Pretraining: Before implementing the actual intervention method, the classroom teacher will conduct two 20 minute group instruction sessions designed how to teach the students to report their peers prosocial behaviors as well as general positive variables that have been observed on the part of their peers. Emphasis will be placed on the fact that all students of the class have to be involved. The teacher will allow the students to select their desired reward as long as this were feasible and practical and will ensure that unanimous approval and interest is evidenced in desired reward. A cumulative goal (e.g. 120 tootles) too will be unanimously decided on. The teacher will ascertain that all students understand the elements and conditions of 'tootling', that all agree to be involved, and that questions, if any, are satisfactorily addressed and answered. Students will be encouraged to provide examples of instances that can be mentioned on 'tootling' papers. Examples can be helping others with class study, praising others, lending material to another, and holding the door open for another. The emphasis will be on kindness and positive acts to other students rather than on classroom discipline in general. The aim is to focus on behaviors that are the reverse of the bullying behaviors evidenced by the problematic students. Examples of behaviors that are irrelevant to tootling will, likewise, be mentioned. These include the bullying behaviors evidenced by the problematic students. However the students will not be singled out, both in order nto to humiliate them and in order not to allow them to suspect that the study is conducted for their sake. This will likely contaminate response and may dissuade them from participating aside from eliminating scientific character of study.
During the second session, students will be taught to write the name of a specific classmate, the positive altruistic act that this classmate performed, and who this act was done to. This 'tootling' example will be then illustrated to the class as a retype of effective 'tootling'. The teacher will then prompt students to produce their own examples, providing corrective feedbacks when errors occur and praising the students for accurate response as well as praising the prosocial peer behaviors written on the 'tootling' card. The tootling card, in short, will have to contain the student's name, the author's name, the act of the student, and the name of the student whom the agent helped. The two students will be deliberately invited to join in and their doing so will be positively reinforced. Students place the tootling cards in the container and tootles are collected throughout the day at the end of each class session. At the commencement of class during the next school's day. The teacher reads the tootles aloud (especially those of the two students) and makes a notification on the pasteboard regarding the increase in the amount of tootles collected. This method will be continued until the cumulative amount of tootles has been reached.
As a means of assessing decline in bullying behavior of the problematic students, the teacher will continue to make notifications next to their corresponding antisocial behaviors of these two students and will observe whether reduction in intensity and amount of these actions has been gained.
A baseline comparison will then be assessed to compare the present behavior of the problematic students to their original baseline behavior at the outset of the project and to determine whether reduction has been gained in bullying behavior. A baseline comparison will be made, too, of the classroom as a whole.
Interobserver Reliability: In order to assess the reliability of the teacher's observations, a graduate assistant will separately observe the problematic students and parents / families of the victims will be asked whether the victims reported any typical bullying behavior that occurred to them outside classroom sessions. Other teachers of the school will be asked for their involvement and observation, too. Victims will be separately, unobtrusively and confidentially questioned by the classroom teacher to assess whether they have experienced reduction in bullying during the duration of this study. An ANOVA will be performed on the * aspects of bullying behavior (i.e. * teasing, name-calling, ridiculing, and physically hurting) in order to compare aftereffects of study with baseline conditions and to see whether reduction has been achieved...
The focus, however, will unobtrusively but emphatically be on the two students wit the teacher charting conduct of the class as a whole but keeping the brunt of her attention and investigation on the outcome of the problematic students.
Fig. 1: ABAB Table of Experiment and Details of Study.
Implementation of tootling procedure
Comparison to baseline
Intra-comparisons of tootling procedure
Duration: 2 weeks
Duration: Until tootling criteria has been reached (e.g. 120 tootles)
Agent: teacher and class
Duration: Duration of study and week succeeding study.
Agent: teacher's assistant; families / parents of victims; other teachers.
Potential contributions of this study are several. In a specific sense, Tootling may be evidenced to be a method that can be productively employed to reduce the bullying behavior of the two identified 2nd-graders who bully others, particularly tending to bully two students with disabilities, one who has an LD for reading, and the other one who may have some cognitive deficit problems. In a general sense, the intervention may, if demonstrated to be effective, be extended to all teachers throughout the school. The present situation is that not all teachers use the same positive behavioral intervention protocol leading to decline in discipline and jaggedness throughout the school. With the class being encouraged to engage in prosocial conduct and with bullies being involved in this program as part of the class syllabus not only will classroom behavior be expected to improve as a result, but the bullying behavior may be reduced too. Accordingly, in both a general and specific manner, positive and enhanced prosocial behavior on the part of the students may be generated as well as an efficacious and helpful model introduced to the school as a whole which teacher can productively employ in all elementary age classroom settings.
The study will be theoretically performed on the class as a whole in order to maintain a scientific perspective and in order to achieve the necessary reliability received from having a sufficient population sample (of which two students is too little). The focus, however, will unobtrusively but emphatically be on the two students wit the teacher charting conduct of the class as a whole but keeping the brunt of her attention and investigation on the outcome of the problematic students. Tootling had, until now, been used to increase prosocial behavior in a classroom setting, such as opengin the door for classmates, raising hands, following the rules, and so forth. It has not been extend to reducing aggressive or bullying behavior. The dynamics of the system however seem applicable and beneficial for this instance too. In order to assess whether this is so, this study plans application of tootling to two problematic students whose behavior will be mapped during the duration of the study. Since the study is expended to the class as a whole, predicted and potential improvements in students indicate that 'tootling' may be expanded to other classroom settings with possible, although- given different conditions - not certain, positive effect.
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