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Operant Principles. Dr. Ayers HPER 448 Western Michigan University. Sustaining Program Effect. Ultimate goal of a physical education program What will students need to develop? Physical Skills Knowledge Personal Social Skills What type of skill is associated with management?

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operant principles
Operant Principles

Dr. Ayers

HPER 448

Western Michigan University

sustaining program effect
Sustaining Program Effect

Ultimate goal of a physical education program

What will students need to develop?

Physical Skills


Personal Social Skills

What type of skill is associated with management?

What is the ultimate goal of the teacher regarding student management?

lesson outcomes
Lesson Outcomes

Identify components of behavioral analysis applicable in physical activity context

Behavioral contingency

Reinforcement Procedures


Reinforcement Hierarchy

Reinforcement Schedule

behavioral contingency
Behavioral Contingency*



Discriminating Stimulus Consequence

discriminating stimulus
Discriminating Stimulus *

Instructional Setting

Environment in which the response occurs

Set of controllable circumstances

Created by the instructor

Physical setting, person, activity

Response *

Action that immediately follows the presentation of the discriminating stimulus




Consequence *

Event that follow the response



Law of Probability: Given the same circumstances, the same response will occur if followed by an event perceived to be desirable (pleasing) by the performer


An event that immediately follows a behavior or response

INCREASES the probability that the behavior or response will occur again under the same circumstances

types of reinforcement
Types of Reinforcement

Positive: Presentation of “something” that increases the behavior or response

Negative*: Withdraw or removal of “something” that increases the behavior or response

Escape/Aversion from an event perceived as unpleasant

schedules of reinforcement
Schedules of Reinforcement

Continuous: Every time (Beginner)

Variable: Every X times; no pattern

Fixed: Every X times; fixed number

Intermittent: Random

hierarchy of reinforcers
Hierarchy of Reinforcers

Edible- Consumable that meets a physiological need (water, candy, etc.)

Tangible- Valued as a possession

Token- May be exchanged

Social- Verbal, visual

Activity- Game, past-time

Stimulus Control- Initiated by the student

premack principle
Premack Principle *

Give me whatIwant and you will get whatyouwant

Pairing low frequency behavior with high frequency behavior

Low frequency (not perceived as a favorable)

High frequency (perceived as desirable/favorable)

Shift the ratio: Higher levels of “low” required to gain access to “high” frequencies

reinforcement principles
Reinforcement Principles *

Reinforce small, but successive, approximations toward desired behavior

Reward frequently

Reinforce immediately after, not before

Reinforce clearly


Correct response

General v. Specific

reinforcement principles cont d
Reinforcement Principles*(cont’d)

Reinforce consistently across behavior/ person

Reinforce sequentially

Positive followed by correction

5:1 ratio (positive v. negative or punishment)

Punishment *

Event that immediately follows a behavior that DECREASES the probability that the behavior will occur given the same circumstances

Predominant form of control in educational settings

Frequently misused

appropriate uses of punishment in education
Appropriate Uses of Punishment in Education





Places others or self in jeopardy


Directly to teacher

Violates posted rules



punishment guidelines
Punishment Guidelines


Remove the student from the setting

Maintain composure



Time Out

No peer interaction

No attention-seeking behaviors

Make sure this is not the goal of the student


Teaching Functions

ManagementArranging the environment for learning and maintaining/developing student-appropriate behavior and engagement with the contentContentWhat is to be learnedGOOD MANAGEMENT IS NECESSARY BUT NOT SUFFICIENT FOR EFFECTIVE TEACHING*TEACHING IS AN INTERDEPENDENT PROCESSGoal of good management system High level of engagement in appropriate tasks



-Customary way of handling tasks (usually daily tasks)-Establish expectations to mold S behavior Locker room, pre-class, lesson, end-of-lesson-Introduce and practice until “routine”-Must be reinforced consistently *

common routines
Common Routines

Locker room

Before Class




End of Lesson

Late Arrivals

Water/Bathroom Breaks

Injured Students

locker room routines
Locker Room Routines

When to enter

Where to put belongings

Permissible social behavior

Amount of time allocated for dressing

Where to go upon leaving locker room

Circumstances when to enter the locker room during class

What to do if locker combination does not work

Shower requirement

before class routines
Before Class Routines


Where to go: Circle, squads

Start warm up on own?


Where to go

Permissible activities: Start warm-up, use specified equipment, activities

Does teacher have to be in the room to do activities?


