Education

“It is important that the student should learn without being taught, solve problems by himself, explore the unknown, make decisions and behave in original ways, and these activities should, if possible, be taught”. – B.F. Skinner

Behaviour Analysis has always had a strong interest in the mainstream education classroom.  Famous behavioural psychologists such as B.F. Skinner, Ogden Lindsley and Fred Keller wrote extensively about the ways in which we can bring the benefits of behaviour analysis to the classroom.  In general, behaviour analysts recommend that when teaching a new task to a student, one should break the task into small steps, specify what they want the student to achieve, reinforce correct responses frequently and fade reinforcement gradually .  The teacher should prepare a learning exercise so that the student has opportunities to practice the new skill and experiences success frequently. New skills are taught to mastery and behaviour analysts avoid moving on to more advanced skills when something has not been fully mastered. The use of aversive stimuli such as expressions of disapproval or other forms of  is avoided to the greatest extent possible. Behaviour analysts emphasise the importance of making data based decisions and using evidence based approaches when attempting to increase academic achievement or decrease problematic behaviours.

Specific methods, techniques and technologies frequently used by behaviour analysts include:

Precision Teaching
Token Economies
Behaviour Contracts
Functional Assessment of Challenging Behaviour
Fluency Training
Response Cards
Direct Instruction
Group Contingencies
Visual Schedules
Non-Contingent Reinforcement
Personalised Systems of Instruction

Comprehensive Approaches

Some schools and organisations have taken on comprehensive behavioural model of education. These include the Morningside Academy and the Comprehensive Application of Behaviour Analysis to Schooling (CABAS) organsiation.  These schools provide individualised schooling to mainstream students using applied behaviour analysis.