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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Invited Paper Session #527

Why Children Need to Talk to Themselves: The Foundation of Reasoning and Questioning

Monday, May 28, 2018
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Coronado Ballroom AB
Area: DEV; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Joanne K. Robbins, Ph.D.
Chair: R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
JOANNE K. ROBBINS (Morningside Academy)
Joanne Robbins is Principal and Associate Director of Morningside Academy, Seattle, Washington, and co-founder of Partnerships for Educational Excellence and Research (PEER), International. Her contributions in program development, curriculum design, teaching, and supervision were initially guided by Susan Markle, Philip Tiemann, and Herb Walberg. As Principal at Morningside Academy for more than twenty years, she has participated with her colleague Kent Johnson, fine faculty and staff, and hundreds of children and their families in the creation, modification, implementation, and assessment of effective and efficient instruction. As Executive Director of PEER International, Joanne helped create an international team that assists numerous township primary schools and high schools in South Africa. She is the author of Learn to Reason with TAPS: a Talk Aloud Problem Solving Approach, which is being translated into Italian, Hebrew, Spanish, and Portuguese. She is co-author of Fluent Thinking Skills: A Generative Approach. A local community advocate, she served as co-chairperson of the Superintendent's Positive Climate and Discipline Advisory Committee for Seattle Public Schools.

When we set out to educate the whole child, we must design academic goals, provide instruction in self-management and self-instruction, teach problem solving, and promote expansion of the child's community of reinforcers (Greer, 2002). Often overlooked, but essential to each of these facets of instruction is the use of self-dialogue. Children talk to themselves at an early age in environments that recruit problem solving; self-dialogue occurs naturally (Berk, 1994). However, in the school environment the effective use of self-dialogue, which is essential to the development of reasoning skills, must often be taught. This is particularly true for children with special needs. This presentation will describe the need, and effective procedures for establishing reasoning skills. Two strategies presented include Talk Aloud Problem Solving (TAPS) and Question Generating. When equipped with these repertoires learners can tackle a range of academic and social problems that may otherwise occasion avoidance. A healthy educational environment fosters talking out loud, provides challenging problems, and values self-instruction.

Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify the qualities that comprise the Problem Solver and Active Listener repertoires; (2) identify components required to generate questions; (3) describe the value of supplemental verbal behavior in maintaining the problem solvers behavior.



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