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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Paper Session #157
Current Issues in Education
Saturday, May 25, 2024
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon E
Area: EDC
Chair: Douglas Robertson (Florida International University)

CANCELLED: Universal Protocol in a Primary Special Education Classroom: Prioritizing Safety, Dignity, and Trust for Enhanced Student-Teacher Relationship

Domain: Applied Research
KARISHMA KHULLAR (Woodbury Autism Education and Research ), Jenna Ellis (Woodbury Autism Education and Research ), Sarah Stewart (Woodbury Autism Education and Research )

Classroom management is a crucial aspect of effective teaching that involves creating a positive and productive environment for students. Despite receiving training, teachers often feel underprepared to cater the diverse needs of each student. Many evidence-based strategies that target increasing active learning time and decreasing daily disruptions in classroom require specific training, knowledge and resources which puts further stress on teachers already struggling with support. In this study we trained teachers on 7 elements of Universal Protocol framework (Hanley et al) as a holistic classroom management strategy. The protocol aimed towards decreasing challenging behavior, increasing joy and enhancing student-teacher relationship. The results indicate an increase in students feeling Happy, Relaxed and Engaged in classroom along with decrease in both dangerous and mild behaviors for all 5 participants. These outcomes are corroborated by teacher’s report of improved satisfaction with classroom dynamics and enhanced student engagement. The findings urge us to have a value-based classroom management strategy that prioritizes safety, dignity and rapport for a student’s holistic development.


Enactment Without Enforcement: Suppressing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Domain: Theory
DOUGLAS ROBERTSON (Florida International University)

Self-censoring faculty behaviors such as scrubbing syllabi, email, and speech to remove words like diversity, equity, inclusion, critical race theory, and intersectionality, help define the “chill” that many higher education faculty and administrators experience currently. This paper uses a well-established typology of rule-governed behavior to discuss how Florida’s “Anti-Woke” legislative agenda (self-described as such by advocates) functions to influence the behavior of university faculty and administrators without actual enforcement of contingencies. This paper explores behavioral mechanisms involved with enactments of Florida’s wide ranging Senate Bill 7044 (2022), House Bill 7 (2022) , and Senate Bill 266 (2023) that include the following stipulations (among others): (a) proscribe discussing, lecturing, or assigning reading any content that has to do with “race, color, national origin or sex” if any student feels uncomfortable with that content; (b) prohibit expending any funds for programs that “advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion”; and (c) essentially eliminate tenure. The first two laws (SB 7044 and HB 7) currently have an injunction placed on them by a federal district court judge. Their power to shape behavior via rules given, even when under injunction, serves to make the point that the enactment of suppression does not always require enforcement.




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