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Most Effective Strategies for Reducing Negative Behaviors

Joy Fuller

Westside Community Schools

Doane College

Research Methods: EDU 603 and Culminating Project: EDU 604

Dr. Schlichtemeier- Nutzman

Fall 2015

Table of Contents Abstract ………………………………………………………………. 3

Chapter 1: Introduction………………………………………. Page 4

Context of the Study …………………

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Page 4

District ………………………

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Page 4

Building ……………

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…Page 5

Classroom

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Page 6

……… Teacher …………… Purpose……

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Page 11

8

Innovation ……………

Page 11

Significance ………………

Page 11

Research Questions ………

Page 13

Chapter 2: Literature Review …………………….……

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Page 14

Writer’s Connection ………………

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Page 21

Chapter 3: Research Design and Methodology…

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Page 22

Purpose ……………

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Page 22

Worldview ……………………………………

Page 22

Research Design/ Methodology……………. ….Page 22 Data Collection Tools…………………………. Page 23

Page 23

………. Validity ………………………………….……. Page 23 Action Research Steps and Timeline…….……. Page 24

Ethical and Cultural Considerations ……….…. Page 26

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Sampling Design

………………….…………. Reliability ……………………………

Data Collection …

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Introduction …………….……

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26

Data Collection Matrix .…

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Triangulation of Data

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Page 27

Data Analysis ……………

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Page 29

Chapter 4: Findings and Discussions ……….……………

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Page 30

Findings ………………………………….……. Page 30

Discussions …………………

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Page 35

Chapter 5: Summary and Conclusion

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Page 38

References……………………

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Page 41

Appendix A ……………………

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Appendix B ……………………

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Appendix C ……………………

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Appendix D ……………………

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Appendix E ……………………

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Abstract

Most Effective Strategies for Reducing Negative Behaviors

Joy Fuller

October 17, 2015

Negative behaviors are inevitable within the classroom. Research shows that extrinsic

rewards, consequences, and intrinsic rewards are all strategies that can be used to reduce

negative behavior. This study uses mixed methods to determine the effects of using

extrinsic rewards, consequences, and intrinsic rewards in order to reduce negative

behaviors and increase amount of time spent on academics. The first grade class was

observed for number of negative behaviors and to determine effective strategies for

reducing negative behaviors. Tally marks were used on an observation summary form to

show the number of negative behaviors, anecdotal notes were taken throughout the study,

and an electronic questionnaire was sent out to colleagues to gather information about

which strategy they find most effective and an example of the strategy. By doing this

action research it was found that all three strategies, extrinsic rewards, consequences, and

intrinsic rewards, reduced negative behaviors.

Chapter I: Introduction

Context of the Study

Westside’s History and Demographics

In 1946 District 31, 46, and 65 combined as District 66 in order to meet needs of

students (westside66.org…). The three schools were Oakdale, Underwood Hills, and

Loveland. The junior- senior high school opened in 1952. The district was named

Westside after the West Side Story. Westside has 10 elementary schools, one middle

school and one high school. Westside gives the option for open enrollment for students.

The high school is a premiere college preparatory program it offers modular schedule to

develop students independent learning skills. Students are required to complete 80-hours

of community service and a senior project. 85% of Westside students go to college.

(westside66.org…).

Westside has always been at the forefront of innovation. Westside was the first to

have a special education program. It was the first to have a full day kindergarten

program, foreign language classes in elementary, and pre-school programs. Early

Childhood Center started in 1968 and has offered toddler programs, six half-day

programs, two full-day programs, and a five-day program.

Merit Pay was rewarded to

teachers in 1971. Westside was among the first to give high school students laptops. In

2008 eighth grade students received laptops, and in 2014 laptops were extended to

seventh graders. Also, iPads were given to student’s kindergarten through sixth grade.

(westside66.org…).

Westside mission is, “The mission of Westside Community School District, as an

innovative educational system, is to ensure academic excellence and to serve the unique

needs of all learners” (westside66.org…).

From Westside’s Demographic Report from 2012-2013 Westside’s enrollment

was 5,854. Males were 50.5% of population and females were 49.5%. Free and reduced

lunch was 31.3% and no assistance was 68.7%. Student’s involved in the ESL program

was 2.2%. Special needs students consisted of 13.56% of the Westside population. The

ethnicity of Westside is 77.8% are Whites, 7.7% are African Americans, 6.1% are

Hispanic, 3.4% are Asian, 4.2 % are two or more races, 0.7% are American Indian and

0.1% are Pacific Islander

Westgate’s History and Demographics

Westgate Elementary webpage states Westgate Elementary opened in 1957: it

consisted of one main building and several cottages along Westgate Road. The cottages

were used for students with exceptionalities. In 1975 a tornado demolished the school.

The school was rebuilt during the summer (westside66.org…).

Westgate’s mission statement is, “The Mission of Westgate Elementary School is

to educate each child to achieve his/her full potential in collaboration with school, family,

and community” (westside66.org…). Westgate’s rules are to Be Safe, Be Respectful, and

Be Responsible. The Boy’s Town Social Skills are used at Westgate (westside66.org…).

Westgate pledges to have productive behavior. Westgate’s motto is We can. We will.

Westgate has implemented a leveling system and student notebooks for behavior

management. Westgate also uses a school wide extrinsic reward system.

Westgate is a Title 1 school and has 340 students (ard.education.ne.gov). From

Westside’s Demographic Report from 2012-2013 Westgate has the highest percentage of

Free and Reduced Lunch. Westgate also has the highest percentage of ESL students and

special needs students. Westgate has the highest percentage of Black or African

American students. Westgate has the second highest Hispanic percentage and the lowest

percentage of White students. 61.7% of students at Westgate are White, 19.2% of

students are Black, 9.1% of students are Hispanic, 7.3% of students are two or more

races, 1.7% of students are Asian, and 1.1% of students are other. 23.7% of students are

special needs, 8.7% of students are English Language Learners, and 58.9% of students

are free or reduced lunch (westside66.org…).

