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Farrugia 11518836 EEA202 Assessment 2

Assessment Item 2:

Value: 40%
Due date: 15-May-2017
Return date: 05-Jun-2017
Length: 2,500

Jordan Farrugia 11518836 EEA202 Assessment 2

The critical essay illustrates links between my personal philosophy and two
intervention academic theories from literature. The first theory justified and
explained is the Applied Behaviour Analysis theory, which is behaviourist in nature.
Whilst the second theory examined is Jeffery Wraggs Talk Sense to Yourself
program, which is a cognitive-behaviourist theory that better resonates with my

Justification for an operant conditioning behavioural theory that may/may

not resonate with your personal philosophy
The first theoretical approach to intervention to be justified is behaviourist in nature.
Behaviourism is a theoretical perspective that underpins childrens behaviour to be
the direct result of particular environmental stimuli (McDevitt et. al, 2013, p. 12). B.
F. Skinner, a father of Behaviourism, proposed the theory of Operant Conditioning,
which proposes that children learn by engaging in behaviours with clear
consequences, or reinforcers (McDevitt et. al, 2013, p. 546). Though Skinners
authoritarian theory has been the subject of much debate and controversy since it
was introduced in the 1930s, it is still being applied in many contemporary theories
that correlate students development with externally controlled consequences
(McDonald, 2013, p. 98). Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is an example of a
recent application of Operant Conditioning in the classroom. Developed in the
1960s, ABA elicits positive reinforcers to bring about changes in behaviour in the
classroom (McDonald, 2013, p. 210). To do this, ABA offers a systematic seven-step
method to assist teachers to make decisions about how to best manage classroom
behaviours (Lyons, Ford & Arthur-Kelly, 2015, p. 151)

Aspects of Behavourism, particularly ABA, do and do not resonate with my personal
philosophy on behaviour management. Those that do resonate with my philosophy
inevitably align with my confidence in the Positive Learning Framework (PLF) and
my fundamental belief that all children have a positive potential and natural
motivation to learn (McDonald, 2013, p. 76). ABA accentuates this idea by using

Jordan Farrugia 11518836 EEA202 Assessment 2

positive reinforcements to enhance the positive development of students.

Simultaneously ABA recognises that positive reinforcers are idiosyncratic; in that
what is reinforcing for one child may not be for others (Lyons et al., 2015, pp. 150-
155). Aligning with my belief that children are unique individuals that learn through
the influences around them. ABA articulates seven intervention steps not unlike the
PLFs six preventative steps I integrated in my philosophy. As I am a methodical
person, this formulaic aspect of ABA is one that I appreciate. Additionally the heavy
emphasis on the collection of data I find aligns with my value of proactive thinking,
as teachers can use such information to prevent the problem from reoccurring
(Scott, Anderson & Alter, 2012, p. 5).

However, some steps of the ABA procedure I find discards vital understandings of
my philosophy. Particularly my understanding that it is not within the realms of
reality for a teacher to have the full control of a students behaviour. Instead ABA
empowers teachers to exert high levels of control, leaving little autonomy for
students whom are fundamentally in control of their own actions (McDonald, 2013,
p. 98). In summation, though I find ABA to be positive and methodical, it only looks
at the external behaviours of students and rejects the intrinsic qualities of students
that both I, and the PLF, value.
Catholic College Wo, 7/6/2017 5:58 PM
Comment [1]: Excellent summary of
behaviourist theory. Good links to Skinner
and personal philosophy. Well referenced.

Explanation of how the student misbehaviour will be addressed by the
behavioural theory you have used
According to Lyons et al. (2015), when simple positive reinforcements cease to
correct students challenging behaviours, such as abusive language in the classroom,
the ABA articulates the following seven-step process to be implemented (p. 147-

Step 1: Conduct a preliminary observational analysis
The first step of ABA is to collect quantitative data surrounding the students
abusive behaviour to make appropriate decisions on interventions (Brady & Scully,
2005, p. 148). Such methods may include recording general anecdotal observations

Jordan Farrugia 11518836 EEA202 Assessment 2

or utilising scatter plots and ABC tables, which identify the antecedents and
consequences of students particular behaviours. An antecedent for a child who
recites abusive behaviour might be a friend who provokes their behaviour, whilst a
consequence might be lunchtime detention.

Step 2: Modify antecedent conditions
The second step of ABA is to modify the antecedent conditions preceding the
misbehaviours. For example separating two students who provoke one another to
be abusive during class. In best-case scenarios, such modification can cease the
misbehaviour without further intervention needed (Lyons et al., 2015, p. 152).

