et al., 20 08; Noell et al., 1997; Reinke et al., 2008) demonstrated that the colleagues (2008 this can facilitate improved student behavior. Another study (Noell et al., 1997) that e valuated performance feedback to increase student and teacher behavior resulted in increases in academic performance of two of three students. Studies indicate that high treatment integrity will not necessarily result in high changes in student behavior ( Jones, Wickstrom, & Friman, 1997; DiGennaro et al.,2007). Mixed results were exhibited in Noell et al. (2000). Four of the had increased their percentage of correct re sponses. Therefore, researchers suggest that other variables besides teacher training should be examined in order to increase student behavior (Noell et al., 1997). Not all studies that implement performance feedback target both student and teacher behavio rs. Casey and Mcwilliam (2008) measured the effects of increased their use of incidental teaching. The outcomes of the intervention are unknown in regards to student behavior Generalization and Maintenance For performance feedback to be considered effective, behavioral skills must maintain across time, tasks, and settings (Stokes & Baer, 1977). Immediate feedback was given in Oliver (2008) to increase effective prompting an d praise among parents. The
12 generalization phase targeted routines that were not trained with the audio coaching and no feedback was provided in this phase. Generalization phase was assessed for 7 sessions each 10 days apart. All the participants had stabl e changes in their target behavior during the generalization phase. Response induction was evaluated in Barton and Wolery (2007). The researchers measured the generalization effects of feedback through email to determine whether the feedback procedure wou ld increase behaviors other than the dependent variables. Results indicated that the intervention did not increase untrained teacher behaviors. When determining the target behaviors to be trained, it is suggested that researchers access how similar the res ponse forms are from the trained skill to the untrained skill (Ingvarrsson & Hanley, 2006). To ensure response induction, researchers should use caution when selecting target behaviors. This is possible by training behaviors that closely resemble the untra ined skill. In response to this challenge, one factor that can impede this process is the topography of the desired behavior (Dennis & Harris, 1998) Social Validity To assess the extent to which the change agents find the intervention acceptable and pra ctical, studies used a rating scale (DiGennaro et al., 2007; Rathel et al., 2009; Scheeler & Lee, 2002). Feedback that was delivered through graphs, email, or audio headset was rated of high importance and effective by the participants in the studies. For example, Scheeler and Lee (2002) assessed social validity with a questionnaire. The participants were asked two questions; was receiving immediate feedback helpful and was the audio headset a distraction? Results indicated that all three participants rate d immediate feedback helpful and the audio headset was not a distraction. However, except
1 3 a few studies described above, most of the studies did not examine social validity. This is a limitation of the current literature. When social validity is assessed r esearchers receive feedback on their intervention which helps guide future practices. As discussed above, the method to delivering effective feedback can vary from graphs through a wireless device. However, very few studies compared different methods of p erformance feedback. Several researchers used written feedback in combination with graphs (DiGennaro, Martens, & McIntyre, 2005) or verbal feedback with modeling and rehearsal (Moore et al., 2001). Currently, it is not clear whether a particular feedback method is more effective than other methods or teacher support procedures in improving teacher skills or performance. To date, most of the studies on teacher performance feedback have been conducted in elementary school settings. Information about the eff ectiveness of the performance feedback in early childhood settings is limited (Casey & William, 2008). Considering the lack of training in the early childhood settings and the different classroom ecology from that of elementary school classrooms, research is needed to evaluate the effects of performance feedback in this particular setting. Furthermore, efficient and practical methods to deliver immediate feedback need to be explored in future studies as well. In addition, there is a need for studies that de termine whether teacher support though performance feedback is acceptable or socially valid in early childhood settings. Of particular concern with implementing intervention in the natural classroom setting is the ability of classroom teachers to generaliz e the intervention procedures or implementation skills to routines or activities that were not targeted for training or to non targeted children (Hundert, 2007). It is expected that changes in child behavior would be