Classroom Demographics and Room arrangements

Westgate Elementary has two classes for each grade except second grade. Some

classrooms can only be accessed by walking through another classroom, this is not the

case for my classroom, but I am connected to the other first grade classroom. Our school

flex groups for math. So my teaching partner and I switch students for math and guided

reading.

Throughout the day I have several different adults in my classroom such as

educational

assistance,

special

education

teachers,

reading

interventionists,

speech

pathologists, and math interventionists.

This year in first grade I have had between 15-17 students. There are 12 girls and

5 boys.

When we switch students for math, about half of my class go to the other

classroom and about half of her class come to my room. For guided reading, I meet with

about half of the other teacher’s students as well.

.

Upon walking in my classroom directly to the left is the calendar bulletin board.

Under the bulletin board are my students’ cubbies, where they keep a majority of their

supplies and on top of the cubbies is where students check in for lunch, turn in their

student notebooks, and turn in homework.

Along that wall, under the windows are the

hooks for their jackets and backpacks.

Further down the wall are the centers bulletin

board and a shelving unit with all the center activities. In the back of the room is a door

connecting my room to the other first grade classroom. Beside the door is the iPad cart,

which houses all of the students’ iPads.

Next to the cart is my reading nook.

It has a

large bookshelf of books, two comfy chairs, and truffula trees. Also along the back wall

is a large bookshelf with their book boxes on it and the door to the bathrooms. The other

sidewall has a sink, shelves, and bulletin boards. On my bulletin boards I have space for

student work they have completed and want to show the class and the word wall. In the

front of the classroom in the corner is my kidney bean table.

I

also

have two

whiteboards. On one of the whiteboards are our behavior management system, a leveling

system, school rules, boy’s town social skills, and general expectations.

On the other

whiteboard is where the daily schedule and learning goals are. There is also a screen that

can be rolled down.

In front of the whiteboard I have my rocking chair that I sit in to

teach or read.

I also have a bookshelf that holds pencils, tissues, paper, glue, colored

pencils, crayons, markers, etc.

On the floor in front of the whiteboards there are pieces of tape to indicate where

students are to sit when they come to the floor. All whole group lessons take place on the

floor. When we are sharing show and tell or writing we sit in a circle on the floor. In the

middle of the classroom are 5 tables. Each table has 3 or 4 students. In the middle of the

table are table caddies with pencils, erasers, and crayons for each student. I also have a

table in the back of the room for interventionists to work with students on.

Personal Classroom Management Philosophy

“My definition of classroom management is the rules, responsibilities, and

consequences the teacher and students have agreed upon that will be carried out

throughout the year. Along with my definition of classroom management are my

assumptions of what classroom management will look like in my class. My assumptions

are that my students will help finalize our classroom rules, I will use a proactive approach

for misbehavior, and I will use positive reinforcements. After discussing my assumptions

my philosophy statement, different implications, and questions that remain will be

addressed.

As a teacher I will have at least 20 students in the classroom from 8-3. This being

said, there are going to be some problems throughout the day, but I do plan on having a

proactive approach for misbehavior.

As Hardin says (2012) “… it is better to have a

plan to prevent misbehavior than to have a response plan when misbehavior occurs” (p.

5). I will do the work beforehand in order to ensure that the avoidable problems will be

avoided. This could be anything from closing the blinds, dimming the lights, doing

certain subjects at certain times of the day, etc. It will take time to figure out what

specific things are problems to avoid, but I will do as much work as possible in order to

prevent these things. In order to find the information, I can read students’ files, contact

parents, and ask their previous teachers.

Along with the proactive approach I will use assertive discipline. I firmly believe

in the different principles of Assertive Discipline that Hardin describes. Hardin (2012)

states, “Assertive teachers clearly and firmly express their needs… they say what they

mean and mean what they say, students know the limits in the classroom (p. 45).” Hardin

goes on to explain the steps to put an assertive plan into place. When talking about the

positive aspects of Assertive Disciple Hardin retells that Assertive Discipline addresses

the behavior rather than the character of the student. From my personal experiences, this

can go a long way.

Assertive Discipline and the proactive approach go hand in hand as a teacher

meaning that when I step into the classroom I will be actively avoiding situations that

will be a problem for any one of my students. When using Assertive Discipline, my

students will know what I expect from them and this alone can be beneficial for

extracting problems within the classroom.

My next assumption is that while teaching I will use positive

reinforcements. These reinforcements will come to my students in a variety of

channels. One of my personality traits is an encourager, so it will be incredibly natural

for me to verbally praise students when they are doing something well or behaving

well. Another aspect of positive reinforcement that I plan on using is a variety of the

‘marble in the jar’ approach. I am spectacle and will have to be careful with this because

I do not want my students to become reliant on behaving well in order to get a

‘marble’. In order to prevent this I plan on using the ‘marble’ at various times when the

students do something remarkable or something ordinary on a selective basis. If they are

quiet in the hallway does not mean they will get a ‘marble’ every time they walk in the

hallway quietly. I also like the idea of tokens with a treasure chest of various toys for

students. I firmly believe that positive reinforcement is what I will use in my classroom

because of negative experiences I have had with negative reinforcement.

After exploring my definition and assumptions my philosophy statement is that in

order for a classroom to be an effective learning environment the teacher and students

need to come to an agreement on the rules, responsibilities, and consequences so that the

teachers and students expectations can be met” (J. E. Fuller, personal communication,

December 2012).

Background of the Problem

Throughout educational history a continuous problem has been negative

behaviors disrupting instruction. Negative behavior is found in students of all ages and

across all content areas. Teachers and administrators use several different positive and

negative consequences. Last year Westgate Elementary implemented a behavior leveling

system that is paired with extrinsic rewards. Throughout the year several teachers battled

with the best way to minimize negative student behaviors while following our school’s

behavior plan. By doing this Action Research different strategies were examined in order

to determine what strategy is the best to minimize negative behaviors.

By watching my students react to extrinsic rewards, intrinsic rewards, and

consequences, it lead me to research different strategies that will reduce negative

behaviors. I observed my students’ reaction when extrinsic rewards were received as

well as when consequences were given. I noticed that when I gave negative

consequences it tended to change the tone of the room. I wanted to examine reactions

more closely in order to determine the best ways to minimize negative behaviors.

