Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Effectiveness of Time-Based Attention Schedules on Students in Inclusive Classrooms in Turkey

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Effectiveness of Time-Based Attention Schedules on Students in Inclusive Classrooms in Turkey

Article excerpt

According to the 2002 definition from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD, 2014) (http:Awww.aaidd.org/ content_ lOO.cfm), intellectual disability originates before the age of 18 and is" characterized by significant limitations, both in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills." Students-with and without intellectual disabilities-frequently exhibit problem behaviors in classrooms (Erbaç, 2008). Problem behaviors are defined as those behaviors which are considered abnormal in the given culture and which are so intense, frequent, or lengthy that the physical safety of the person, or those around them, is compromised. Problem behavior may arise from the limitation or denial of access to public facilities (Emerson, 1995). These behaviors may decrease the benefits of instruction for individuals, and lead to rejection by their peers and others in society (Chandler & Dahlquist, 2002). Therefore, teachers need to know how to implement behavior analysis strategies to manage problem behaviors in the classroom, and engage students in academic activities in a better way (Alberto & Troutman, 2013).

TTo decrease or prevent problem behaviors, teachers need to identify the causes and functions of the behaviors and prepare an intervention plan accordingly (Iwata, Dorsey, Slifer, Bauman, & Richman, 1994). Iwata et al. (1994) included escape from demands and adult attention as functions of problem behavior. Whenever students notice that the teacher is not attending to them, or that they cannot otherwise draw attention, they may demonstrate problem behaviors, such as non-compliance, shouting or screaming (Sucuoglu, 2012).

One of the procedures used in classrooms to decrease problem behavior is the implementation of a fixed-time (FT) schedule (Austin & Soeda, 2008; Cooper, Heron & Heward, 2007; Riley, McKevitt, Shriver, & Allen, 2011). FT schedule (sometimes known as non-contingent reinforcement) involves the delivery of a stimulus, independent of behavior after a set period of time has elapsed (Borrero, Bartels-Meints, Sy, & Francisco, 2011). An FT schedule requires teachers to reinforce the first correct response after a predetermined amount of time has passed, but the reinforcer delivers, independent of behavior. An FT schedule is easily implemented, however, its limitations may include students becoming accustomed to the time interval, and thus, the withdrawal of the reinforcement may result in a sudden decrease in the frequency of target behaviors. It is possible that these limitations could be eliminated by using a variable-time (VT) reinforcement schedule, following an FT schedule. For a VT schedule, the first correct response is reinforced after a predetermined average amount of time has passed. Since the students cannot predict the duration of the interval, target behaviors reinforced in a VT schedule are more consistently performed (Alberto & Troutman, 2013).

An FT schedule requires teachers to direct their attention to the students after a predetermined amount of time has passed. In this procedure, during the intervals, all student behaviors were ignored; attention was paid to the target behaviors and positive behaviors were reinforced and negative behaviors were redirected toward a more appropriate behavior only when the reinforcement time was signaled. Requirements for teacher attentiveness (both corrective and the use of praise statements) that is presented with an FT schedule may be useful because this procedure decreases problem behaviors by offering reinforcement independently (Austin & Soeda 2008; Riley et al., 2011).

A substantial number of studies have documented the effectiveness of FT schedules in reducing problem behaviors in various populations (Austin & Soeda, 2008; Ringdahl, Vollmer, Borrero, & Connell, 2001; Riley et al., 2011; Vollmer, Iwata, Zarcone, Smith, & Mazaleski, 1993). …

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