Step 3: Define the target behaviour/s and establish baseline measures
The third step of ABA is to establish the target behaviour wished to be achieved.
For example a teacher may define that she wishes to cease one student from
delivering poor language and redirect their attention to being more productive in the

Step 4: Establish long-and short-term behavioural objectives
The fourth step of ABA is to then outline the short and long-term goals to reach the
target behaviour or behaviours in some cases. Short-term goals often target
miniscule behaviours, such as calling out in class, whilst long-term goals look to
change more challenging behaviours, such as attitudes.

Step 5: Implement strategies to increase and/or decrease targeted behaviours
Step 6: Monitor progress using accumulated data and modify the intervention
Step 7: Evaluate (and if appropriate cease) the intervention
Finally, in the fifth, sixth and seventh step of ABA, intervention strategies are
implemented, monitored and evaluated. Whereby teachers act upon the situation in
a manner chosen as a result of the data collected. For example a teacher may decide
to put a student with negative attitudes to school, on a contract and monitor and
evaluate its effectiveness.

Jordan Farrugia 11518836 EEA202 Assessment 2

Research indicates that 80% of teachers find ABA methods useful in their classroom
and are effective approximately 80% of the time (Brady & Scully, 2005, p. 149). What
about the other 20% of students? What about the further contributing factors other
than what can be externally observed?
Catholic College Wo, 7/6/2017 6:00 PM
Comment [2]: This is a considered
response that is well referenced. I liked the
application of the theory into a hypothetical
Justification for a second selected theory that resonates with your personal classroom situation as it demonstrated a
practical understanding of the theory.
Catholic College Wo, 7/6/2017 6:00 PM
The second theoretical approach to intervention to be justified is cognitive- Comment [3]: Your task is to respond to
these queries not simply pose them and
behaviourist in nature. In the light of Porters balance of power continuum, move on.

behavioural theories are teacher-centred whilst psychoeducational theories are

more student-centred (McDonald, 2013, p. 99). Cognitive-behavioural theories were
designed to combine the best of both worlds, utilising the advantages of clinical
behavioural strategies whilst preserving the psychoeducational value in the internal
cognition of the child (Lyons et al., 2015, pp. 140-141). As cognitive-behavioural
theories blend elements of both, they logically position somewhere in the middle of
Porters continuum in democratic territory, where I position my own philosophical
understandings. For this reason and more, the Jeffery Wraggs Talk Sense to
Yourself (TSTY) program, most closely resonates with my philosophy on classroom

Interventions using Jeffery Wraggs TSTY program, though 20 years dated,
remains and excellent example of best-practice school-based intervention based
on cognitive behavioural theory. (Lyons et al., 2015, p. 143). The program, like other
cognitive-behavioural theories, involves taking the time to listen to individuals
worldviews before assisting them to develop their cognitive skills through a series of
individual and or group lessons. These lessons allow students and teachers to share
responsibility for behaviours by bridging the gap between student reliance on
external reinforcements and internal regulation. Students become increasingly
independent, by learning skills to self-instruct, self-monitor and reinforce their own
actions instead of always waiting for teacher reinforcements (Lyons et al., 2015, p.

Jordan Farrugia 11518836 EEA202 Assessment 2

141-144). Lyons et al. (2015) articulate two lesson examples: the emotional-
temperature chart and discomfort scale lesson and the cue card lesson (p. 144).

Elements of Wraggs program that resonate with me are the positive and proactive
skills it teaches, and the self-awareness, self-regulation and self-efficacy it
consequentially develops in students (Lyons et al., 2015, p. 144). Fundamentally,
however, Wraggs perspective of student behaviour is not unlike my own. It believes
students are able to self-manage their behaviour and takes into account
Bronfrenbrenners ecological worldview of the student. The Talk Sense to Yourself
program, as the name suggests, draws on the cognitive strengths of both teachers
and students and encourages teaching specific steps to students, which they can
learn and apply to make more positive choices (Conway, 2011, p. 250). As I also
enjoy methodical steps, Wraggs program permits the definition of goals and plans of
action, and evaluating the progression of these plans and goals (Lyons et al., 2015, p.
143). Though according to Conway (2011), not all students will reach the goal of
being able to self-monitor their behaviours, they will however be given access to a
variety of management strategies and opportunities to develop these skills (p. 250).
Catholic College Wo, 7/6/2017 6:02 PM
Comment [4]:
Excellent summary of behaviourist theory.
Good links to Wragg and personal
Explanation of how the student misbehaviour will be addressed by the philosophy. Well referenced.