Problem Statement

I explored what strategies reduce negative behaviors. The strategies that were

examined were extrinsic rewards, intrinsic rewards, and consequences. This issue has

been a concern of mine from the time I entered education. Negative behaviors are

inevitable, but by reducing negative behaviors instruction time can be devoted to

instruction rather than redirection or discipline.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of my study was to determine which strategy, extrinsic rewards,

intrinsic rewards, or consequences, is most effective in order to reduce negative

behaviors. Then the most effective strategy or a combination will be implemented to

reduce negative behaviors that become disruptions and take away from instruction time.

Innovation

After finding what strategy will best minimize negative behaviors, I will

implement the strategy in order to lower the number of negative behaviors, minimize

disruptions, and reduce disciplinary actions. The strategy can be used for all students

across content areas and grade levels. By finding out what strategy works best, I can

become an expert on the particular strategy and avoid strategies that were not as

successful at minimizing negative behaviors.

Significance

Once the most impactful method of reducing negative behaviors has been

identified then I will be able to use this strategy more frequently. By reducing negative

behaviors, more time can be spent on instruction. After finding the best strategy to

minimize negative behaviors I will be able to share the strategy with colleagues in my

building as well as other colleagues within the district. As a teacher, knowing what

strategy works best at lowering negative behaviors teachers can spend less time

addressing negative behaviors and more time focused on instruction.

By knowing what

strategy works best for minimizing negative it can be used with all students for any

negative behavior. The most effective strategy can be used across content and grade

levels.

Definition of Terms

Intrinsic motivation, “takes place when the person performing the task develops

internally satisfying consequences during or after the behavior” (Witzel & Mercer, 2003,

p. 89).

Extrinsic motivation “takes place when someone engages in a certain behavior to

reach satisfying consequences outside of the person during or after the behavior” (Witzel

& Mercer, 2003, p. 89).

Assumptions, Limitations and Delimitations

I assumed when discussing with colleagues and students about which strategy

works best for them, they told the truth.

One limitation within the study is that some students who had an Individualized

Education Plan might have been on a specific strategy set in place to minimize their

negative behaviors. Westgate already has a behavior management system and an

extrinsic reward system in place that was used.

By choosing to research different strategies to minimize negative behaviors

different delimitations have been chosen. The first delimitation is that I researched this

topic and three different strategies. Data will be taken for eight weeks. All students will

be included in the data and all subject areas were used in the data.

Another delimitation

is that the strategies were layered upon one another. Extrinsic motivation was introduced

before the study begins, then consequences was layered, and finally intrinsic rewards was

added.

Research Questions

Statement: Students exhibit negative behaviors.

PQ: What strategy is most effective in reducing negative behaviors?

GQ #1: How do extrinsic rewards impact negative behaviors?

GQ #2: How do intrinsic rewards impact negative behaviors?

GQ #3: How do consequences impact negative behaviors?

Chapter II: Review of the Literature

Throughout educational history, educators and physiologists have researched

techniques in order to minimize negative behaviors. In order to minimize such behaviors,

a classroom management system needs to be in place; in some cases this may include a

school-wide behavior management plan. Different extrinsic and intrinsic rewards can be

used as preventive measures. Despite effective classroom management and rewards,

negative behaviors will remain, so teachers will need appropriate consequences or

discipline techniques.

When setting up classroom management some school districts will ask teachers to

incorporate school-wide behavior management systems. As an example of this, Alter and

Vlasak (2014) state Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) have been

implemented nationwide to ensure students’ success. Alter and Vlasak describe PBIS as,

“…a data driven approach which incorporates both behavioral and academic supports

within a comprehensive framework” (p.51). PBIS focuses on prevention and sets school

wide expectations. Alter and Vlasak define PBIS saying there are three tiers to PBIS; and

by setting up the school wide expectations, every student is allowed to understand

behavior expectations and rules. Tier 2 supports students by implementing interventions

for small groups. Zehr (2011) gives an example of Tier 2 plan in which students have a

chart with the expected behavior and rating scale of a 0,1, and 2 for teachers to evaluate

how the student did in their class. At the end of the day the students are to check out with

a teacher in order to receive a ticket, which are put into a drawing for a prize. If the Tier

2 intervention is still not meeting the needs of a student, then the student will receive a

Tier 3 intervention, which is individualized, intensive support (Alter & Vlasak).

Classroom management is the primary concern of many first year teachers, states

Caldarella, Page, and Gunter (2012). Garrett alluded to the same problem that novice

teachers are not given the tools for effective classroom management; rather they come

into the classroom with a bag of tricks and continue to struggle through years of teaching

and have even left the field (2013). Caldarella, Page, and Gunter have found that many

novice educators resort to using systems of rewards and punishment, which result in

increased chronic classroom behavior problems. They suggest implementing Social and

Emotional Learning for students. Social and Emotional Learning promote positive

behaviors. The authors also promote Conscious Discipline. The principles of Conscious

Discipline are: others cannot change people, relationships are foundation of behavior

management rather than rewards and punishment, and conflict is a part of learning rather

than something to be avoided. Jones, Jones, and Vermette (2013) add to the discussion of

classroom management by saying there are eight elements. The elements of classroom

management are student-teacher relationships, high expectations, verbal and non-verbal

redirections, consistency, perseverance and assertiveness, human resources, justice, and

school wide, consistent, expectations.

Garret states five different aspects of behavior

management, which are organization of classroom design, rules and routines, caring

relationships, engaging and effective instruction, and discipline (2015).

Negative behavior is an unavoidable aspect of being a teacher, but according to

Landrum, Lingo, and Scott, misbehavior is predictable and preventable (2011). The

authors furthered their statement by saying when teachers are motivated to look at when

students are misbehaving, teachers can generally predict the behavior and time of the day

students are misbehaving. Once the behavior is identified, the authors encourage teachers

to take precautions such as changing routines and arrangements. Lastly, the authors

challenged teachers to engage students through their instruction by using simple

strategies such as clarity, feedback, opportunities to respond, modeling, and gradual

release.

