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Theoretical Models for Understanding Behavior Essay

In special education it is vital to have an understanding of human behavior and how it relates to learning disabilities. It is imperative to have a grasp of the concepts of the models and how it relates to the educators of tomorrow. (Wheeler, John J. , Richey, David Dean, 2010) Understanding models of behavior also helps to have a more cohesive and positive classroom. When looking at an atypical child, the biological model, is an excellent starting point. The biological model is using medically based information to help ascertain the typicality of a child in relation to his/her counterparts.

Using medical data and testing to find anomalies aids in diagnosing and starting treatment regimens. Mainly use of biological model addresses the differences in the child’s physiological function. This is sometimes determined by gaining result of pathogens in the body. “Pathogens alter the body’s equilibrium and are defined as any causative agent of disease. ” (Wheeler, et el, 2010). Sometimes our physical appearance is more noticeable in atypical human behavior. Oftentimes in special education children are more identified due to the appearance of their well being.

(Wheeler, et el, 2010). Jean Piaget is often considered the father of developmental model. Piaget made huge strides in understanding human development. His theory emphasizes on two processes; assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation when children “fit new stimuli into their comfort zone. ” (Wheeler, et el, 2010) Accommodation when children alter their thinking to fit into their new (assimilated) environment. This model has changed over time but it has stayed concise with the original concepts that children develop in a more predetermined and expected way.

The developmental theorists do all agree that children go through stages of development but each child is individual and they have their own characteristic. This model does emphasize that the model is geared toward young children. The contemporary early childhood educator and early childhood special education educators often rely on the ideas of Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP). (Wheeler, et el, 2010) The issue lies with this model not showing how to help children with a learning disability or the atypical child. A solid solution entails linking

a developmental theorist with an early interventionist to enhance the education process with activity-based interventions. By having the two entities working together with the child, the atypical child will progress. (Wheeler, et el, 2010) The psychodynamic model explains through human development and behavior is an example of stage theory. (Wheeler, et el, 2010) The point of view of stage theory is every person goes through multiple stages throughout their lives from childhood to adulthood. This model stresses the unconscious process in determining abnormal behavior.

The theory also has an understanding that the environment attributes to the behavior of an individual, which conflicts between internal self and external events. The most important psychodynamic theorist that is noted is Sigmund Freud. He is well known for his theory of personality development which is; id, ego and superego. Another psychodynamic theorist is Erik Erikson, who expanded Freud’s theory through psychosocial development. Ericson’s theory has eight stages of moral development, involving a conflict of maturity and social expectations on which a child progresses before moving on to the next stage of moral development.

Ericson’s development starts at birth and progresses through elderly years. An important criterion for this model is concentrating on the motive that causes the behavior. This model also presumes that the developmental stages are consistent to all individuals. There is limited evidence for this model is an education environment. (Wheeler, et el, 2010) The Ecological Model shows the importance to understand the behavior within the environment. An important theorist that received much respect from his work with young children is Lev Vygotsky. His model focuses on the interactions that occur in the environment and how they affect the behavior.

His theory also indicates that children learn by engaging in activities that they enjoy while working with other children. For example, if a child (A) were playing with Lego without the knowledge of how to put it together. Another child (B) sat down and knew how to put the Lego together; child A would learn from child B. Uri Bronfenbrenner is another known theorist for the ecological model. He is widely known for the showing that child development circled around the family, school, and environment. For the child to be educated it all depends on the environment surrounding the child.

There are many factors in his theory; for example, a child is living in a non-supporting home that causes a trickling affect for the child to be unsuccessful. Bronfenbrenner emphasizes all of the elements must be working toward the same goal, the student. Nicholas Hobbs was best known for re-education of troubled children and youth. This theory leads to the design of Re-Education of Emotionally Disturbed Children program (RE-ED). This included studying Western European countries examining support for children with a disability. One model studied in France showed the role of a care giver in child care setting, titled psychoeducateurs.

This was not done in the United States at this time. “The psychoeducateur was essentially a child-care specialist who had been cross-trained in the disciplines of child development, psychology, education and child care and was responsible for working with children both during school hours and after school hours. ” (Wheeler, et el, 2010) Hobbs took this idea to the United States, starting the position of school counselor to work with troubled children. The theory behind Hobbs ideas is to have support for just not the child but the child’s family, school, and community as one unit.

The ecological model shows it is essential for a better outcome to include all the components to be a successful student. So it is vital for a student to be successful to have family, school, and community working together. (Wheeler, et el, 2010). The behavioral model tries to understand the human behavior from a scientific means to observe and assess. This model emphasis on the environment and the behavior, it determines the reason why someone acts a certain way through their past and this relates to their behavior directly.

(Wheeler, et el, 2010) Theorists including Pavlov and Skinner developed early ideas of operant conditioning and reflex responses that are basis for ABA and PBS. In the classroom setting, using these theories can help change behavior within the class. For an educator to assess behavior for change first would be to determine why is this student acting this way. B writing down the antecedent to the behavior, it begins to show patterns in behavior. “The historical development of the behavioral model provides the foundation for e development of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and the later evolution

toward positive behavior supports (PBS). ” (Wheeler, et el, 2010) The social learning model at its core is modeling behaviors expected of children. Alan Bandura emphasize that people learn through social interaction and the environment influence children learning. Using a preschool class Bandura was able to show that children who were exposed to aggressive behavior acted in kind. Modeling is essential to social learning theory. Modeling appropriate and positive behaviors on a consistent basis is imperative to a child’s learning. Children learn through modeling in the areas of language, social behavior, and gender-appropriate.