second theory you have used
When the preventative phase of the Positive Learning Framework ceases to avoid
challenging student behaviours, the TSTY program articulates certain actions to be
taken. Exemplar actions according to Lyons et al. (2015) include the Emotional-
Temperate Chart and Cue Card lessons (p. 144). Each lesson approximately
requires 20 minutes to teach and could be implemented in the following manner:

Emotional-Temperature Chart and Discomfort Scale:
The purpose of this lesson is to enable students to become more aware of their
emotions in order to best help them manage them (Lyons et al., 2015, p. 144). Hence
this strategy may be used if a student misbehaves as a result of them losing control
of their anger or other emotions, for instance if they have verbal outburst in the

Jordan Farrugia 11518836 EEA202 Assessment 2

classroom. In this lesson, students are introduced to a visual tool, called the
Emotional-Temperature Chart that grades emotions from a 1; a calm state, through
to a 10; a loss of control state (Lyons et al., 2015, p. 144). The student who regularly
has emotion driven verbal outbursts can hence use this tool (displayed in the
classroom) in order to understand and monitor their emotional-temperatures. Once
they can identify their emotions, the teacher is advised to introduce coping
strategies relative to them. For example a teacher could advise the student to take
three deep breaths or count backwards from 10 if they recognise that their
emotional-temperature is elevating.

Cue Cards:
The purpose of this lesson is to help students to create their own individualised
strategies called Cue Cards, that assist them in de-escalating their emotional-
temperatures before they reach a loss of control state (Lyons et al., 2015, p. 144).
This strategy may be used when a student is willing to actively participate in their
own self-regulation, for instance a child recognises that they sometimes lose control
of their emotions and show willingness to change this. These cards list
consequences for behaving out of control alongside thoughts that promote
calmness, confidence and control (Lyons et al., 2015, p. 144).

These examples are just two of Wraggs many valuable lessons that build further
cognitive skills such as, behaviour rehearsal and on-task performance (Lyons et al.,
2013, p. 144).
Catholic College Wo, 7/6/2017 6:04 PM
Comment [5]: This is a clear explanation
of how the theory is meant to work but
applying it with an example from your own
How do these theories relate to legislation requirements? experience or case study would have
demonstrated a more holistic
For NSW teacher education students to achieve their qualification, they need to understanding.

demonstrate the Graduate Teacher Descriptor for the seven Australian Professional
Standards for teachers (NESA, 2017, para. 1). Of these seven standards, standard 3
and 4 interconnect with the implementation of intervention approaches to
behaviour management.

Jordan Farrugia 11518836 EEA202 Assessment 2

Standard 4 calls teachers to create and maintain supportive and safe learning
environments. Sub-standard 4.3 calls graduate teachers to maintain challenging
behaviour and demonstrate approaches to maintain such behaviour (AITSL, 2017, p.
7). The ABA approach suggests use of the seven-step intervention process when
students exhibit behaviour that is more challenging (Lyons et al., 2015, p. 151). Being
behavioural, this method focuses exclusively on childrens visible, external
behaviours (McDevitt, 2013, p. 12). It scrutinises the observable environmental
conditions including the antecedents (triggers) and consequences and looks to
improve them in a systematic way (Brady & Scully, 2005, p. 148). The TSTY
approach, which incorporates student-cognition, suggests a more person-centred
counselling type approach, and offers teachable regulation skills, instead of a
structured sequence, to maintain such behaviours (Lyons et al., 2015, p. 142).
Nonetheless, it is evident that both ABA and TSTY methods elicit approaches to
maintain challenging behaviour.

Sub-standard 4.4 calls teachers to maintain student safety, by describing a range of
strategies that support student wellbeing and safety that adheres to school and
wider legislation (AITSL, 2017, p. 7). Both ABA and TSTY methods describe such
strategies. The TSTY approach, as mentioned above, centres on the person or the
student at hand, putting their wellbeing and safety first. It is designed to enhance to
students self-perception by focusing on the development of cognition skills such as
identifying and regulating their emotional-temperature (Lyons et al., 2015, p. 144).
The ABA approach, whilst not internally centred, elicits positive external behaviour
support (PBS) and guidance for school-wide implementation (McDonald, 2013, p.
210). Such regulation of behaviours, through both approaches, first and foremost
aims to protect the fundamental rights of all students to learn in a safe environment
(Brady & Scully, 2005, p. 175).