Witzel and Mercer identify another preventative strategy for diminishing negative

behavior: motivation, and in particular, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation (2003). Witzel

and Mercer state intrinsic motivation “takes place when the person performing the task

develops internally satisfying consequences during or after the behavior”(p. 89). Some

different examples of intrinsic motivation are task completion, feedback results,

acquisition, and a sense of mastery. Extrinsic motivation “takes place when someone

engages in a certain behavior to reach satisfying consequences outside of the person

during or after the behavior” (p. 89). Some examples are objects, token systems,

approval of others, and project activities. Williams and Stockdale include grades,

stickers, stars, coupons, tokens notes home, and privileges as examples of extrinsic

rewards (2004).

Several researchers have argued against using extrinsic rewards. Garrett (2013)

describes how often novice teachers do not know any other motivation technique other

than to bribe students to behave appropriately through extrinsic rewards. Witzel and

Mercer (2003) concluded extrinsic rewards have the potential to ruin the possibility for

students to become intrinsically motivated. Garrett examined misconceptions about

classroom management and found that the use of extrinsic rewards can interfere with

students’ intrinsic motivation (2015). Morris discussed and questioned using money in

order to motivate students for after school programs, boosting of scores, and improved

grades (2008). She wonders what the long-term effects will be when money is used as a

motivator for elementary through high school students. Williams and Stockdale (2004)

describe a common effect of extrinsic rewards, when they are used motivate students;

students often become reliant upon the reward. Another adverse effect the author

describes is when teachers reward students for simply finishing work. The author also

states when teachers promise tangible payoffs it could increase the motivation, but

decrease the reward of the completion of the skill. Williams and Stockdale state that

intrinsic motivations do appear to have advantages over extrinsic motivation.

For thirty years researchers have argued about the effects of using rewards

(Cameron& Banko, 2003). Cameron and Banko stated it was a common conception that

using rewards would reduce interest in tasks and people would spend less time on the

task and especially when the reward is taken away.

The researchers found that people

rewarded for meeting standards spent their free time on the activity demonstrating that

when people are rewarded for meeting expectations then it will increase motivation.

Williams and Stockdale (2004) suggest using unexpected rewards in order to produce

long-term target behavior.

McGinnis, Friman, and Carlyon (1999) state that extrinsic

rewards should be phased out rather than abruptly stopped (Williams & Stockdale). They

also suggest that extrinsic rewards are best used when they are targeting a low interest

level due to student’s skill level. The author also suggests using intrinsic reasoning while

performing external rewards so that students receive intrinsic reasoning as they receive

the external reward.

Like Williams and Stockdale, Dolgin agrees that motivation must be external

before they can become internal (Cook, 2003).

Cook explains that extrinsic rewards are

necessary, because children are not just born with intrinsic motivation. The author goes

on to described how extrinsic motivators need to be used wisely in order to accomplish

the goal of students developing intrinsic motivation. Cook suggests in order for intrinsic

motivation to develop, teachers must set goals wisely, help develop students’ pride in

accomplishment, provide opportunities for peer approval, and create self-esteem,

confidence, enjoyment, satisfaction (p. 41).

Witzel and Mercer (2003) found that teacher’s praise, which is an extrinsic

motivator, led to intrinsic motivation. “Rewards affect people’s intrinsic motivation”

(Pierce, Cameron, & Banko, 2003, p. 561). Davis, Winsler, and Middleton (2006) further

studied this phenomenon by researching the frequency of rewards from parents and

teachers and exploring relation of childhood reward history to academic achievement and

motivation in college. Researchers found 77% of participants responded that rewards

were effective academic motivators. They also found that those who considered rewards

as good extrinsic motivators were less extrinsically motivated whereas those who

considered extrinsic rewards as bad were more extrinsically motivated in college (Davis,

Winsler, & Middleton, 2006).

McGinnis, Friman, and Carlyon (1999) studied how using token rewards,

extrinsic motivators, would effect intrinsic academic motivation. The authors found the

amount of time spent on academics increased with token rewards and sustained even

during fading and withdrawal of the reward.

Rassuli (2012) found that time on task was

increased when extrinsic or intrinsic rewards were given. Cameron and Pierce found that

participants that were rewarded had higher intrinsic motivation than participants that

were not rewarded (Witzel & Mercer, 2003).

Williams and Stockdale (2004) inquired about teacher’s ability to distinguish

between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in correlation with motivation. The authors

concluded that in reality most of students’ behaviors are a blend of extrinsic and intrinsic

motivation and both reward systems have benefits and limitations.

The authors

conclude, “Tangible rewards are neither inherently good nor bad, but rather tools for

accomplishing skill development” (p. 226).

Despite systems such as PBIS, preventative classroom management techniques,

and rewards, students will still exhibit negative behaviors. Garrett (2013) provided

techniques in order to address the issue such as nonverbal interventions including

proximity, eye contact, hand signals, and facial expressions, ignoring the behavior, verbal

redirection, positive teacher language clarifying what student should do, and

consequences to help students understand why the behavior is inappropriate (p. 49). Two

years later Garrett (2015) posed several different questions to consider when thinking

about discipline. The questions included, how will the teacher deal with discipline, how

will serious behavior be dealt with, what will the consequences be, and will behavior

modification plans be use.

Sayeski and Brown (2011) state several different behavior

interventions (2011). The techniques include ignoring, signals, proximity, touch control,

relationship building, affection, humor, help, interference, regrouping, restructure, appeal,

limitation of space and tools, removal, permission, saying no, promises, and rewards (p.

13). These are several different techniques teachers can use in order to dissipate negative

behavior. Sayeski and Brown (2011) continually reminded teachers that, although these

are techniques, a majority of the technique has to do with how it is perceived by the

student. In order to ensure it is perceived positively, teachers need to ensure they execute

the technique in as positive manner as possible.

Educators often use classroom management paired with behavior management

systems, preventative strategies, rewards, and consequences in order to minimize

negative behaviors. Cameron and Banko (2003) share that for over thirty years

researchers have argued about the effects of using rewards. Numerous researchers

disagree about extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation. Even when pairing extrinsic with

intrinsic motivation behaviors will reduce, but persist. Reduction of negative behavior

has been the focus of research throughout history and there has not been one strategy that

has completely eliminated negative behaviors, but through action research on what

strategy will be most effective in reducing negative behaviors in our own specific

classrooms, teachers can be more effective in reducing negative behaviors in order to

maximize instruction.

