Hawkins, Peter John (1978) Evaluation of a token economy in a school for disruptive children. Masters thesis, Durham University.
The "medical" approach to the treatment of "behavioural problems is first considered, and dismissed as being an inappropriate conceptual framework for applications in education. Behaviour modification is presented as a more appropriate approach to intervention, and the advantages that pertain to the classroom teacher are discussed. Controversial issues are summarily reviewed, and include a discussion of the ethics of behavioural intervention and the polemics of behaviour therapy. Further discussion of the literature is mainly concerned with the procedural aspects of implementing behavioural programmes, and includes reference to methodology, functional analysis, and techniques of accelerating/facilitating and eliminating behaviours in the classroom. Particular emphasis is placed on the application of token economies to improve social and academic behaviours. The research report describes how a token economy was implemented in a classroom of six disruptive children. An intra-subject, reversal design was used within a phenomenal/ behavioural framework. Points were given contingent upon appropriate targeted classroom behaviour, and these could be exchanged for back-up reinforcers at a later time. Inappropriate target behaviours decreased significantly during the token phases but increased again during reversal phases. Assignment and on-task behaviours increased significantly during the token phases. Data suggests that some generalization occurred from morning to afternoon sessions for assignment behaviour, and from target behaviour to non-target behaviours. There was no evidence of generalization from token phases to non-token phases. Anecdotal evidence suggested that the students became very intransigent when the token system was removed; they "enjoyed" school more during the token phases. In the discussion a number of methodological and procedural aspects of the study are explored, and alternative strategies presented. The study shows that it is possible to effectively implement a phenomenal/behavioural programme in a classroom of disruptive students for minimal cost and time, with maximal benefits accruing to both teachers and students.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Science|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||13 Nov 2013 16:11|