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Individual Practice Project

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Study aims and context The purpose of this independent practice project is to complete a small scale investigation on an area of interest. Various different areas of interest were looked at by the researcher before deciding upon the area that is to be focused on. It was felt that the other areas of interest to be researched would not have sufficient time to carry them out and therefore reduce the validity of the research. The area of interest that has been studied is challenging behaviour within the early years. Challenging behaviour has been an issue for a long time. It dates back to before the fifties with the well know psychologists such as Pavlov, Bandura and Skinner. The psychologist that the researcher is going to look at is Skinner. He has done lots of work on the area of behaviour. Challenging behaviour has always been an issue in schools. However, many years ago it did not seem to be as much of an issue as it is today in our schools. The extent of challenging behaviour varies from school to school. Each school has their own procedures to follow with regards to challenging behaviour. There are vast amounts of data out there to help us understand what it is and how we can support the children who exhibit signs of challenging behaviour and how we can support the teacher, other pupils, parents and other people who come into contact with children with challenging behaviour. The research question is 'Does using rewards and positive reinforcement reduce the incidents of challenging behaviour within the early years setting?' This question was decided after reading literature on challenging behaviour and a discussion with the researcher's Head teacher. Careful consideration was given as to how the research was to be carried out. Which paradigm, methodology and who the respondents were going to be were discussed at length. It was decided that the area that the school would benefit from was from researching the children's challenging behaviour. ...read more.


The questionnaire did not flow. The questionnaire did not state specifically enough where to place answers or if the respondent had to tick or circle the answer. Twenty copies of the re-drafted updated questionnaire were distributed to Early Years Practitioners in a mainstream primary school within an identified area. It was not considered necessary to use incentives in order to maximise responses, as it was an area that the school had identified as needing attention. The response rate for this small scale study was 90%. This rate of returns is higher than that suggested by Cohen and Manion's (1994) range of returns. They suggest that a well planned postal survey should obtain at least 40% response rate, and with judicious use of reminders, a 70% to 80% response rate is possible. Initially a letter was sent to the head teacher asking her for permission to distribute questionnaires to her Early Years Practitioners (see appendix 2). A reminder was sent to the school to remind respondents to return their questionnaires if they had not already done so. Confidentiality was assured to the respondents. This was in agreement with Opie, (2004), who suggests that 'usually, informants involved in research projects are offered assurances of confidentiality and anonymity. Presentation of the data from opinion-type questions had proved difficult. The researcher's interpretation of the opinions was needed. The researcher categorized the opinions under general heading which meant that analysis was possible. The unstructured response ensures that the respondents have the freedom to give his/her own answers as fully as he/she chooses... Data yielded in unstructured response is more difficult to code and quantify than data in the structured response (Cohen and Manion, 1994). The survey could have been extended to more schools. This would have enhanced the validity of the research but time constraints in this small scale study prevented this. Judging by the responses to the questions on the survey it is clear that although some answers were similar, most answered the questions using their own personal views. ...read more.


London: Ofsted Opie, C., (2004), Doing Educational Research. London: SAGE Publications Ltd. Roffey, S., and O'Reirdan, T., (2001) 2nd Edition, Young Children and Classroom Behaviour Needs, Perspectives and Strategies. London: David Fulton Publishers. Rogers, B., (1998), You Know the Fair Rule and More. London: Pitman Publishing. Rogers, B., (2004), (Ed), How to Manage Children's Challenging Behaviour. London: Paul Chapman Publishing. Sharman, C., Cross, W., and Vennis, D., (2004), 3rd Edition, A Practical Guide Observing Children. London: Continuum. Skinner, B.F., (1953), Science and Human Behaviour. New York: Macmillan. Varma, V., (Ed), (1993), Coping with Unhappy Children. London: Cassell. Visser, J., (2000), Managing Behaviour in Classrooms. London: David Fulton Publishers. Wadsworth, B.J., (1978), Piaget for the classroom teacher. New York: Longman. Walliman, N., (2004), 2nd Edition, Your Research Project, A step by step guide for first time researchers. London: SAGE Publications. Wheldall, K. and Merrett, F., (1984), Positive Teaching: The Behavioural Approach. London: George Allen & Unwin. Wilkins, R., (1989), Behaviour Problems in Children, Orthodox and Paradox in Therapy. Oxford: Heinemann Nursing. Woolfolk, A., (2004), 9th Edition, Educational Psychology. London: Pearson Education . Wragg, E.C., (1993), Primary Teaching Skills. London: Routledge. Journals Blatchford, P., Battle, S., and Mays, J., (1982), The First Transition - Home to School. National Foundation for Educational Research. Broden, M., Bruce, C., Mitchell, M.A., Carter, V., and Hall, R.V., (1970), Effects of Teacher Attention on Attending Behaviour of Two Boys at Adjacent Desks. Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis, 3, 199-203. Henderson, R.W., Swanson, R., and Zimmerman, B.J., (1975), Inquiry Response Induction in Preschool Children Through Televised Modelling. Developmental Psychology, 11, 523-524. O'Conner, R.D., (1972), Relative Efficiency of Modelling, Shaping and the Combined Procedures for Modification of Social Withdrawal. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 79, 327-334. Wheldall, K. and Merrett, F.E., (1988), Which Classroom Behaviours do Primary School Teachers Say They Find Most Troublesome. Educational Review 40 (1) 13-17. Websites Maycock, D., (2006), How to Use a Token Economy to Shape Your Child's Behaviour. Accessed online 5/4/2006 http://articlecity.co.uk/parenting/How_To_Use_A_Token_E.html ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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