Writer’s Connection

Throughout several different scholarly articles, research has found that classroom

management is essential in order to manage student behaviors. Authors have stated that

classroom management should not solely rely upon extrinsic rewards because of long-

term negative effects. While other authors said that extrinsic rewards, if used in the

proper manner, could be an effective motivator for students. Another group of authors

suggested it is difficult to know if what motivates students is truly extrinsic or intrinsic,

so teachers should wisely use the two motivators together in order to effectively motivate

students. Despite great classroom management and motivation techniques, negative

behaviors persist so several authors suggest different types of negative consequences or

discipline.

Most everything I read correlated to my philosophy of classroom management. I

firmly believe in order for a teacher to be successful, the teacher needs to have a firm

grasp on classroom management. In order to motivate students teachers should

strategically use different motivation techniques such as extrinsic rewards, but should

combine extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. When negative behaviors continue to arise,

teachers need to have clear guidelines and strategies for negative consequences for

students.

The articles align with my research question. The research and my primary

statement start at the same premise: Students exhibit negative behaviors. In order to

reduce negative behaviors teachers need to use different strategies such as extrinsic

reward, intrinsic rewards, and negative consequences. My research revolves around

which strategy is most effective in order to reduce the negative behaviors.

Chapter III: Research Design and Methodology

Purpose of Action Research

The purpose of my action research was to examine the best practices for reducing

negative behaviors within the classroom. The different types of strategies examined were

intrinsic rewards, extrinsic rewards, and consequences.

The purpose of my study was to determine which strategy, extrinsic rewards,

intrinsic rewards, or consequences, is most effective in order to reduce negative

behaviors. Then the most effective strategy will be implemented to reduce negative

behaviors that become disruptions and take away from instructional time.

Worldview:

In conducting research it requires a certain worldview as a framework. The

worldview I used in order to design my study is Pragmatism. Pragmatism has a starting

point, and my starting point was my primary question: which strategy, extrinsic rewards,

intrinsic rewards, or consequences, is most effective in order to reduce negative

behaviors? After knowing what my starting point was, I built upon it in order to find a

solution.

Research Tradition:

I used mixed methods, quantitative and qualitative, in order to determine which

strategy, extrinsic rewards, intrinsic rewards, or consequences, is most effective in order

to reduce negative behaviors.

Specific Research Design/ Methodology:

Mixed methods were used as the research design. By using mixed methods I used

an electronic questionnaire, anecdotal notes, and observations to conduct the action

research. Research was done concurrently. The research was built on theories relating to

different strategies used for reduction of negative behavior.

Data Collection Tools:

Data collection tools consisted mainly of observations, anecdotal notes, group

discussions, and an electronic questionnaire.

I planned on using group discussion for collecting data on intrinsic motivation,

but decided to use the observation form instead. The observation form allowed me to be

consistently taking data on the number of negative behaviors I was seeing. I found that it

was difficult to get first graders to grasp intrinsic motivation.

Sampling Design:

The sampling design will be complete enumeration; my whole first grade class at

Westgate participated.

Reliability:

In order to ensure reliability, which is assurance that if the research were

replicated it would have the same result, the same group was observed and the

observation were repeated.

The terms were clearly defined in order to ensure reliability.

Different forms of each strategy, extrinsic rewards, intrinsic rewards, or consequences,

were used and the strategies used with the whole class, across curricular areas to ensure

consistency.

I was the only person collecting data, so inter-rater reliability is ensured.

Validity:

To confirm the research is valid, which refers to truthful examination of what is

being studied, I used Guba’s (1981) criteria for validity in my action research as outlined

in Mills (2014). Guba’s criteria consist of credibility, transferability, dependability, and

confirmability.

To ensure that credibility existed throughout the research I, researched for eight

weeks. I consistently observed the same students, strategies, and behaviors. Throughout

the research process I debriefed with colleagues. Triangulation was practiced throughout

the research process by using different forms of data collection.

Transferability was conducted by using different data collection tools such as

observations, anecdotal notes, questionnaires, and discussions.

The research was dependable because methods overlapped to ensure the areas of

grey of one method were the strengths of another method (Mills, 2014). Teacher

observations overlapped with the Observation Summary Form. The Observation

Summary Form overlapped with an electronic questionnaire. It was possible for the audit

trail to occur because my findings were carefully and deliberately explained using

anecdotal notes.

Lastly Confirmability was ensured through triangulation and reflexivity.

Reflexivity was expressed through anecdotal notes of my findings, particular situations,

examples, definitions, assumptions, and biases.

Action Research Steps and Timeline:

Week 1

Set up classroom management (rules and expectations). Extrinsic reward system in place (leveling system and gator bucks). Complete baseline observation form using the Observation Summary Form. Take anecdotal notes. Observe behaviors.

Week 2

Extrinsic reward system in place (leveling system and gator bucks). Introduce extrinsic reward of gator store. Introduce extrinsic reward of behavior games with reward.

 

Amplify the amount of gator bucks given. Continued use the Observation Summary Form. Take anecdotal notes. Observe behaviors.

Week 3

Extrinsic reward system in place (leveling system, gator bucks, gator store). Continue use of behavior games. Continued use the Observation Summary Form. Take anecdotal notes. Observe behaviors.

Week 4

Extrinsic reward system in place (leveling system, gator bucks, gator store). Continued use the Observation Summary Form. Take anecdotal notes. Observe behaviors. Introduce consequences (move students, call home, office referral, restricted recess).

Week 5

Extrinsic reward system in place (leveling system, gator bucks, gator store). Continue use of consequences (move students, call home, office referral, restricted recess). Continued use the Observation Summary Form. Take anecdotal notes. Observe behaviors.

Week 6

Extrinsic reward system in place (leveling system, gator bucks, gator store). Continue use of consequences. Continue use the Observation Summary Form. Take anecdotal notes. Observe behaviors. Introduce Intrinsic Motivation through class discussion about why it is important to behave appropriately.

