Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Using Brief Assessments to Select Math Fluency and On-Task Behavior Interventions: An Investigation of Treatment Utility

Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Using Brief Assessments to Select Math Fluency and On-Task Behavior Interventions: An Investigation of Treatment Utility

Article excerpt

Recent federal legislation (No Child Left Behind; the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act amendments of 2004) advocates for an assessment approach that identifies students' needs in a manner that leads to effective interventions for low-achieving students in regular education settings. Approximately 40% of children eventually referred to special education have exhibited both academic and behavior difficulties in regular education settings (Gottlieb, Gottlieb, & Trongone, 1991). Thus, it is important that teachers are able to effectively manage behaviors that are disrupting academic performance and teaching time (Eidle, Truscott, Meyers, & Boyd, 1998). Research findings have suggested that a possible functional relationship exists between difficult academic tasks and inappropriate classroom behavior (Gickling & Armstrong, 1978). For example, McComas, Hoch, Paone, and El-Roy (2000) designed a study to systematically analyze and treat challenging behavior during academic tasks. For each participant, a functional analysis of challenging behavior was conducted. For all participants, modification of the instructional methods decreased the occurrence of negatively reinforced challenging behavior without decreasing the instructional level of the task demands. Notably, they found with one participant in particular, negatively-reinforced disruptive behavior was nearly eliminated and compliance was markedly higher during sessions in which an instructional strategy to improve accuracy was available, compared to those sessions in which the strategy was unavailable. Similarly, Roberts, Marshall, Nelson, and Albers (2001) suggested that an intervention to increase fluency levels may reduce a student's motivation to engage in off-task behaviors to escape aversive tasks as the student learns to perform a difficult task more accurately and efficiently. Although functional analysis methods have been implemented with challenging behavior for over two decades, their application to academic problems is still in its infancy.

Researchers have begun to modify and apply experimental analysis methods to identify effective strategies for improving individual students' academic performance (Daly, Witt, Martens, & Dool, 1997; Wagner, McComas, Bollman, Holton, 2006). This approach involves an analog analysis in which individual intervention options are applied sequentially to evaluate which produces the highest gains in academic performance. The intervention resulting in the highest academic gains is predicted to be the intervention that, that if implemented over time, would most likely result in improved academic growth. Identification of interventions to be assessed has been based on a framework targeting common factors that may be influencing academic difficulties (Daly, Murdoch, Lillenstein, Webber, & Lentz, 2002; Jones & Wickstrom, 2002). For example, some studies have examined the utility of a brief intervention condition to address the distinction between performance and skill deficits. That is, some students may not be able to complete the work due to lack of skill development whereas other students may be able to do the work but for some reason are not motivated to complete it. Duhon and colleagues (2004) investigated the utility of a brief assessment for identifying skill or performance deficits. The incentives condition provided students with an opportunity to earn an incentive if they performed at a specified level. If a student demonstrated an appropriate skill level with incentives, then this result suggested that the child is exhibiting a performance deficit and would most likely benefit from an intervention providing reward for academic improvements. Alternatively, when a student does not respond to incentives, then it is hypothesized that the child is exhibiting a skill deficit and would benefit from an instructional intervention. Results from this study showed that when an instructional intervention and a contingency-based intervention developed with teacher input were alternatively implemented, students who were exhibiting skill deficits academically benefited from the instructional intervention whereas students exhibiting performance deficits benefited from an intervention involving a contingency based on improved performance. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.