Academic journal article School Psychology Review

The Classroom Check-Up: A Classwide Teacher Consultation Model for Increasing Praise and Decreasing Disruptive Behavior

Academic journal article School Psychology Review

The Classroom Check-Up: A Classwide Teacher Consultation Model for Increasing Praise and Decreasing Disruptive Behavior

Article excerpt

Abstract. School-based consultation typically focuses on individual student problems and on a small number of students rather than on changing the classroom system. The Classroom Check-Up was developed as a classwide consultation model to address the need for classroom-level support while minimizing treatment integrity problems common to school-based consultation. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of the Classroom Check-Up and visual performance feedback on teacher and student behavior. Results indicated that implementation of the Classroom Check-Up plus visual performance feedback increased teacher implementation of classroom management strategies, including increased use of praise, use of behavior-specific praise, and decreased use of reprimands. Further, these changes in teacher behavior contributed to decreases in classroom disruptive behavior. The results are encouraging because they suggest that consultation at the classroom level can create meaningful teacher and student behavior change.

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Classroom management is directly tied to levels of student involvement and academic achievement, making it an important component of teaching. Furthermore, a nationwide survey of teachers across all grade levels indicated that teachers feel a strong need for additional training and support in classroom management (Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education, 2006). Effective classroom management can help to decrease disruptive classroom behaviors and increase student engagement in academic tasks. Further, poor classroom management has been linked to long-term negative academic, behavioral, and social outcomes for students (Kellam, Ling, Merisca, Brown, & Ialongo, 1998; National Research Council, 2002; Reinke & Herman, 2002). One potential method for supporting teacher implementation of effective classroom behavior management practices is through the use of school-based consultation.

Many models have been developed that encourage school psychologists to incorporate instructional consultation as a central focus of their roles (see Rosenfield, 1995; Ysseldyke et al., 1997). For instance, Ysseldyke and Christenson (2002) created the Functional Assessment of Academic Behavior as a tool for consultants to assess the instructional setting and needs of individual students with learning problems. The Functional Assessment of Academic Behavior includes multiple components (including teacher expectations, classroom environment, and parent participation) for fostering student achievement and adaptation. Erchul and Martens (2002) proposed a school consultation model for school psychologists that integrates elements of mental health and behavior consultation as well as literature from their own relational communication research. These modern models of instructional consultation share in common an emphasis on careful assessment of instructional domains to guide intervention development, and they situate the learner as part of the instructional system rather than as the primary source of the problem.

One limitation of existing models, however, is that most focus on individual students as targets of interventions rather than on changing the entire classroom ecology (Sheridan, Welch, & Orme, 1996). This is true despite recent calls by applied researchers to assess and intervene in systems (e.g., classrooms, schools) rather than at the individual student level (Strein, Hoagwood, & Cohn, 2003). Public health approaches such as school-wide positive behavior supports (Sugai, Horner, & Gresham, 2002) emphasize systems-level change in promoting wholeschool wellness and preventing and reducing school problems. Targeting the classroom system to increase effective classroom management practices delivered to all students is more efficient than targeting individual students because it is likely to reduce current student behavioral and academic difficulties as well as prevent future student problems on a broader scale. …

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