Week 7

Extrinsic reward system in place (leveling system, gator bucks, gator store). Continue use of consequences. Continue Intrinsic Motivation class discussions. Take anecdotal notes. Observe behaviors.

Week 8

Extrinsic reward system in place (leveling system, gator bucks, gator store). Continue use of consequences. Continue Intrinsic Motivation class discussions. Take anecdotal notes. Observe behaviors. Collect final data using the Observation Summary Form.

Ethical and Cultural Considerations:

In pursuit of ethics, privacy and cultural sensitivity was addressed. In order to

ensure privacy to students, all data was aggregated and I did not use students’ names

throughout the study.

Cultural sensitivity was considered throughout the research. Some of the aspects

of the research that may have been affected by cultural differences were: power distance,

context, locus of control, and interpretation of facial expression. A student’s

interpretation of power distance could have determined how a student reacted to a

teacher’s consequence. If a student had a low power distance, then the student may not

have been receptive of consequences. Some cultures (and individuals) operate from high

to low context. When students have high context, they would have noticed my voice tone

and gestures, but if they had low context, unless I verbally gave them a consequence or

praise, they may not have recognized or acknowledged it. If students had internal locus

of control, intrinsic rewards may have been more effective, whereas if a student had an

external locus of control then they may not have found intrinsic rewards as effective. A

teacher’s facial expressions could have been used as extrinsic rewards and consequences,

so how the facial expressions were interpreted would depend on students’ background.

Data Collection

A variety of data collection tools were used to complete this project on what

strategy, extrinsic rewards, intrinsic rewards, or consequences, is most effective in

reducing negative behaviors. Triangulation was ensured throughout the research process

by using different data sources (see matrix below).

Data Collection Matrix

Primary Question: What strategy will be most effective in reducing negative behaviors?

 

Data Source #1

Data Source #2

 

Data Source #3

GQ #1 How do extrinsic rewards impact negative behaviors?

Anecdotal Notes

Electronic

 

Observation

Questionnaire

Summary Form

GQ #2 How do intrinsic rewards impact negative behaviors?

Anecdotal Notes

Electronic

 

Questionnaire

 

Group Discussion Observation Summary Form

GQ #3 How do consequences impact negative behaviors?

Anecdotal Notes

Electronic

 

Observation

Questionnaire

Summary Form

I planned on using group discussion for collecting data on intrinsic motivation as

the third data source, but decided to use the observation form instead.

By using the

observation summary form I was able to keep track of the negative behaviors for all three

strategies so it would be more consistent.

Triangulation of Data:

In order to generate data on extrinsic rewards I took anecdotal notes. The

Electronic Questionnaire was sent to colleagues and asked what strategy teachers found

most effective: extrinsic rewards, consequences, or intrinsic rewards, and an example of

the strategy. I used active participation observation, which means while I taught I

observed how students behaved and how they reacted to extrinsic reward. In order to

make active participation observations I used the Observation Summary Form. I was

able to determine the date students exhibit the behavior, the number of negative

behaviors, what my reaction was, and any observations on how students responded to

teacher reaction.

To measure intrinsic rewards I used anecdotal notes to document what my lessons

on intrinsic motivation were and how the students responded. The Electronic

Questionnaire was sent to colleagues and asked what strategy do teachers found most

effective: extrinsic rewards, consequences, or intrinsic rewards and an example of the

strategy. I planned on using group discussion for collecting data on intrinsic motivation,

but decided to use the observation form instead. By using the observation form I was

able to collect data on the number of negative behavior for all three strategies so I could

compare them. It was also difficult to get first graders to grasp intrinsic rewards.

In order to take data on consequences I took anecdotal notes. The Electronic

Questionnaire was sent to colleagues and asked what strategy do teachers find most

effective: extrinsic rewards, consequences, or intrinsic rewards and an example of the

strategy. I used active participation observation, which means while was teaching I

observed how students are behaving and how they react to consequences. In order to

make active participation observations used the Observation Summary Form, I was able

to determine the date students exhibit the behavior, the number of negative behaviors,

what my reaction was, and any observations on how students responded to teacher

reaction.

Data Collection/ Information Gathering Tools

I used anecdotal notes, an electronic questionnaire, and an Observation Summary

Form. Anecdotal notes were taken informally on a form.

The electronic questionnaire

was sent to colleagues and asked what strategy did teachers find most effective: extrinsic

rewards, consequences, or intrinsic rewards. Then they were asked to give an example of

the most effective strategy. The Observation Summary Form included the date, negative

behavior observed, teacher reaction, and any observations on students’ response. The

negative behaviors included were violence, interruptions, and not following instructions.

The teacher reactions included extrinsic reward, consequence, and intrinsic reward.

Observations were documented in order to determine how students respond to the

teacher’s reaction.

Data Analysis

This action research project focused on finding the most effective behavior

management strategy in order to reduce negative behavior of students. There were three

different strategies studied, extrinsic rewards, intrinsic rewards, and consequences.

Observations, anecdotal notes, and an electronic questionnaire were used in order to

gather information. Means for questionnaire answers will be calculated and depicted by

using bar graphs. Observations of negative behaviors will be calculated and put into a

line graph. Anecdotal notes were used for the discussion.

Chapter IV: Findings and Discussion

Findings

Mixed methods were used to determine how extrinsic rewards, intrinsic rewards,

and consequences impact negative behaviors. All first grades students were observed

during all curricular areas. The first week of the study was for initial data, the second and

third weeks extrinsic rewards were introduced, the fourth and fifth weeks consequences

was layered upon the extrinsic rewards, the sixth and seventh weeks intrinsic rewards was

layered, and then the eighth week I did a post observation. Throughout the eight weeks

of the study an observation summary form was used to track the date, tally the negative

behaviors, track the type of negative behaviors, and take anecdotal notes. An electronic

questionnaire was also sent to colleagues that asked them what type strategy, extrinsic

reward, intrinsic reward, or consequences, they found most effective as well as an

example from their classroom. I also took anecdotal notes about what I was observing

throughout the study.

Below is the Steps to Action Chart which shows the questions and findings,

recommended action, who is responsible, who needs to be consulted, who will collect

data, the time line, and the resources necessary.

