Unformatted text preview: y to occur again.
Consider these classroom examples of consequences.
• Sammy stops participating in class because every time he does, other
students laugh him at. • Simone studies hard because she has found that she gets good grades when
she studies hard. In both cases, the likelihood of a response was modified; Sammy is less likely to
participate in class, and Simone is more likely to study because of the
consequences they have experienced. It is important to note that consequences are
defined in terms of effect on the response. To qualify as a consequence, a stimulus
must either increase or decrease the likelihood of a response.
An antecedent is a stimulus that precedes a response, and cues learners to
respond in certain ways if they want to earn reinforcement or avoid punishment.
For example, a teacher gets very quiet when her students are being noisy and not
listening. When the students observe the silence, they know they need to quiet 4 down and pay attention if they want reinforcement from the teacher or if they
want to avoid punishment. The silence is an antecedent that cues the students’
Together, antecedents, behaviors (responses) and consequences are often
referred to as the ABCs of learning (Kazdin, 1994; Martin, 1981). When you use
the ABCs to understand your students’ behaviors, you are looking for the
antecedents that cue a behavior and the consequences that affect the likelihood of
a behavior occurring again. For example, every time you praise a student in front
of the class, he responds by acting out, and you have to send him to detention.
Because of detention, he is less likely to act out for a while. If you examine the
ABCs of this situation, the public praise seems to be an antecedent for the acting
out, and the detention is a consequence for acting out. Note that by identifying the
ABCs, you provide yourself with some choices. You may try to eliminate the
acting out by continuing to send the student to detention (consequence), or you
could try to prevent the behavior by modifying the way you provide praise
Learning is Measurable and Observable
Because both stimuli and responses can be observed and measured
directly, behaviorists believe that learning can be observed and measured. For
example, if students could not multiply two digits together and now they can, that
change in behavior can be observed and measured. If a student becomes less 5 likely to interrupt others during class discussion, that change in behavior can be
observed and measured. When teaching or managing classroom behavior,
therefore, teachers identify the specific behavioral changes they want to occur,
and the stimuli that will help produce those changes. In addition, teachers collect
data on their students’ behavior by measuring or observing their students’
behavior before, during, and after an intervention. For example, you count how
many times a student interrupts other students, and then you intervene with this
behavior and observe whether or not the numbe...
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This document was uploaded on 03/29/2014 for the course EPS 324 at N. Arizona.
- Spring '08