Activity: Functional Relationship Between Behaviour and Learning

The purpose of this activity is to consider the relationship between unwanted behaviour and deficits in learning.


Activity overview

In this video, doctors Carmen Rasmussen and Jacqueline Pei review the findings from 5 key studies on cognitive intervention. Although behavioural change was not the primary intent of this research, the impact on overall behaviour is inferred in the outcomes.

Activity instructions

  1. Thinking like a behavioural analyst, discuss the following:
    • how are math and unwanted behaviour functionally related?
      • consider how many adult directives are given with time or number references
      • how might behaviour improve with increased skills in math?
    • How are communication and unwanted behaviour functionally related?
      • think of a time when you said, “lf she would just ask instead of ...”
      • how might behaviour improve if she had a way to write or talk about her needs?
    • How might literacy and unwanted behaviour be functionally related?
      • think independence. This is very important.
    • how are memory and unwanted behaviour functionally related?
      • consider how many arguments end in “We just discussed this yesterday!”
    • How are the tasks of executive functioning and unwanted behaviour related?
      • think planning, problem-solving, emotional self-regulation, impulse control, working memory, cognitive flexibility, big picture and details.
  2. Discuss the implications this research has on:
    • parenting and advocacy
    • teaching and homework
    • curriculum and academic evaluation
    • resource distribution and curricular development
    • holistic positive behaviour support
  3. Identify the components these 5 experiments have in common. Now, how might these experiments be repeatable?
  4. Consider how positive outcomes may be attributed to the features lacking in the intervention design for:
    • parenting training
    • ongoing tutoring
    • long term support
    • integrated team planning
    • comprehensive behaviour support planning
    • metacognition training
    • flexibility and responsiveness of the support people
    • technique of the interventionist
    • least to most prompting
    • prompting and reinforcement fading

Again, how might these experiments be repeatable? What, in this early research, might one day become best practice?

Modified: 2015-09-09
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