Steps to Action

Questions and

Recommended

Who is

Who

Who

Time

Resources

Findings

Action

Responsible?

Needs to

Will

Line

Necessary

be

Collect

Consulted?

Data?

1.0 How do extrinsic rewards impact negative behaviors?

         

1.1 Extrinsic

Rewards ex.

1.1 Continue

1.1 Teacher

1.1 N/A

1.1

1.1

Gator bucks,

Use

Teacher

Ongoing

candy, gator

           

time, clip

1.1

Reduce

char, gator

negative

store

behaviors

2.0

How do

           

intrinsic

rewards

impact

2.1 Toolbox

negative

2.1

Continue

2.1

Teacher

2.1

N/A

2.1

2.1

of

behaviors?

Use

   

Teacher

Ongoing

consequences

2.1

Reduced

Negative

Behaviors

3.0 How do

           
 

consequenc

es impact

3.1

negative

Intrinsic

behaviors?

3.1

Continue

3.1

Teacher

3.1

N/A

3.1

3.1

Reward

 

Use

   

Teacher

Ongoing

Strategies

3.1 Reduced

Negative

Behaviors

Visual Depictions for Extrinsic Rewards, Consequences, and Intrinsic Rewards

This bar graph shows colleagues responses to which strategy they find most

successful for reducing negative behavior.

Consequences

Extrinsic Rewards

Intrinsic Rewards

Consequences Extrinsic Rewards Intrinsic Rewards 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

31

This line graph shows the number of negative behaviors by date. It also shows

what strategy I was using.

behaviors by date. It also shows what strategy I was using. Initial Observation Before starting any

Initial Observation

Before starting any management strategies, I did an initial observation, as

depicted above in the line chart, without any management strategies negative behaviors

were 42, 43, 44, 45, and 46 which averaged around 44 negative behaviors a day. The

first day of school I did introduce the school wide behavior management system, which is

a clip chart. Beyond the clip chart, for the initial observation I did as little as possible for

behavior management.

32

Extrinsic Rewards

The second full week of school I started extrinsic rewards. I introduced gator

bucks, which are green tickets that students receive if they are doing something positive.

I hand them out for turning in homework, returning their student notebook, following

directions quickly, showing positive behaviors, to shape others behavior, etc. I also

introduced gator store, which is on Wednesdays and students get to spend their gator

bucks for variety of prizes. I also discussed the leveling system and used the leveling

system as extrinsic rewards. For our leveling system there is a level 0, 1, 2, or 3. Level 0

is needs improvement, level 1 is good day, level 2 is very good day, and level 3 is an

excellent day. During these two weeks I stressed the leveling system and did mini-

lessons about what it takes to get the different levels.

On the bar graph above showing the results of the electronic questionnaire sent to

colleagues, 6 out of 11 or 55% of colleagues said that they find extrinsic rewards most

effective in reducing negative behaviors. This shows that a majority of colleagues find

extrinsic rewards to be the most effective in reducing negative behaviors.

As depicted on the line chart, the negative behaviors, while using extrinsic

rewards, were 47, 22, 31,37, 26, 24, 22, 30, and 21. While using extrinsic rewards

negative behaviors did reduce. The negative behaviors went from an average of 44

during the initial observation to an average of 29.

Consequences

During the fourth and fifth week of the study I started using consequences for

students when they were showing negative behaviors and I also reduced the amount of

extrinsic rewards I was using such as gator bucks.

The consequences I most often used

was giving students verbal warnings when they were acting negatively. If they continued

to show the negative behavior I would move them to a different spot or clip them down

on the clip chart.

Also, some of my students get to check in with other teachers if they

met their goals, during these weeks I did not allow my student to check in the teacher if

they did not meet their goals.

On the bar graph above showing the results of the electronic questionnaire sent to

colleagues, 0 out of 11 or 0% of colleagues said that they consequences are most

effective in reducing negative behaviors. This shows that none of my colleagues find

consequences as the best way to reduce negative behaviors.

As depicted on the line chart, when using consequences negative behaviors were

17, 19, 18, 22, 20, 14, 25, and 19. Using consequences did again reduce negative

behavior. The negative behaviors went from an average of 29 during the extrinsic

rewards to an average of 19.

Intrinsic Rewards

The sixth and seventh week of the study I introduced intrinsic rewards. The first

day of intrinsic rewards I talked to my students about following the rules because they

know it’s the right thing to do. We talked about the Westgate rules of being safe,

respectful, and responsible and why it is important to follow those rules because they

know it is the right thing to do, not just because it will make their parents or me happy or

they might receive a gator buck. Before every lesson I went through the rules and talked

about how they should follow the rules because they know it is the right thing to do.

On the bar graph above, showing the results of the electronic questionnaire sent to

colleagues, 5 out of 11 or 45% of colleagues said that they find intrinsic rewards most

effective in reducing negative behaviors. This shows that just under half of my

colleagues find intrinsic rewards as the most effective way to reduce negative behaviors.

As depicted on the line graph, upon introducing intrinsic rewards, negative

behaviors were 18, 18, 18, 17, 19, 14, 20, 17, 17, 17, and 15. By using intrinsic rewards

negative behaviors did again decline. The negative behaviors went from an average of 19

during the consequences to an average of 17.

Discussion

Extrinsic Rewards

In my anecdotal notes from the two weeks of extrinsic rewards I noted that when

introducing the gator store one student said, “This is the best day ever!” This showed me

that using the gator store is a positive strategy. Also I found that by giving out gator

bucks to those following instructions, negative behaviors of other students reduced. I

noticed that by using gator bucks it really helped in certain parts of the day, in particular I

found that using gator bucks was helpful when starting to introduce centers. On

Wednesdays, when we had gator store, it was a good motivator for students to act

positively because they knew the better they did, the more gator bucks they would

receive and the better prizes they could buy.

Some examples of extrinsic rewards that colleagues provided on the electronic

questionnaire were: gator bucks, gum, candy, sitting in the teacher’s chair, small jobs to

get positive attention, cleaning the whiteboard, running errands, lunch with a teacher,

teacher’s helper, student of the month, mints, behavior games, prize box, gator time, and

a note home.