14 observed during non targeted routines i f teachers could successfully generalize procedures or their skills to those non trained situations (Peck, Killen, & Baumgart, 1989). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two feedback procedures: written feedback and audio pl in two community early childhood programs. This study attempted to address the following questions: a) will the written feedback support strategies; b) will the additional audio feedback paired with the written feedback strategies to non targeted children; and d) will the feedback intervention result in changes
15 Method Participants The participants were two preschool aged children each served in two separate communities early childhood programs. C arl and Danielle were both 4 yrs old at the time of this study Carl and Danielle were identified as low income receiving public assistance for receiving services at the programs Both children were referred to us by the program directors due to their difficul ties in adjusting to their classrooms. Carl was African American and the oldest child of four children. He was reported to be typically developing. He was able to follow simple teacher directions and the sequence of classroom routines. However, he was o ften noncompliant ignoring teacher requests, engaged in aggression, and had difficulty engaging in activities. Danielle was Hispanic and an only child Danielle received 1.5 to 2 hours of speech therapy per week due to her language delay. She had difficul ty using verbal language to communicate. Her primary language was Spanish having parents with limited English proficiency. It was reported that she was scored as performing 1.5 SD below the mean on the total language score of the Preschool Language Scale F ourth Edition (PLS 4; Zimmerman, Steiner, & Pond, 2002) when she was accepted to her current Head Start program. She also engaged in aggression, non compliance, and off task behaviors She could perform simple routine requests and respond to the teacher wi th one or two words when requested to do so From
16 behavior appeared to be maintained by gaining teacher attention. was Danielle school teacher. Ms. Sara, age e as a pre school teacher. Teachers had no prior experience in receiving training on routine based behavior support for children with challenging behavior. They had earned a childhood development associate certificate and a high school diploma. Participat ion in this study was voluntary and teachers expressed an interest in receiving training and implementing routine based behavior support. Participants were recruited from two community early childhood programs where the program administrators indicated a w illingness to participate in the study. Setting This study took place in 2 classrooms in separate early childhood programs located in a large urban city Both classrooms were divided into different activity centers such as block, housekeeping, manipulative classroom had 20 children. She was employed by Head Start. The classroom had a full time assistant teacher. The assistant teacher was always present during the observation sessions and she was active with the targe t child. Baseline and intervention sessions were conducted during the transition from center time to lunch. This routine lasted approximately 10 minutes. Ms. Wendy often resulted to sternly giving instructions to gain compliance over the class and verbally reprimanding the students to get them to participate in the routine. The children were expected to clean up toys in their center area,
17 wait in line at th e sink, and wash their hands, and sit at the table to wait for the next instruction. Ms. Sara was employed by a full day child care center. Her classroom served 20 children but t he number of children in this classroom fluctuated depending on the availa bility of a teacher assistant When the teacher assistant was absent, she had 10 children. Ms. Sara usually did not have a teacher assistant in her classroom. On the days when the teacher assistant was in the classroom, the assistant had little involvemen t with the target child. Baseline and intervention sessions were conducted during center time Center time lasted approximately 40 minutes. The instruction style consisted of verbal reprimands, and time outs. Children were expected to play appropriately with toys, share, take turns with toys, and Materials The Creating Teaching Tools for Young Children with Challenging Behavior (TTYC; Vaughn, Lentini, Fox, & Blair, 2009) w as used to train teachers and help them develop and implement behavior support plans for participating children. The TTYC was designed to help teachers create behavior support plans for children with challenging behavior. The tool kit contains information to assist teachers in identifying the function of behaviors, creating preventative and response strategies for challenging behavior and information on teaching replacement behaviors for inappropriate behavior. Teaching Tools p rovides pre constructed routine based strategies originally housed on a CD that includes materials (e.g., tips, forms, guides, visuals) to be used as integrated parts of the behavior support plan. The Tools helps teachers select an array of strategies from 12