. (Wheeler, et el, 2010) Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) looks at the function of behavior, while attempting to change the behavior with positive reinforces. Branching from the behavioral model, the basic principals of Pavlov and Skinner are used to break down tasks into small portions, allowing the learner to be successful often. Lovaas are used to break down tasks into smaller portions, allowing the learner to be successful often. Lovaas, credited with the development of discrete trial training (DTT) refines the work of smaller tasks.

ABA also includes observing behavior over time in a comfortable environment and molds to the individual needs of the learner. ABA will also have positive and meaningful change through therapy. (www. autismspeaks. org) The therapist usually works one on one with a participant either at home or in a classroom environment. This therapy can also work in a group setting as well. (www. autismspeaks. org). ABA helps assist varied amounts of learning disabilities such as; Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anger management in adolescents with behavior disorder, and Autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

ABA doesn’t just work with children; efficacy has also been shown in areas within the business community of performance management, worker safety, efficiency, and employee. This is a wonderful tool to progress children to be a successful student by building up self esteem and confident level. (Wheeler, et el, 2010) Positive behavior supports (PBS) is an extension of ABA allowing for positive outcomes by changing the perception of environments. “Some experts have viewed PBS as an outgrowth of applied behavior analysis. ” (Wheeler, et

el, 2010) Some feel that there is not a big difference between ABA and PBS. PBA uses both positive and negative reinforcers when assessing and correcting behavior; where PBS uses positive reinforcers to obtain appropriate behavior. PBS, like ABA employs the use of manipulative in order to elicit a positive response. It is essential for this program to work effectively through a functional behavior assessment. It is vital to collect data to implement the instructional interventions. It is essential for this program to work effectively through a functional al behavior assessment.

According to IDEA of 1997 PBS is a recommendation for intervention assisting with children with behavior who have learning disabilities. ( Cohn, Andrea M. 2001) PBS emerged due to adverse behavior and children with severe disabilities to assist them with alternative ways on handling certain situations. Positive Behavior Support believes are there reason why children are being disruptive during class, and help by developing a plan to help children to become successful students. (Farenga, Ed. Steven J, Ness, Daniel, 2005) Theoretical viewpoints are often hotly debated in many walks of life.

As an educator, understanding the basics of the theories helps not only understand the whys of the profession, but gives a solid foundation of behavioral solutions for the classroom. Understanding the limitations of each allows for a cohesive environment for both the educator and children. Theoretical ModelsEarly TheoristsMethodologyApplicability Criticisms Biological Model Using medically based information to help ascertain the typicality of a child in relation to his/her counterparts. Diagnosed of disorders, allows for a concrete answer for behaviors.

Allows tailoring for specific disabilities. Limited use in the classroom environment. Developmental Model PiagetUse stages of development. Persons are evaluated on own characteristics relies on DAP. No two children are the same, early interventionist and special education educator team up will increase the success rate and a better education experience. (Wheeler, et el, 2010)Geared towards younger children, limited applicability in adult educational settings, does not form the educational community how to adapt this model to atypical development. Psychodynamic Model

Freud, EriksonBelieves in the unconscious determining atypical behaviors. Uses cognitive perspective to learn or correct thinking. This model was limited to a educational setting. This model assumes that all individuals are the same across the board. Unable to observe or assess due to what an individual is feeling and thinking. Ecological Model Vygotsky, BronfenbrennerUses environment to support positive change. Believes that school, community and home life tier out to make up child’s identity and self worth. Also encourages positive peer involvement and modeling. Birth of the school counselor.

Modeling positive behavior for a favorable outcome. It is essential to have the home, school, and community to be part as one unit rather separate. Behavioral Model Pavlov, Skinner, Thorndike, BijouRelies on assessments and observation of behavior. ABA is the most common application of the model. Emphasize the environment is related to an individual, able to measure and observe an individual. Lack of understanding toward this model from the educators and administration. Social Learning Model BanduraLearning through social interactions, environment is a factor. Modeling is essential.

Concentrates on the influence the environment that the child has been exposed, modeling positive behavior Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)Looks at the function of behavior, while attempting to change the behavior with positive reinforces. Applied in both home in a classroom setting, requires extensive training. It is widely used in a classroom setting, requires extensive training. Positive Behavior Supports (PBS)Horner, Sugai, SpraguePositive behavior supports (PBS) is an extension of ABA, allowing for positive outcomes by changing the perception of environments. Classroom environment, also in conjunction with ABA in community/home settings.

Functional analysis is limited to clinical setting. Requires training prior to implementation. References Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). (2013). Retrieved from www. autismspeaks. org. Cohn, Andrea M. (2001). Positive behavioral supports: information for educators. Retrieved from www. nasponline. org. Farenga, Ed. Stephen J, Ness, Daniel (2005). Positive behavior supports. Encyclopedia of Education and Human Development, (3), 809-814. Wheeler, John C, Richey, David Dean (2010). Understanding behavior in children and youth. Behavior Management Principles and Practices of Positive Behavior Supports, (2), 2-31.

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