Elementary- Ask classroom teacher how many students are in class or ask students who is absent

Secondary- Use time-saving techniques

Assigned spots- Numbers on floor

Teacher scans


Assigned spots- Squads

Use squad leaders

Rotate leaders

Use a prepared index card

lesson related routines
Lesson-Related Routines

Distributing Equipment

Out-of-Bounds Areas in Gym

Signals (stop and go)

Grouping of Students




Late Arrivals (wait for teacher direction)

Water and Bathroom Breaks

Injured Students (emergency plan)



-General expectations for behavior-Teach as concepts (across a variety of +/- situations)-Guidelines*: Developed cooperatively w/ T and Ss Stated positively Make explicit (post in facility) Reinforce consistently and fairly Few in number (3-5) Consistent with school rules Enforceable

personal social skills
Personal Social Skills


Respect for Others

Respect for Authority

Cooperation (Teamwork)


Best Effort


examples of rules
When others are talking, we will respect them by listening

We will support the efforts of others by encouraging them as they perform

We will use our equipment and space responsibly

We make our best effort at all tasks

We will cooperate with others by sharing equipment

Examples of Rules
developmental considerations
Developmental Considerations

Take students’ personal social development into consideration

Develop a progression for personal social development

Rules for K-2/3-5/7-8/9-10--Should be arranged hierarchically

gaining maintaining s cooperation
Gaining/Maintaining S Cooperation

Plan progressive experiences toward learning environment (Box 7.2, p. 142)

K-2/3: Compliant, want to please teacher

2/3-5/6: Compliant, need less management time

5/6-9/10: Peers most important, motivation becomes an issue

HS: Maturation results in less mgmt time

teaching routines rules
Share clear expectations


Reinforcement (Tangible, Token, Social, Activity?)

Identify your ultimate goal for student behavior (Personal-Social Skills)

Communicate your expectations in advance

Positive is more effective than negative

Inappropriate student behavior is not a personal attack

Discuss appropriate/inappropriate behavior


Teaching Routines/Rules
Positive more effective than negative

Teach expectations, reasons for rules, address problems constructively/cooperatively

Inappropriate behavior is not a personal threat

Be caring, concerned, firm

Rely on instruction/persuasion, not power/assertion

Know your own expectations

Watch your cooperating T this semester; what is ok? What does (s)he let go? Clarity→consistency

Know the ultimate goal for S behavior

Think long-term; what do you want next year? 2 yrs?

Share your behavioral expectations in advance

Do not wait on misbehavior to teach good behavior

Help Ss internalize appropriate behavior

Explain WHY these rules exist

Encourage S participation in rule/behavior expectations

Teach rules for learning tasks too

-How do you actually practice a skill?

-How do you work with others?

-What do you do if you infringe on others’ space?

-How do you get T attention for help?

Management is ongoing

Continually work to help Ss achieve self-control

developing self control personal responsibility
Developing Self-Control & Personal Responsibility

National standards highlight this aspect

5: Exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings

6. Values physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expressions and/or social interaction

Nature of our setting fosters personal/social skills

-Moving from external to internal control →decision making skills

-Guiding Ss to higher level functioning is part of physical educators’ professional responsibility

Strategies emphasized in Hellison’s model*

-Create awareness of appropriate behavior & goals

-Provide opportunities for Ss to reflect on their behavior relative to behavior goals

-Provide opportunities to set personal behavior goals

-Establish consequences for both +/- behavior

-Include Ss in group processes to share T ‘power’

-Help Ts interact with Ss in growth-producing ways

behavior modification box 7 4 p 147
Behavior Modification (Box 7.4, p. 147)

Clear expectations and reinforcement

Stage One

Order a S to desist (stop behavior)

Have S state rule being broken

State expected behavior

Hairy eyeball


Allow S to choose work area to avoid temptation

Time out

Put S at end of line/group (go last)

Stage Two

Conference with S

Isolate S in hall/away from class

Send home note

Call parents


Remove privilege

Stage Three

Deny special class treat (free time at end)

Create behavioral contract

Send S to office

Corporal punishment

ineffective management factors
Ineffective Management Factors

Transition from T- to S-centered control challenges

-Overuse of external rewards

-Failure to withdraw external rewards

-Lack of flexibility in rules, regulations & expected behavior for different contexts

-T willingness to have a “busy-happy-good” environment

authoritative management
Authoritative Management

Ts have a firm but flexible management position

-Rules, procedures expectations context-dependent

-Expectations vary by class, content, student

Ts teach self-directed behavior

Internal control and self-discipline valued

Ss gradually assume more self-responsibility

-Transfer of responsibility for behavior goal

-Create situations in which Ss demonstrate increasing personal responsibility

group processes
Group Processes

Involve Ss in decision making

-Include S input when novel situations arise

-Remind Ss that THEY made rule when reinforced

Resolve conflicts through discussion

Real-time issue; very dynamic environment needed

Role-playing to convey concepts

-Allows Ss to ‘put themselves in another’s shoes’

-Make explicit what happens during ‘skit’ and then summarize lesson(s) learned

final points
Final Points

Prevention is the best medicine

Withitness, overlapping, hairy eyeball, proximity *

Widespread class misbehavior

-Stop class and specifically address problem(class desist)

-Address problem

-Identify as inappropriate

-Focus Ss on desired task/behavior


Treat Ss as you wish to be treated

Be gentle; determine WHY behavior occurs, address problem, not person