I

found that using extrinsic rewards it was a positive way to reduce negative

behaviors and increase positive behaviors.

By using extrinsic rewards, it does reward

students for doing the right thing, but it is also a visual to other students that when you do

the right thing you can get recognized in a positive way.

Consequences

During consequences a majority of my anecdotal notes were to write what types

of consequences I was giving to children and thoughts on consequences, which are shared

in the summary and conclusion.

None of my colleagues named consequences as the best way to reduce negative

behaviors, so there are no strategies to share from the electronic questionnaire.

I found that consequences did reduce negative behavior. Using consequences was

a powerful tool, with repetitious negative behavior in particular. For students who were

continually exhibiting the same negative behaviors it was positive to use consequences to

show them and other students that what they were doing was not acceptable.

Intrinsic Rewards

My anecdotal notes during intrinsic rewards were about the types of things I was

saying as well as my thoughts on what I was seeing which are shared in the summary and

conclusion.

Some examples of intrinsic rewards that colleagues provided on the electronic

questionnaire were: self worth, belonging, positive feedback, students who complete

work in a certain amount of time could join the teacher on the floor, recognize students

doing the right thing, name students doing the correct thing (which corrects other

students’ behaviors as well), help students be successful, help students focus on making

themselves better, and help students recognize that behavior and rewards can go together.

Intrinsic Rewards also reduced behaviors. I found that it was somewhat hard for

first grade students to grasp intrinsic rewards, this is the reason I did not do a group

discussion as a way of taking data for intrinsic rewards.

Chapter V: Summary and Conclusion

Summary

By performing this action research I learned a lot about the strategies, my

students, and myself. In the initial observation part of the study, findings were what I

would have predicted: negative behaviors were high because there was little to no

behavior management. One thing that I noted during the initial observation was I was

still introducing procedures and sharing the rules so there were few to no daily routines. I

think this is part of why the behaviors were so high. Students spent a majority of their

day sitting and did not know what to expect because there was no routine yet.

During extrinsic rewards the negative behaviors declined and it was easy for me

to give extrinsic rewards because I was rewarding the positive in my students. But during

the consequence stage, I struggled. It was hard for me as a teacher to react negatively

toward students and continually reverted to consequences. In my anecdotal notes, I noted

that negative behaviors might have continued to decrease due to the layering over

extrinsic rewards.

I found that during the intrinsic rewards stage it was also difficult. I was not sure

how to introduce intrinsic rewards to first graders. I doubted that a group discussion

would give me accurate data so I continued with the observation summary form.

During the last week of my intrinsic reward stage, a parent approached me about

the leveling system. Due to this, during the post observation I did a mini-lesson about

what it takes to get a 0, 1, 2, or 3. Then throughout the week I labeled the behaviors that

should be exhibited in order to get a 3. For example, I would say, “Students earning a 3

should be getting in line quickly and quietly, while they are in line their heads are faced

forward, their hands are at their side, and they are hushed.” I found that while labeling

the behaviors I expected of them, their negative behaviors as depicted on the line graph

were 9, 13, and 14 for an average of 12. While labeling the behavior that I expected of

my students not only did their negative behaviors decline, but also it helped me to see

what students were and were not following directions. After sharing this with Dr. Sue

Schlichtemeier-Nutzman, she told me that what I was actually using intrinsic rewards

because the students were beginning to learn the system.

Conclusion

If I were to repeat this study there are a few things that I would do differently.

First I would not take data all day, every day for eight weeks. I would choose specific

times, because it was a lot to always be keeping track of data. Also, I not only tallied

negative behaviors, but what negative behaviors I was seeing, for this study I think this

was unnecessary. I would also wait until the third week of school to start the study when

students had a daily schedule, I feel as though as soon as I had a routine, the students’

behaviors went down regardless of the strategy. I know there is a fine line because that

would be another week with little to no behavior management system. I would also

define extrinsic rewards, consequences, and intrinsic rewards before the study started. I

felt as though I was ready with the extrinsic rewards, because our school has a school

wide behavior management system, but I was not as prepared with consequences and

intrinsic rewards. I wish I had had a toolbox of consequences and intrinsic reward

strategies to implement. I also would have changed my data collection tools. Instead of

doing a group discussion about intrinsic rewards I did change my data collection to the

observation summary form, I also wish I would have sent out the electronic questionnaire

earlier to receive more feedback.

In conclusion, as a result of this action research, I will use all three strategies,

extrinsic rewards, consequences, and intrinsic rewards, as effective strategies for

reducing negative behavior. I will use intrinsic rewards the most by labeling the

behaviors I expect of the students, but will layer them in the order that I utilized in this

study. Extrinsic rewards are most common and best understood by students, then

consequences, and then intrinsic rewards. I will supplement intrinsic rewards with

extrinsic rewards by rewarding students with gator bucks, gator store, and verbal praise.

I will also use consequence with repetitious negative behaviors.

By using extrinsic

rewards, consequences, and intrinsic rewards I will reduce negative behaviors and

increase the amount of time spent on academics.

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Appendix A: Ethics Certificate

Appendix A: Ethics Certificate 44

Appendix B: Request to Conduct Research Form

Appendix B: Request to Conduct Research Form 45

Appendix C: Observation Summary Form

Date

Negative Behavior

Teacher Reaction

Observations (How student responded to teacher reaction.)

 

Violence

Extrinsic

 

Interruption

Consequence

Not Following

Instructions

Intrinsic

 

Violence

Extrinsic

 

Interruption

Consequence

Not Following

Instructions

Intrinsic

 

Violence

Extrinsic

 

Interruption

Consequence

Not Following

Instructions

Intrinsic

 

Violence

Extrinsic

 

Interruption

Consequence

Not Following

Instructions

Intrinsic

 

Violence

Extrinsic

 

Interruption

Consequence

Not Following

Instructions

Intrinsic

46

Appendix D: Electronic Questionnaire

Appendix D: Electronic Questionnaire 47

Appendix E: Anecdotal Form

Date: Strategy Anecdotal Notes
Date:
Strategy
Anecdotal Notes

48