An important aspect of education is the ability to maintain proper classroom decorum. The ability to employ correct assessment protocol is essential for providing behavioral management for individual students and the classroom. The various steps in assessment and implementation of a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) for disruptive classroom behavior will be discussed and clarified in this essay.
Proper FBA Assessment
Couvillion, Bullock and Gable (2009, p. 218) considers it essential for educators to follow logical order in preparation of a FBA due to the intricacies and nuances of the individual nature of intervention. Moreover, this is especially vital for neophyte teachers, as Couvillion et al. (pp. 220-221) records only eight percent of educators in their first year have had exposure or training in FBA preparation in contrast to sixty two percent by their tenth year.
Zirpoli (2008, p. 235) notes that there are seven necessary steps in the creation of a proper FBA. The first step is to correctly and deliberately define the undesired behavior as a constant issue that requires correction via a FBA. Couvillion et al. (p. 223) notes physically aggressive behaviors, chronic classroom problems and verbally aggressive behavior as the three most commonly reported reasons that lead to a FBA. Educators must be cognizant of other problematic behaviors that may warrant intervention such as self-abuse, property destruction and social isolation or withdrawal. This in essence requires recording the observed behavioral disturbance. The educator will create a log of documenting and identifying the precise behavior along with time and duration of the incident. For example, a graph or checklist can be used to confirm and establish a pattern of behavior based on the activity or class the incident occurs (Zirpoli, 2008, pp. 235-237).
The next important step is then to address why the behavior occurs and what form of FBA intervention is appropriate (pp. 248-249). The educator conducting the FBA must supplement data acquired from direct observation with collaboration of the student's other teachers. Additionally, it is recommended to interview the student's parents to obtain further background information. A parental interview will include questions pertaining to the child's eating and sleeping behavior, use of medications, and does the behavioral issue happen at home as well (p. 257). Moreover, the assessor must determine response factors of the environment. How does the parents, teachers and classmates respond to the behavior? Does the student receive negative attention for his or her actions? How do the parents and teachers rebuke or penalize the behavior?
Based on data collected, the next step is to develop a hypothesis about why the undesired behavior occurs. At this stage, it is common to use a Antecedents-Behavior-Consequences (ABC) observation form which organizes data collected into three sections (namely, Antecedents, Behavior and...