Behavior Interventions That Improve Academics

Posted on 28 Oct 2008 in Intervention, Special Education, Student Behavior | Comments Off on Behavior Interventions That Improve Academics

OK – what does that title mean anyway???

It means that Joseph Ryan and colleagues just published a condensed summary of research-based interventions that help our students with behavior problems improve their academic performance titled Evidence-Based Teaching Strategies for Students with EBD (Beyond Behavior, 17(3), Spring 2008). I really really really like it when our field of special education starts naming names of intervention. You know what I mean? I get very tired and very frustrated when I hear another professor give advice such as, “We need to base the intervention on the behavior and blah blah blah.” While it is true that behavior interventions work best when tied to a functional behavior analysis – the advice usually neglects to offer any interventions as possible choices! I believe that this is what teachers want. A list of interventions that are effective. This was what I wanted in my classroom. Why does this list have to be so hard to find? (I actually know the answer to this last question, but am not interested in dealing with it right now).

So, what did Ryan et al. suggest? (Technically, Epstein et al. 2005 summarized the intervention literature, but Ryan et al. highlighted the findings and summarized each strategy very nicely). The most effective interventions that help students with behavior disorders could be placed into three categories:

  • Peer mediated interventions
  • Self-mediated interventions
  • Teacher-mediated (antecedent-focused) interventions
  • Teacher-mediated (consequence-focused) interventions

You may already know what specific interventions fit under each category. If so, I hope this reinforces that you are on the right path. If not, in future posts, I’ll share the interventions summarized under each of these categories.

Every educator, in my opinion, should know about these interventions because they are:

  1. evidence-based
  2. effective
  3. will save your student years of frustration and academic failure.

Don’t wait for my posts, get the Ryan 2008 article at Look in the Beyond Behavior magazine section – members can access it now. Find a friend with a membership or sign up yourself!