Additional to standard 4, sub-standard 3.5 calls for effective classroom
communication to be demonstrated, including verbal and non-verbal techniques
(AITSL, 2017, p. 6). Effective classroom communication is addressed in both ABA
and TSTY methods. ABA elicits both verbal communications or praise and non-

Jordan Farrugia 11518836 EEA202 Assessment 2

verbal rewards to strengthen desired behaviour in students (Brady & Scully, 2005, p.
144). Whilst TSTY programs focus on modelling appropriate behaviours and social
skills to students in order to teach them to monitor and improve their own
behaviours (Conway, 2011, p. 250). Without clear communication of either
intervention process, the effectiveness wares. Wares?
Catholic College Wo, 7/6/2017 6:06 PM
Comment [6]: A comprehensive response
that refers to both theorists and makes good
links to the standards.
Discuss how your philosophy stated in assessment one has

I do not believe that my philosophy has changed through the completion of this
assignment. However I do believe it has grown in academic rigor, particularly on
McDonalds (2013) third key belief of The Outcome and Intention of Discipline
Interventions (p. 282). In this assignment I have developed a greater understanding
of the outcomes and intentions of two different theoretical approaches to
intervention. Two approaches being: a behavioural approach; Applied Behaviour
Analysis (ABA) approach, and a cognitive-behavioural approach; Jeffery Wraggs
Talk Sense to Yourself (TSTY) program. By doing so I have found that Wraggs
cognitive-behavioural program best resonates with my philosophy. Reasons for this
is, unlike behavioural approaches, the TSTY program highlights the strengths of the
students and directs teachers on how they can draw on these strengths so that they
can grow and become more self-sufficient learners (McDonald, 2013, p. 2).

In my initial philosophy I outlined that discipline interventions are insignificant
without a teacher aligning them with the intended short or long-term goals. How to
do this, however, I did not say as I did not have any further understandings
surrounding discipline interventions. Both the APA and TSTY methods give
teachers the direction they need to establish these goals and monitor them. As I
favour the TSTY program, doing so involves student evaluation of their performance
and progress against these goals (Lyons et al., 2015, p. 143).

I still believe that key to managing positive long-term classroom behaviour lies in
establishing positive relationships. I now further believe that when misbehaviour

Jordan Farrugia 11518836 EEA202 Assessment 2

occurs the primary focus is to, utilise this positive rapport with the child to guide
them to make better behaviour choices (Lyons et al., 2015, p. 141). Hence I have
now have come to know that the locus of the problem, locus of the control and the
locus of change will equal a combination of both student and teacher responsibility.
Whereas behavioural approaches view the locus of the problem and of the change
to be the undesired student behaviour and the locus of control to be in the sole
hands of the teacher.

I may lean towards this structured cognitive-behavioural approach now, as I am
teacher education student and am building my skills and competencies. However I
may grow as a professional and adapt more psychoeducational approaches in the
future. Nevertheless whichever strategy I implement will first and foremost aim to
protect the fundamental rights of all students to be safe and learn in an environment
free of unnecessary disruptions (Brady & Scully, 2005, p. 175). It will also always be
influenced by the strategies applied within the wider school system of policies and
practices (Brady & Scully, 2005, p. 176).
Catholic College Wo, 7/6/2017 6:08 PM
Comment [7]: This was a comprehensive
reflection that was mature and honest in its
appraisal of the theories and where they fit
Conclusion in your personal philosophy. You could have
acknowledged why your beliefs may change
In summation, I have justified and explained the use of two theoretical approaches over time depending on your experience
and varying school settings.
to behaviour intervention in the classroom. One of which was Jeffery Wraggs Talk

Sense to Yourself program, which better resonates with my own philosophy.

Through the completion of this assignment I have added academic rigour to my
philosophy, particularly in the McDonalds theory surrounding the outcome and
intention of discipline strategies in the classroom.

Jordan Farrugia 11518836 EEA202 Assessment 2


AITSL. (2017). Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Retrieved from
Brady, L. & Scully, A. (2005). Classroom management and interventions. In
Engagement : Inclusive classroom management (pp. 140-179). Frenchs Forest,
NSW : Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Conway, R. (2011). Encouraging positive interactions. In P. Foreman (Ed.), Inclusion in
action (3rd ed.) (pp. 219-266). South Melbourne, Vic. : Cengage Learning.
Lyons, G., Ford, M., & Arthur-Kelly, M. (2011). Interventions. In Classroom
management: creating positive learning environments (3rd ed.) (pp. 152-195).
South Melbourne, Vic : Cengage Learning.
McDevitt, T. M., Ormrod, J. E., Cupit, G., Chandler, M., & Aloa, V. (2013). Child
development and education. Melbourne, Vic: Pearson Australia.
McDonald, T. (2013). Classroom management: engaging students in learning. South
Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.
NESA. (2017). Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Retrieved form
Scott, T. M., Anderson, C. M., & Alter, P. (2012). Introduction to a prevention-
focused model of behaviour support. In Managing classroom behaviour using
positive behaviour supports (pp. 1-13). Boston: Pearson.

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