18 routines and activities based on simple routine based observations and monitor child progress over time using the simple observation tool. Behavioral Measures This study measured teacher and child problem and alternative behavior s For dyad 1 (Ms. Wendy and Daniell e ), teacher strategies included using transition cues, teaching self management skills, and providing verbal praise and reinforcement in the form of a sticker for task completion. Definitions of the st rategies are presented i n Table 1. Child problem behavior included aggression in the form of taking toys from peers, pushing, hitting, and yelling. Off task behavior was defined as playing with toys and wandering around the classroom. Non compliance behavior was defined as not f ollowing a teacher direction within 5 seconds. Teacher direction such as, compliance. Alternative behaviors included engagement in the routine and following directions. Engagement in the routine was defined as picking up toys by using one or two hands to pick up an item and place it in its designated area with a 3 second delay between each item waiting in line in front of the sink with hands to her side washing hands ( g etting soap, rubbing hands, and drying hands), and sitting at the table with hands to her side For dyad 2 (Ms. Sara and Carl), teacher strategies included the use of safety signals, positive reinforcement, redirection to alternative behaviors or activities, choices, and positive words Definitions of the strategies are presented in Table 1. Child problem behaviors included aggression in the form of hitting, kicking yelling, and throwing objects and off task Off task behavior was defined as wandering around the classroom
19 or outside of designated center area. Non compliant behavior was defined as not following a teacher direction within 5 seconds. Examples of direc tions given included Alternative behaviors included engagement in routine, sharing, making choices, and following directions. Engagement in routine was defined as staying inside designated center area and playing with toys or peers. Sharing was defined as giving a child or teacher an item spontaneously or when being prompted Making choices were defined as choosing a center activity from a choice board and go to the center chosen. Following directions was defined as student request within 5 seconds. Table 1 Operational definitions of target strategies Target Strategies Operational Definitions of Target Strategies Dyad 1 Transition cue Teacher gives a cue that it is time to start cleaning ( i.e., ring bell, turn light on off, use a visual cue) Teaching self management skills Teacher states the clean up goals at the beginning, middle, and end of the routine V erbal praise Providing positive statements that acknowledge the appropriate behavior or compl eting each transition task Tangible Reinforcement Teacher gives a sticker to the child contingent on completing transition tasks Dyad 2 Set ting timer Reminding child that when the timer goes off, then it will be his turn to pick a new center activity C hoices with pictures Providing choices between toys and center activities using pictures at the beginning of center time and when the child is ready to move to a different center Redirection Verbally p rompting the child to use an alternative behavior when the child ignores teacher directions and immediately delivering positive reinforcement for complying with the direction or demonstrating alternative behavior
20 Positive words Telling the child what to do instead of what not to do when reminding classroom expectations Reinforcement Providing positive statements that acknowledge the alternative or appropriate behavior and providing attention in the form of playing with the child Data C ollection and Interobserver Agreement A 10 second partial interval recording system was used during 10 minute sessions for child behaviors measured. The total number of intervals with problem behaviors were divided by the total number of interval (e.g., 60) and then multiplied by 100 to calculate the percentage of intervals for each target behavior An event recording method was used for of strategies during the 10 minute sessions. The percentage of correct use of strategies was measured by dividing the number of correct use of strategies by the total number of opportunities and multiplying by 100. Observers recorded the behaviors using a paper and pencil and a timer. Videotaping and subsequent coding occurred 100 % of the s essions. Two independent observers simultaneously viewed the videotaped sessions and independently Behavior Analysis program at the University of South Florida. The obs ervers practiced observations using videotaped segments of center and transition times until they reached at least 95% agreement on at least two consecutive sessions. Inter observer agreement (IOA) was calculated by using an exact count per interval IOA (number of intervals of 100% IOA/number of intervals x 100) for child behavior. A point by point IOA (number of correct incorrect agreement/total number of opportunities x 100) was used for teacher behavior. Mean interobserver agreements for
