Applied Behaviour Analysis

The study of human behaviour through empirical data has the potential to completely transform lives. The materials below are an introduction to the methods and power of ABA to change lives for the better.

Training in ABA-based practices

 

Applied Behaviour Analysis

J Carl Hughes Presentation to Second QUART conference, Belfast. Teaching Academic Curriculum: Effective Inclusion (2012): Queen’s University, Belfast

“Applied Behaviour Analysis is not a limited science: it really has something to say about every aspect of education.” Professor Carl Hughes, an internationally noted practitioner and academic, outlines the definitions of ABA, clarifying misconceptions and giving concrete examples of how ABA enables professionals to transform lives. If you are new to ABA, this address is an excellent place to start. 

Go to video →

 
Applied Behavior Analysis: Using Science to Improve Educational Outcomes for all Students – workshop video (Heward W L 2013): Queen’s University, Belfast

This workshop by renowned educator Professor Bill Heward outlines the core principles, application and utility of the science of Applied Behaviour analysis. It is illuminated by a number of video extracts demonstrating teaching tactics derived from or enhanced by ABA. This is a must for anyone who wants to be effective through the systematic use of evidence in the daily operation of the classroom.

Go to video →

 
Behavior Analysis Is Not Ultimately About Behavior (Carr E 1993): The Behavior Analyst 1(16) Spring 1993 retrieved from National Center for Biotechnology Information website

One of the most prevalent misrepresentations of Applied Behaviour Analysis is that it focuses on robotic, stimulus-response methods of controlling subjects. Nothing could be further from the truth. In this short article, Edward Carr shows how ABA science seeks to identify the reasons behind behaviours, and to improve lives through the ethical application of scientific discoveries.

Go to PDF →

 

About Inferred Functions (Engelmann S, undated): retrieved from zigsite.com
The current fashions for brain imaging and cognitive theories are rife with problems, not least of which is their lack of explanatory power. This short article explaining the premises of Inferred Functions of Performance and Learning, by Engelmann and Steely (2004), shows the insights that can be gained from logical inferences about internal performance processes, based on the analysis of observable behaviours. Far from being restricted to external behaviours only, the analysis in Applied Behaviour Analysis allows us to gain powerful insights into the workings of the mind.

Go to PDF →

 

The Negative Side Effects of Reward (Balsam, P D and Bondy, A S 1983): Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 16(3) 283-296 retrieved from National Center for Biotechnology Information website
Contrary to the spurious misrepresentations of Alfie Kohn, behaviour analysts discovered and categorised the negative side effects of reward long ago. In this classic article, the researchers outline some of the common errors that teachers and therapists make. One of the key goals of behaviour researchers is to ensure that rewards and punishments are not misused. The goal is always to move towards the learner as less dependent on external consequences and more self-controlled.

Go to PDF →

 

Good Noise! Using Choral Responding to Increase the Effectiveness of Group Instruction. (Wood, C L and Heward, W L 2013): The Ohio State University
In this practical outline, Wood and Heward explain why choral responding is so important to maximising student responses through a few short sessions every day. The technique is neither rote learning nor ‘drill and kill’, but a means of ensuring that all students are actively engaging with content and of enabling the teacher to quickly identify students who have not acquired content accurately. The article contains many practical guidelines to ensure that choral responding is used judiciously for maximum impact.

Go to PDF →

 

Autism and ABA: The Gulf Between North America and Europe. (Keenan M, Dillenburger K, Rottgers H R, Dounavi K, Jonsdottir S L, Moderato P, Schenk J J A M, Virués-Ortega J, Roll-Pettersson L and Martin N 2015): Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
While the title of this article suggests that its focus is autism, it actually provides an incisive and comprehensive overview of the state of Applied Behaviour Analysis in Europe. Having clarified the difference between ABA as a scientific discipline and applications of ABA which are interventions, the authors highlight the confusions and misinformation that have hindered government support for behavioural treatments for autism and which, as a result, have prevented thousands of ASD children from receiving effective help.

Go to website →

 
Applied Behavior Analysis for Teachers 9th edition (Alberto P A & Troutman A C 2012): Pearson

The updated edition of a classic that shows how teachers can apply the principles discovered in Applied Behaviour Analysis to their classrooms, to achieve the emotional and learning climates that produce confident, successful students. (NB This link takes you to Amazon, not the book itself.)

Go to website →
 

Positive Reinforcement. University of Kansas. 

This article defines positive reinforcement, clears up misconceptions and explains why the use of positive reinforcement techniques in the classroom is useful, humane and pro-social. 

Go to website 

 
What Every Teacher Should Know About . . . Punishment Techniques and Student Behavior Plans: Intervention Central 

This practical article explains the key ideas and practices for implementing student behaviour plans, why teachers need to be conscious of punishment techniques, and how they should take great care in using such procedures. 

Go to website 

 
Improving Reading Rate of Low Performers (Engelmann, S undated) Retrieved from zigsite.com

How to use ABA principles to improve learning outcomes for low-progress readers.

Go to PDF →

 
ABA Acronyms and Terms. Kelly, Amanda N PhD, BCBA-D aka Behaviorbabe 

Dr Kelly's illuminating website explains many of the most common acronyms and terms in the field. These terms may serve as an introduction to key principles and techniques in the study of Applied Behaviour Analysis. 

Go to website 

 
Rules, Praise, and Ignoring: Elements of Elementary Classroom Control (Madsen C H, Becker W C and Thomas D R 1968) Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 1(2) 19-150 retrieved from Journal of Direct Instruction Winter 2001

Reprinted from 1968, this classic article simplifies the elements of classroom management as illustrated through a reversal design experiment conducted in two classrooms. The writers are bold enough to suggest one key principle as the foundation of good management. See if you agree!

Go to website →

 
Twenty Years of Experience in Treating the Most Severe Problem Behavior: Lessons Learned. (Foxx, R M 1995)

Richard Foxx, professor of psychology at Penn State University, is famous for his demonstrations of the impact of carefully applied behavioural principles to patients with severe behaviour problems. Here he sets out twenty years of distilled experience. His observations of why systems are reactive rather than pro-active, why they seek to eliminate rather than to resolve problems, and why they resist the implementation of effective interventions, are relevant not only to mental health insitutions but also to schools. 

Go to PDF 

Training in ABA-based practices

: