Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #493
CE Offered: BACB
Worldwide Application of The Pyramid Approach to Education: A FUNctional Approach to ABA in Classrooms
Monday, May 28, 2018
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom HI
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Anne Overcash (Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc.)
Discussant: Robert D. Holdsambeck (Calaba)
CE Instructor: Catherine Horton, M.S.

Classrooms worldwide report difficulties with implementing systematic, manageable approaches to creating effective educational environments. The Pyramid Approach to Education (Bondy, 2011) provides a systematic and manageable framework for creating effective environments using elements of applied behavior analysis. This model and it's systematic and functional approach have achieved worldwide appeal while achieving meaningful outcomes for learners. Structural elements of the Pyramid target the creation of functional activities, use of powerful reinforcement systems, teaching a range of critical communication skills, and the functional assessment of contextually inappropriate behavior. Instructional elements include planning for generalization, matching each skill to a lesson format, carefully choosing teaching and error correction strategies. Data collection and most importantly, analysis are central to the overall functioning of a Pyramid Classroom. A key distinction from other approaches involving the application of applied behavior analysis is that classroom teachers and all other support staff are empowered to teach - within the parameters of good science, but it is not a "one size" fits all approach. Teaching staff are involved in the decision making process and lesson development for all students with an emphasis on individual needs while maintaining both group and individual learning. This symposium will present an overview and implementation from several perspectives. Data will be presented from a school program where several classrooms have achieved Pyramid Certified Classroom Status. Within that program, leadership teams have been created to foster the maintenance of implementation. Programs in a variety of countries using the Pyramid Approach to Education will be described and attendant results discussed.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Bondy, effective classrooms, Pyramid, Pyramid Approach
Target Audience:

Members of multi-disciplinary teams including teachers, speech-language pathologists, behavior analysts. Anyone who actively participates in the supervision and direct service delivery required to set up and maintain classrooms.

Pyramid Certified Classrooms – Overview and Outcomes of The Pyramid Approach and Certification Model
(Service Delivery)
CATHERINE HORTON (Pyramid Educational Consultants)
Abstract: The Pyramid Approach to Education is an effective model of teaching that establishes meaningful educational environments for all learners. This model is based upon broad spectrum applied behavior analysis and includes two types of learning elements: structural and instructional. The structural elements form the base of the Pyramid, creating an environment within which to teach. The base elements include: Functional Activities, Reinforcement Systems, Functional Communication and Identification and Replacement of Contextually Inappropriate Behaviors (CIBs). The instructional elements form the top of the Pyramid and include information relevant to the creation of effective lessons. The top elements include: Generalization, Lesson Formats, Teaching/Prompting Strategies and Error Correction. All elements involve data-based decision making. Following an overview of this model, an intensive certification process, known as Pyramid Certified Classrooms, will be explored. This model includes training and consultation regarding implementation of all elements. Data from several classrooms will be reported, via review of the nearly 100 items included on the Pyramid Checklist. In addition, the Pyramid Leadership Model, created to ensure that positive changes will be maintained over time, will be discussed.

International Applications of the Pyramid Approach to Education

(Service Delivery)
DONNA MARIE BANZHOF (Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc.; Pyramid Group Management Services Corporation)

Pyramid Educational Consultants has offices in 14 countries with nearly 40 Pyramid Consultants who provide both training and consultation services. All training and consultation involves a description of or direct application of The Pyramid Approach to Education, a systematic framework for designing effective educational environments. One example of the direct application of the Pyramid Approach is a Pyramid Certified Classroom, a process that involves training and consultative guidance on implementing the nine elements of the Pyramid Approach to Education. The Pyramid elements are implemented in a specific sequence as the sequence is an essential component of this approach. Upon successful demonstration of the items listed on the Pyramid Classroom Checklist in one element, consultation begins in the next. Throughout this process teams design/build their own effective environment, one is not prescribed. This consultation and certification approach has been successfully implemented in classrooms worldwide. How teams across the globe implement the Pyramid Approach as well as the similarities and differences will be highlighted in this presentation.




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