Academic journal article Exceptional Children

Student and Teacher Outcomes of the Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Team Efficacy Trial

Academic journal article Exceptional Children

Student and Teacher Outcomes of the Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Team Efficacy Trial

Article excerpt

Hallmarks of effective schools include well-managed classrooms that promote academic, social, and behavioral success for students. Many effective schools use a multitiered model to ensure that teachers and students have access to an array of effective instruction and intervention that maximizes students' progress (Fairbanks, Sugai, Guardino, & Lathrop, 2007). Schools implementing tiered models typically employ Tier 1-level programs focusing on evidence-based practices with virtually all students as means of preventing problems from developing. Tier 2- and Tier 3-level programs are implemented for students who require supplemental or individualized supports, including children with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) and learning disabilities (LD).

Reviewers have identified interventions specifically designed to be implemented with groups of students in classroom and school settings (Briesch & Chafouleas, 2009; Maggin, Johnson, Chafouleas, Ruberto, & Berggren, 2012). For example, in a meta-analysis of interventions to decrease disruptive behaviors in public school classrooms Stage and Quiroz (1997) reported that differential reinforcement, group contingencies, self-management, and functional assessment were highly effective for children at risk for EBD. In this article, we report on a classroom management intervention called Class-Wide Function-related Intervention Team (CW-FIT) that employs a suite of classroom and behavior management procedures to promote student progress.

Important Contributors to Classroom and Behavior Management

Researchers have identified components that educators can use to promote appropriate behavior in classrooms. These include group contingencies and differential reinforcement at Tier 1 as well as self-management at Tier 2.

Group Contingencies

Group contingencies have long been recommended as evidence-based interventions that have effectively improved students' on-task behaviors, productivity, and prosocial skills while reducing disruptive behavior (Embry, 2002; Litow & Pumroy, 1975; Theodore, Bray, & Kehle, 2004; Tingstrom, Sterling-Turner, & Wilczynski, 2006). A group contingency is a behavior management intervention that provides student access to a reward contingent on behavior of one or more students within a group meeting a predetermined criteria (Maggin et ah, 2012). General procedures usually include (a) identifying a defined target behavior, (b) determining a goal such as fewer rule infractions, (c) creating a group structure (e.g., each student's behavior earns individual points, all students' behavior must meet criteria to earn points), and (d) delivering rewards (activities or items) contingent on meeting the criteria. Group contingencies support the multitier logic for social behaviors in that the contingencies are in place to provide Tier 1 appropriate classroom management supports for all students. In addition, group contingencies allow many opportunities to provide social attention for appropriate student behavior in classrooms. Ervin and colleagues (2001) reviewed the school-based functional assessment literature and reported that the function for a majority of disruptive behaviors was to gain adult attention or peer attention. Given that group contingency interventions (points, praise, team rewards) may increase opportunities for attention, the intervention may address the social function of many inappropriate classroom behaviors.

Maggin et al. (2012) reviewed 27 single-case studies of group contingency interventions and found that data for 85% of the individual cases and 80% of the groups had strong effects. Maggin and colleagues indicated that there was "sufficient rigor, evidence and replication to label the intervention as evidence-based" (p. 625). Although the researchers documented the evidence supporting group contingencies, they noted that few of the studies established the evidence for group contingencies by using (a) randomized group designs, (b) direct observation of students at risk for disabilities including EBD, and (c) measurement of teacher behavior and fidelity of implementation. …

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