21 child and teacher target behaviors were obtained across the experimental conditions. In Table 2, the mean and the range of percent IOAs are presented for each dependent variable by pa rticipant and phase. Table 2 Mean percent of interobserver agreement Phases Ms. Wendy Ms. Sara Danielle Carl PB AB PB AB Baseline 100 100 87 (85 90) 90 ( 85 95) 85 (71 91) 94 (91 98) Written feedback 96 (89 100) 89 ( 87 92) 95.8 (95 96) 86 (83 96) 87 ( 81 93) 81 (76 86) Written feedback with audio feedback 96.6 (93 100) 94.5 ( 93 96) 89 (88 90) 89.5 (87 92) 96.5 (95 98) 90.5 (90 91) Generalization 92 (86 100) 93.75 (87 100) N/A N/A N/A N/A Follow up 100 87.5 ( 86 89) 91% 88% 89.5 ( 88 91) 88 ( 86 90) Procedural Integrity The researchers used an audio recorder to assess procedural integrity. The audio taped sessions were transcribed and analyzed by two observers. The observers recorded the number of steps addressed during each written feedback and audio feedback sessions by analyzing the transcripts. For the written feedback session, the implementation of the following 5steps were measured: (1) presented Ms. Wendy with the written feedback report, one hour after the session, on her strategy usage and the occurrence of the t arget the strategy usage and the child behavior immediately prior to the session), (2) reviewed
22 with the teacher percentages of strategies correctly used by the teac her, (3) reviewed the used correctly, and (5) provided corrective feedback by reviewing the summary of observations regarding each strategy missed or used incorrectly For the written feedback with audio feedback sessions, the implementation of the following 7 steps were measured: (1) prior to the session the researcher reviewed the list of the strategies to be used during target routine routines, (2) reviewed the wri tten feedback report and summary of examples, (3) had the teacher wear a headset, (4) delivered feedback statement when applicable, (5) gave a short statement reminding the teacher she missed an opportunity when the teacher missed an opportunity to use a target strategy, (6) provided a short praise statement when the teacher correctly implemented a strategy, and (7) gave a short corrective statement on the correct use of strategy when the teacher incorrectly implemented a strategy. Average procedural fi delity to each phase of feedback procedures was 100% across both teachers indicating that all feedback steps were correctly delivered in each session. IOA for procedural fidelity assessed by using a point by point method (item by item), was 100% for both teachers across phases. IOA was assessed for 100% of the sessions for d yad 1 and 70% of the sessions for dyad 2. Social Validity Social validity was measured by using an adapted Behavior Intervention Rating Scale (BIRS; Von Brock & Elliott, 1987) to asse ss the degree to which teachers found the feedback procedures acceptable, satisfactory, and effective. The adapted BIRS consisted of 24 items rated on a 6 point Likert type scale (see Appendix). Each teacher completed
23 the survey questionnaire during follow up. They were asked to return it via U.S. mail to the research staff. Experimental Design A multiple baseline design across teacher child dyads with an A B C sequence was used to assess the effects of the feedback procedures on child and teacher target behaviors. The experimental conditions consisted of (a) baseline, (b) written feedback, (c) written feedback plus audio feedback, and follow up. Procedures Prebaseline Prebaseline phase involved identifying target routines, target child behaviors, and f unctions of problem behavior. Teachers and the researcher identified problematic routines or activities that were most likely to be successful for intervention. Ms. Sara reported that Carl displayed problem behavior in the morning during the center time activities. He would yell, hit peers, run around the classroom, and not follow such or. time The researcher conducted one day, 2 hr observations to gather further information u sing a checklist, Events and Functions Associated with Problem Behavior provided in the TTYC manual (Vaughn et al., 2009) and an A B C observation form (Bijou, Peterson, & Ault, 1968). The results of the observations indicated that the problem behavior were gaining access to toys and teacher attention. His problem behavior occurred during situations when peers took or touched his toys and
