Strategies for teachers
Behavior management: Displaying prototypes in the classroom helps kids get on the right track
Researchers from University of Michigan and other institutions have examined the challenges of teachers implementing behavior management strategies and have come up with a prototype classroom display that can be used by students themselves.
According to Gabriela Marcu, assistant professor at U Michigan Information schoolProblems arise in particular when teachers work with pupils exhibiting disruptive behaviors. Classroom work needs to be reinforced at home, but this requires good communication and traditional methods such as paper notes or email do not always go through effectively.
Marcu and his colleagues from his own institution as well as Drexel University and the Washington University conducted research with teachers and parents of students receiving behavioral and mental health services to treat autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other needs. By law, these students are given individual education plans that call for documentation of progress toward the goals set out in the plan. Yet communication breakdowns often mean that parents rarely hear about progress or results.
An iPad app allows students to earn points for safe and appropriate behavior, using categories that help students understand what is expected of them. Source: University of Michigan
As described in a document introduced to the ACM CHI conference on human factors in computer systems, the research team interviewed educators and parents in the United States and Sweden for 30 months and 265 hours of observation, interviews and focus groups, to find out how communication normally unfolds. . Among the concerns were:
Parents had little face-to-face time with educators, preventing the two parties from establishing a working relationship;
Communication was never guaranteed to go through, or if it did, information would be seen too late for families to do anything about specific issues;
Teachers would learn that sometimes, if they fully shared information about embarrassing behavior at school, it would result in family conflict; and
The communication exchange will usually go one way, especially if paper was the medium.
While two-way communication was preferred, using various apps and websites to facilitate this did not always meet the needs of educators or families, Marcu found. As a result, she and the rest of the team are developing new applications with parents, educators, and use by children themselves to improve the design of these programs. One of these prototypes is intended for use by students.