The goal of the current research is not to conduct a thorough examination or make any inferences about the quality of research in the area of behavioral interventions and classroom management plans for students, but to present a broad stroke assessment of where we are as a field. Articles were culled from peer-reviewed journals and identified using electronic database systems, including Google Scholar, Eric, and Psychlnfo, as well as conducting reviews of bibliographies and hand searches of primary journals, including the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, and Journal of Emotional and Behavior Disorders. Teaching appropriate behavior skills is important but it is not the only aspect of instruction for young children who display negative behaviors. Preschool curriculum and instruction focus on the cognitive, social, and emotional development of children. Teachers are responsible for teaching academic and social skills. Therefore if children are exhibiting negative behavior which impedes their academic learning, teachers need to purposefully design opportunities and activities to guide the students' development of appropriate social behavior (Smith, 2009, p. 147).
In the article written by Capizzi (2009) the components of an effective plan were given. The writing starts by explaining that there is a myriad of writing concerning classroom management strategies, and not all strategies are in fact created equal. This means that it is important to document those strategies that prove to be the most successful. One of the key components is to insure that clear concise rules are set, as well as clear expectations. The article discusses six key areas that teachers and administrators can use to guide their development plans or evaluations of existing plans:
2. Classroom layout
3. Classroom decor
6. Maintaining and monitoring behavior (p.3)
One of the most taxing things that any educator must deal with is what to do when there are circumstances in the classroom that call for a contract with student, educational staff, and parents. These contracts are often utilized to lay out the expectations of the teacher to the students and his or her parent(s). A contract also offers the educator an opportunity to set obtainable goals for the student that allow opportunities for positive reinforcement while meeting behavioral objects through the contract. Lastly, a contract also provides a sense of responsibility to the student, and holds them accountable for their individual actions and success while utilizing the contract. These contracts also afford aid to an educator to help maintain control in the classroom, and an opportunity to keep students focused with a calm, directed learning environment. It is important to note that there is not a one size fits all when it comes to finding the appropriate contract for a particular student. Often educators and schools will have to use varying aspects that work with their particular population of students. In this research, we are looking at the various interventions utilized and their impact on the student's behavior and learning.
Capizzi (2009) depicts the significance of Classroom management plans and goes on to explain that they should be tailored to fit each particular group of students and their unique needs. Since each new school year brings a new group of students, classroom management plans should be reevaluated annually and modified to suit the particular requirements of the teacher and students. Evaluating a management plan can be difficult for teachers and administrators. New teachers, whose experience may be limited to using other teachers' plans during student teaching experiences, tend to have trouble establishing their own management system. Veteran teachers sometimes see their management style as always having worked in the past and resist evaluation and change. Administrators can find it difficult to evaluate a management plan because they do not have first-hand experience with the students in a teacher's classroom and they also do not want to appear judgmental or dictatorial. Teachers and administrators have utilized a form called a Plan Appraisal Worksheet (PAW). The worksheet Capizzi (2009) explained further was created to aid in the development and review of individual classroom management systems. The PAW helps educators conduct self-assessments regarding the plans that they have in place and for plans that are and will be created.
One thing is certain all educators want to insure that positive behavior is present in the learning environment that they provide for their students. Terrance, Peter, Rosenberg, & Borgmeier (2010) conducted research associated with Positive Behavior Support (PBS) in secondary schools. One of the first things discussed in this article is the primary premise behind PBS is that the structure and actions of systems, or environments influence the behavior of individuals. The researcher explains that in a school setting, the key to effective prevention is in the development of strategies that begin by affecting the actions of adults and environments, resulting in positive outcomes for students. The strength of PBS is its flexibility to include a wide-range of interventions as they best suit the needs of each student.
(Benedict, Horner, & Squires, 2007, p. 176) Additional key features of PBS include the formation and use of a leadership team to help implement PBS within the school or program and databased procedures to monitor progress. In early childhood classrooms, the leadership team may include lead and assistant classroom teachers, administrators, families, and related service personnel (e.g., mental health specialists) who frequently work with preschool teachers to support children's social and emotional development. Data collection procedures must consider the organizational structure (e.g., schedules, routines) of early childhood classrooms. Although PBS has a strong research base to support its use within educational and social service environments serving children and adolescents who exhibit challenging behavior, its use in early childhood settings has received limited attention. They go further to explain that currently at the time of the research, there has been a case study of implementation of PBS in a religious preschool and one experimental evaluation of PBS consultation to address the challenging behaviors of two children in a preschool classroom. The researchers conclude by explaining that these studies demonstrated the feasibility and efficacy of using PBS in early childhood settings. However, they mirrored much of the clinical work being done in early childhood settings that involves a focus on tertiary, individualized interventions for children who are already engaging in challenging behaviors.
PBS is neither a curriculum nor a program of prescribed strategies. Rather, it can be conceptualized as a framework under which systems identify predictable problems, select logical strategies to improve outcomes, facilitate consistent implementation, and use data to evaluate their success. Rather than looking at PBS as three separate phases, it is helpful to conceive of it as a sequence or continuum of processes and practices ranging from the most general universal strategies (i.e., rules, routines, and arrangements) to the most specific intensive interventions (i.e. functional behavior assessment and function-based intervention). The more effective the general strategies are, the less need there will be for the most intensive individualized interventions. Four essential components steps in common across levels and equally applicable school-wide, among smaller subsets of non-responders, and for individuals experiencing the most chronic failures, which include prediction, high-probability interventions, consistency, and assessment (Terrance et al., 2010, p. 515).
Researchers have explained that many behavioral problems can be avoided by establishing a solid classroom management plan at the beginning of the school year. Although many teachers learn about basic classroom management strategies in teacher licensure programs and in-service training, a review of class-wide supports and their implementation can help teachers revitalize and strengthen their classroom management plans. It is easy to become repetitive and do what has always been done rather than to reevaluate and revise, but employing the same strategies from year to year is ineffective when student populations and needs change. Capizzi (2009) conducted research to give an overview of several areas of classroom management that are vital for teachers and students across all areas of Kindergarten to 12th grade.
(Killu, 2008, p. 143) Oftentimes, several individuals will note problem behavior with a student. The different perspectives and vocabulary of these individuals can lead to a variety of terms used to describe the problem behavior. These terms may be general or specific, but the resulting consensus can have an impact on the effectiveness of a BIP. For example, a student may be described as "aggressive." Such broad descriptors can have different meanings for different people. Does the student hit others, destroy property, or verbally threaten others? Achieving consensus on the target behavior among all of those implementing the BIP ensures that the plan is implemented consistently, under appropriate conditions. A description of a target behavior should be so specific that an individual unfamiliar with the student should be able to identify the student and the target behavior when it occurs.
Behavior is a major concern for all academies of learning. Research indicates that behavior is not only a concern for students with disabilities; there is also call for concern with students that have no disabilities as well. Nahgahgwon, Umbreit, Liaupsin,…