24 when the teacher was not available or the teacher interacted with other children. His problem behavi or resulted in obtaining toys or teacher attention in the forms of being reprimanded or being placed in time out. When he ran around the classroom and threw toys at peers or in the air, his teacher responded with verbal reprimands and time outs. Ms. Wendy reported that Danielle had the most problem behavior in the morning transition time. She said her problem behavior was not listening to teacher directions, hitting, and yelling at peers. She identified peers in close proximity and teacher directions as antecedents for problem behavior. She reported that she responded to her problem behavior by removing her from her peers or making her complete the tasks. Observations using the same checklist and A B C form as used with Carl indicated that the perceived f reprimanded whe n engaged in problem behavior. It was observed that Ms. Wendy stood During this time, Danielle responded to teacher directions by playing, walking around the clas sroom, and told her peers to clean up. Occasionally, she grabbed toys from other children to put away without asking, and pushed her peers waiting in line in front of sink to wash her hands. Her teacher responded by verbally reprimanding and monitoring Da being monitored by the teacher. The function appeared to be teacher attention. the teacher and the researcher jointl y selected behavior support strategies from Routine Based Guide included in the
25 the context of classroom routines. Strategies for dyad 1 (Ms. Wendy and Danielle ) included providing transitional cue s ( i.e., ring bell, turn light on off, a visual picture) at the start of the transition to let Daniel le know that it was time to start cleaning. Teaching Danielle self management skills was emphasized to help her comply with teac her directions and transition tasks. A self recording form listed Danielle s four transition tasks (i.e. pick up toys, line up at the sink, wash hands, and sit at the table) was created to teach her to self monitor her task performance. The form included p ictures of tasks, written short sentences and check off boxes. The teacher was asked to review the self recording form with Danielle at the beginning and end of the session. Strategies also included providing v erbal praise contingent on the alternative behaviors to address problem behaviors maintained by teacher attention. It was planned that Danielle would receive r einforcement in the form of a sticker for task completion at the end of the transition routine For dyad 2, to address problem behavior maintained by access to tangible items, the strategies first focused on providing choices of centers or toys which would help prevent his problem behavior It was planned that the teacher present choice board s at the beginning and middle of center activities set a timer for 5 minutes and remind Carl that when the timer goes off, then it will be his turn to pick a new center activity. Teaching him alternative skills focused on helping him make choices on the choice boards through verbal prompts and teaching him play skills through modeling to increase his engagement in activities. To address problem behavior maintained by access to teacher attention, strategies included delivering reinforcement contingent on his alternative
26 behavior in the forms of teacher positive statements that acknowledge his appropriate behavior and play time with teacher. The strategies for each child were outlined in a simple behavior support plan that modeled after the form titled, Te included in the TTYC manual (Vaughn et al., 2010) The strategies were categorized into three components: prevention, teaching, and reinforcement. Baseline. Data on teacher and child target behaviors were collected 1 2 times per week during the targeted routine or activity. Teachers were asked to provide activities or tasks and interact with the target child as the way they normally do. This phase was conducted with each teacher child dyad until a stable level of data wa s achieved across teacher and child target behaviors. Observation sessions were 5 15 minutes depending on the target routine. Specifically, transition time depended on how quickly the children cleaned. Intervention. The intervention consisted of two phas es: one phase with written feedback procedure alone and on phase with the combined written feedback and audio feedback procedures. Phase 1: w ritten feedback. The first phase of intervention involved providing written feedback on teachers displaying the us e of target behavior support strategies. Before each observation session of the target routine the researcher provided the teacher with a checklist of target skills displayed correctly, incorrectly, or missed from the previous observation session. Upon tea previous session was given one hour after the observation session. Praise was given for target behaviors displayed correctly. Corrective statements were given for target skills
