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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #386
CE Offered: BACB
Training the Next Generation of Behavior Analysts: Striving for Excellence in Graduate Instruction and Pre-Professional Training
Monday, May 25, 2015
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
205 (CC)
Area: TBA/PRA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jonathan J. Tarbox (Autism Research Group, Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Discussant: Darlene E. Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
CE Instructor: Jonathan J. Tarbox, Ph.D.

The continued health and vitality of the science and practice of behavior analysis depends on providing top-quality graduate and practical training to current and future generations of new behavior analysts. This symposium brings together four papers that describe programs for such training, as well as discussing and critiquing strengths and limitations of how behavior analysis is traditionally taught. The symposium begins with a paper on arrogance by Jonathan Tarbox. The second paper, by Grace Cascone, applies Skinners analysis of self-control to designing learner behavior that enhances the quality of graduate education in behavior analysis. The third paper, by Taylor Hill, describes a system for designing behavioral classrooms as teams to enhance graduate education. The final paper, by Cheryl Young-Pelton, describes a program for training pre-professional skills and includes preliminary program evaluation data. The symposium will conclude with a discussion by Dr. Darlene Crone-Todd.

Keyword(s): graduate instruction, interdisciplinary collaboration, pre-professional skills
Behavioral? Great! Arrogant? Not so Great
JONATHAN J. TARBOX (Autism Research Group, Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD))
Abstract: Behavior analysis is a highly specialized discipline, with unique cultural practices, including rites of passage, values statements, and almost-religiously-held beliefs and rules. The way that we behavior analysts talk about ourselves and our field, and the relative value of our field in comparison to others, is one such cultural practice. In many respects, behavior analysis is superior to other disciplines. In particular, the conceptual foundation of behavior analysis is more scientifically rigorous than many other disciplines. In addition, the treatment effects obtained by applied behavior analytic treatments are more robust and more empirically supported than those of many other disciplines. Being aware of and standing up for the many strengths and virtues of the field of behavior analysis is important. However, as a group, we tend to foster a sense of arrogance or superiority that has many potential negative side effects. This presentation will describe what we believe is a systemic problem in the behavior analytic culture and will provide practical suggestions for how we might make behavior analysts better at respecting and interacting with others. Actively valuing others and being respectful of others is not merely an ethical imperative. We will argue that behavior analysts “playing nicely” with others (or failing to) has very serious practical consequences for the health and vitality of the discipline of behavior analysis, particularly with respect to the field’s ability to affect change on a broader, more mainstream level. Practical suggestions will be made for how to train current and future generations of behavior analysts to be more effective in their interactions with those outside of the discipline, while simultaneously maintaining hardcore behavioral philosophical, scientific, and practical repertoires.
Making Students Make You Better: Self-Control in the Learning Environment
GRACE CASCONE (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Jamine Dettmering (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Megan Durocher (Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Danika Stone (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Scott A. Herbst (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Teachers are accountable for creating an environment in which students meet learning objectives. They structure content, organize its delivery, create contingencies to manage student behavior, and design assessments to evaluate effectiveness. In a sense, teachers are the environment in which learning occurs. However, when class is in session, the students are the environment that support effective or ineffective teaching behavior. This paper will examine Skinner’s (1953) notion of self-control as a response (the controlling response) that alters the environment in such a way as to alter the probability of another response (the controlled response). This analysis will be applied to the behaviors of teaching, and the authors will review several fun and educational exercises that motivate students to behave in ways that evoke engaging behavior from the teacher. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in one of these exercises and then have the rest of ABAI to use what they learned to make the conference better for everyone.

Everybody Gets an "A": Using Teams and Teamwork in the Classroom

TAYLOR HILL (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Nathaniel Lachica (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Allison Bihler (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Ashley Anderson (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Scott A. Herbst (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

In a classroom environment, learning is rarely an individual phenomenon. At one level, there is a student/teacher interaction in which the teacher manages the contingencies that influence the students behavior. Beyond that, there are student/student interactions that have an additional influence on learning. Students talk to each other during breaks, form study groups, become friends, and the conversations they have with each other influence their development as behavior analysts. Creating structures that encourage and facilitate these student to student interactions can bring a new level of intentionality to the learning environment. This paper will review a method for promoting intentional, supportive interactions among students that is being used across three sections of a Basic Concepts and Principles in Behavior Analysis Class. The method involves creating the class as a team playing a common game. The authors will outline the use of assessments as scoreboards, methods to promote leadership and cooperation within the student body, and coaching practices to empower struggling students.

Pre-Professional Behavior Analyst Competencies Demonstrated by Graduate Students Enrolled in a University-Supervised Intensive Practicum
CHERYL A. YOUNG-PELTON (Montana State University in Billings)
Abstract: Graduate students have the opportunity to enroll in a three-semester university intensive practicum course to complete the necessary hours to meet their BACB supervision requirement. In 2013, a comprehensive curriculum of skill competencies for this course was developed and implemented. This curriculum was developed based on feedback from student evaluations and the need to observe and document professional behavior analytic behaviors. The third semester competencies emphasize pre-professional skills like “getting along with therapists from other professions,” and “working with difficult people.” This paper will present outcome measures generated from triangulated sources (university supervisor, graduate intern, and site supervisor). These measures include: student evaluation of course assignments, site supervisor’s rating of student’s professional dispositions, and university supervisor ratings of pre-professional competencies from the curriculum. Data will be analyzed semester-by-semester. A comparison of data will be conducted before and after implementation of the professional skill competencies. Discussion of these outcome measures will be highlighted.



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