Behaviour modification is one of the types of child discipline. It is based on principles that guide a lot of discipline strategies. Behaviour modification is a great way to address a variety of behaviour problems. It is used to shape behaviour by using reinforcement to encourage good behaviour.
Most people seeking advice on behavioural modification usually look for ways to change the inappropriate behaviour of the children of whom they are responsible. All behaviours follow a set of rules. To modify behaviours certain methods have to be developed for defining, observing and measuring them and also designing effective interventions.
To manage behaviour through consequences, you can follow this multi-step process:
- Define the behavioural problem.
- Design a method to change the behaviour
- Identify ways to effectively reinforce the change
- Apply the reinforcement consistently to shape or change behaviour.
A classic behaviour modification programme is to typically replace problem behaviour with appropriate behaviour.
Pinpoint and define the problems: Often teachers have vague and undifferentiated notion of the behavioural problem. This will tend to delineate the boundaries of the problem. Try and understand the students' liabilities to define the problem. A method to overcome a behavioural problem cannot be built around deficit behaviour, since it provides no foundation for building.
Design a method to manage: Designing management programmes always focuses on two behaviour patterns simultaneously. One that you want to eliminate and the one you want to build in its place. Do not focus only on the elimination of problems, this may leave building of appropriate behaviour to chance.
Keep track of target behaviour: Keep a record of target behaviour before and after intervention . Often keeping a track is more valuable in means of training the teacher to manage the problem behaviour.
Reinforce the management plan: Build a management programmes as such that that the reward must be potent enough for the student to consistently work for it. Find a critical reinforcer, so that children forgo accustomed forms of management.
Reinforcement and punishment can be effective in reducing specific target behaviours in the classroom. Reinforcement is more effective in helping children develop alternative and more functional behaviour.
Appropriate application of positive reinforcement would yield desired behaviour. It is always important to begin with different strategies of reinforcement before resorting to punishment as a means of reducing unwanted or aversive classroom behaviour.
The effective use of behavioural strategies in the classroom may seem daunting to even experienced teachers. Changing behaviour and strategies is often the most efficient and effective means of improving all types of classroom behaviours.