27 displayed inaccurately. In a ddition to the checklist, a short succinct summary of the last observation session was given to each teacher. The summary had 3 5 examples of target strategies used correctly and inaccurately from the observation session (Barton & Wolery, 2008; Downs, Down s, & Rau, 2008). Throughout the meeting the teacher was given opportunities to ask questions. The feedback meeting was approximately 10 minutes. The criteria for terminating the phase were when data showed a stable trend, level, and low variability. Ph ase 2: Written feedback plus audio feedback The second phase of intervention involved providing both written feedback and audio feedback during observations of teacher use of behavior support strategies and target skills. The written feedback was delivere d the same as in the written feedback phase. Before each observation session of the problematic routines the researcher provided the teacher with a checklist of target skills displayed correctly, incorrectly, or missed from the previous observation sessio n along with a short succinct summary. Before the implementation of the audio feedback, the researcher provided 30 minute training on the use of the audio head set. The researcher gave the teacher novel directions in order for the teacher to acclimate to wearing the audio headset. For words along with definitions and examples were provided to the teachers to allow them to become familiar with the feedback statement prior to the audio feedback phase. The researcher practiced saying the corrective feedback statements through the audio headset and the teacher practiced the use of target behavior support strategies. At this time the
28 researcher adjusted to the appropriat e volume level and found an unobtrusive location in the classroom to stand for the audio feedback phase (Oliver, 2008). The researcher provided an average of 3 5 feedback statements during the 5 15 minute implementation of the audio feedback procedure. Ex amples of corrective or intervention were when data showed a stable trend, level, and low variability. Generalization Probes. Generalization probe data were collect ed throughout the targeted children. No feedback was provided to the teacher using the strategies for the non targeted children. Observation procedures were identical to baseline. Generalization data were collected in each classroom one to two times during baseline and two to three times during intervention. Each child in the class was eligible to be considered a non targeted child for generalization probes. For Ms. Wendy generali zation probe data were collected on the following three target strategies; transition cue, verbal praise, and reinforcement with sticker for task completion. The transition cue was scored as a missed opportunity if the teacher failed to give an obvious cue that it was time to start cleaning (e.g., ring bell, turn light on off, use a visual cue). An occurrence was scored as correct if she did provide the cue. Verbal praise was scored as a missed opportunity if the teacher did not make comments to any non t argeted child who was within 5 7 feet for cleaning, washing their hands, and sitting
29 at the table. It was scored as an occurrence if comments were made when the non targeted child cleaned, washed their hands, and sat at the table. Tangible reinforcement w as scored as an occurrence if the teacher gave a sticker to any non target child for completing all the tasks (cleaning up toys, washing their hands, and sitting at the table). Reinforcement was scored as a missed opportunity if Ms. Wendy failed to give t he sticker to any non targeted child for task completion. For Ms. Sara data were collected on two target behaviors; verbal praise and setting the timer. For verbal praise to be scored as an occurrence, the teacher needed to make a comment to any non targeted children for staying in their assigned area, sharing. For verbal praise to be scored as a missed opportunity the children needed to be between 5 and 7 feet from the teacher and she makes no comments to the children that are staying in their assigned area, playing appropriately, and sharing. (e.g., the teacher walks by two children building bridges together with blocks and fails to make a praise statement for shari ng and playing appropriately). Setting the timer was scored as an occurrence if the timer went off and the teacher had any non targeted child switch center areas. A missed opportunity was scored if the timer went off and the teacher did not have any non ta rgeted child change centers. Follow up. Follow up data were collected two weeks later following the termination of the feedback procedures. Weekly probe data were collected for a period of 3 weeks for dyad 2 and 1 week for dyad 1. Only one weekly probe data was collected for
30 Results Figure 1 shows the percentages of teacher correct use of strategies and the interve ntion, and follow strategies are also shown in Figure 1. As shown in Figure 1, the use of intervention strategies across teachers was 0% during baseline. Once the strategies immediately increased, ranging from 25% to 87% with a mean of 61% (see the scores ranging from 5% to 90 % (M = 55.6%). However, her levels of strategy use did not remain stable and showed a downward trend during the written feedback phase. use of the strategies further increased to 1 strategies ranged from 80% to 100% (M = 94%) and remained stable as the second strategies decreased in the level with 33% two weeks after feedback was faded. However, remained high in the level with a range of 79% 91% (M = 85) during follow up.
31 Generalization Generalization probe data wer strategies with non targeted children. The data showed that the teachers generalized their use of strategies to not with non target children were 0%. In written feedback phase, their use of the strategies increased to 37% to 78% (M = 60%) and to 0% 73% (M = 31%), respectively. In the audio plus written feedback phase, the levels of strategy use was 58% for Ms. Wendy an d 25% 50% (M = 37.5 %) for Ms. Sara. During follow up, their use of strategies with non targeted children was 45% and 0% 20% (M = 10%), respectively. When the teachers began implementing the behavior interventi on strategies in behavior immediately decreased while their alternative behaviors dramatically increased. As shown in Figure 1, they demonstrated further improvement (D anielle) or stable (Carl) in the levels of their target behaviors when the combined audio and written feedback was provided to the teachers. =69%) while her alternative behavior ranged 23 %to 40 % of intervals (M = 30%). Once with a rang e of 4% to 31% (M = 17%), and her alternative behavior showed a marked increase in the level with a ranges of 62% to 91% (M = 78%). The levels of both problem and alternative behaviors were stable across sessions.
32 havior during baseline were high with a range of 58% to 80% (M = 71.2%) and the levels of his alternative behaviors were low with a range of 8% to 30% (M = 16.8%). When the written feedback was introduced, his problem behavior immediately dropped to 5% to 30% (M = 20.83%) while his alternative behavior dramatically increased to 61% to 94 % (M = 75.5%). The data displayed slight variability in the problem and alternative behaviors. very low in the level with a range of 0% to 12% (M = 5%). The levels of her alternative behavior were very high with a range of 87% also occurred at very low rates with a range of 5% to 25% (M = 13.4 %) while his alt ernative behavior occurred at very high rates with a range of 73% to 83% (M = 76.4%). His levels of alternative behavior were similar to those of alternative behavior in the first, written feedback phase, but showed a stable trend. In follow up, the chil ; 19% for Danielle and 12% ( 6 % 16%) for Carl. Their levels of alternative behavior remained at high rates ; 88% for Danielle and 85% ( 79 % 91%) for Carl. Social Validity The results of social validity ratings indicated that both the written feedback and oral feedback procedures had high levels of social validity. The overall ratings of acceptability and satisfaction with the feedback procedures were relatively high, with a range of 4 6 (M = 5) on a 6 p oint scale. Ms. Sara rated a 6 for all questions except four questions which received ratings of a 4 or a 5 (M = 5.7). Ms. Wendy rated a 6 for the question that asked, if the feedback procedure was practical in a pre school setting. A 5
33 was given for 13 qu estions, and 4 for six questions. The overall mean rating by Ms. Wendy was 4.2.
34 Discussion The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two feedback procedures: class room routines in two community preschool settings. Results indicated that the use of behaviors while increasing their alternative behaviors. The introduction of the audio addition, there was some evidence that teachers maintained their use of str ategies without feedback procedures and generalized the use of strategies to non targeted children. The target children also maintained their decreased and increased levels of target behavior during follow up. The feedback procedures used in the study wer e rated as acceptable by the teachers. The findings from the current study support the use of performance feedback in training early childhood educators and improving child behaviors (Barton & Wolery, 2007 ; Casey & McWilliam, 2008; DiGennaro et al., 2007; Hemmeter et al., in press). With each phase of intervention, changes were seen in teacher and child behaviors. dramatically increased above baseline levels and problem b ehavior decreased below baseline levels. During this
35 behaviors. However, generalization data rapidly increased during written feedback. during the written strategies for sessions 10 and 11. These data points displayed a downward tren d. problem behavior decreased once the intervention phases began and alternative behavior increased above baseline levels and remained stable although was not stable. Robust behavior changes were seen in teacher and child behavior once the audio plus written feedback phase began. Ms. Wendy achieved stable responding with scores of stable responding. con tinued to increase once both the written and the audio feedback procedures were introduced reduced slightly lower than the level from the written feedback phase and stability was achieved for challenging and replacement behavio rs. Although data on individual strategies are not presented in the graphs, data showed that Ms. Sara scored 100% correct use of reinforcement strategies for sessions 10 and 11while using other strategies at low rates in the second phase of intervention. Not all the indicated in the literature (Blair, Bos, & Umbreit, 1999; Blair, Fox, & Lentini, 2010; Duda, Dunlap, Fox, Lentini, & Clarke, 2004), this study suggests that s ome early childhood educators might need to use multi component strategies to address challenging
36 behavior and to promote alterative behavior of in young children during on going classroom routines. the written feedback phase. This could be the result of a couple of different reasons. First, she received the feedback following the observation session instead of immediately prior to the session like dyad 2. Receiving the written feedback immediately before the observation can serve as prompt for the teachers to use the strategies Next, there were many days due to the teacher or child absences or changes in the classroom schedule that the observations sessions were not conducted and no feedback was g iven. This caused the sessions not to be consecutive like dyad 2. Codding, Feinberg, Dunn, and Pace (2005) and Auld, Belfiore, and Scheeler (2010) also delivered feedback following the observation session. In the first study, researchers increased treat ment integrity among special education teachers. Auld et a l. (2010) trained seven undergraduates to reinforce hand raising among students and withhold attention for talking out of turn. T he performance feedback implemented in both of these studies produced stable responding with the participan ts unlike the results for dyad 1 in the present study The differences in the findings between the studies could be pre service experience Particularly, the special education teacher partici pants in Codding et al. (2005) received training in applied behavior analysis four times a year. Another variable that affect s the outcome of performance feedback delivered to teachers might be the severity of the problem behavior in children Hagermose r ( 2007 ) investigated verbal feedback and verbal plus graphical feedback to increase treatment
37 integrity. The data from this study show ed behavior increased and remained stable. However, it should be taken into con sideration that appropriate behavior was already occurring at a high rate of 70% However, i n the present study, baseline for appropriate behavior averaged 30% for dyad 1 and 16.8% for dyad 2 Since the occurrences of altern ative behavior w ere low the teache rs had to put in much effort to implement the strategies. Scheeler and Lee (2002) and the present study had similar findings in the audio feedback phase. Both studies showed an increase with stable responding when the audio feedback phase was introduced. The follow up data collected showed teacher and child behavior continued to remain stable similar to the follow up data collected in Scheeler, Mcafee, Ruhl, and Lee ( 2006). There are several key contributi ons from this study that extend the literature related to performance feedback on teacher implementation of strategies. First, the setting targeted early childhood educators in community preschools (Hundert, 2007). Another contribution made to the relevan t literature was teacher implementation of function based strategies (Crone, Hawken, & Bergstom, 2007) Third, this study examined teacher generalization of strategies ( Peck, Killen, & Baumgart, 1989 ). Lastly, two feedback procedures were evaluated to dete rmine their effectiveness in training pre school teachers. Limitation and Future Research One limitation of this study occurred during the written feedback phase for Ms. Sara. Her last data point indicated a downward trend. This phase should have been
38 e xtended in order to collect more data to show the effects of the written feedback procedure. During the written feedback plus audio phase when in situ immediate feedback was provided, no data were collected on the type of feedback delivered to the teache r. statements, verbal praise, and corrective feedback to determine which type of statement led to teachers increase in performance. behavior was a limitation. Data should have been gathered on non should have been collected during untrained routines to see whether teachers could use the strategies throughout the day. Ho wever, Ms. Sara did report using the strategies during other routines and activities, but no formal data was collected to measure the teacher and child behaviors. Future research would likely benefit from studies that identified variables that increased te targeted children and across routines. Limited maintenance data was also a limitation of the study. Because follow up data for dyad 1. Another limitation with this study is the timing of the written feedback provided The teacher requested the feedback meeting be held one hour after the observati on session. Both teachers did not receive their feedback meetings at the same time; as a result the intervention conditions were not identical.
39 Throughout this study, both program directors at the pre schools had no involvement in selecting strategies and using the feedback procedures. Future studies should evaluate training program directors to use formal feedback to monitor and supervise pre sch ool teachers in their programs. Giving the responsibility to the directors he/she will be held accountable for correct implementation of the strategies. Overall, the re sults of this study are encouraging despite the limitations. The implementation of the feedback procedures were useful in promoting teachers correct use increasing alter native behaviors.
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