Lannie, Amanda L., & McCurdy, Barry L. (2007). Preventing disruptive behavior in the urban classroom: Effects of the good behavior game on student and teacher behavior. Education & Treatment of Children, 30 (1). Retrieved July 19, 2009, from EBSCOhost database.
In many situations teachers are not prepared for the behavioral problems they will face in an urban school. In many cases these behavioral problems are the result of the high percentage of students who enter urban schools from poor and non-English speaking families. There are also a high percentage of special needs students in urban schools. The researchers involved in this study wanted to find a way to improve the behavior and academic success of students in urban schools. The main component of this study centered on a game called the Good Behavior Game (Game). The researchers primarily studied the effect that this game had on the teacher’s response to their respective students and also the students own behavior. One of the key things observed regarding the teacher’s response statements was praise levied by teachers toward their students. The study was done in a first grade classroom of 22 students. To implement the Game the teacher describes to the students what behaviors are acceptable and what behaviors are not acceptable. During a specific time period the teacher will observe the students and keep a tally of inappropriate behavior and the student or group of students with the lowest amount of tally marks wins the game. The results of the study showed a decrease in disruptive behavior and an increase in on-task behavior. The teacher’s response statements as they related to praise stayed at near zero levels throughout the study. One limitation of the study was that during the study instructional activities were uncontrolled. A second limitation dealt with time as it related to the length of the study and the observations by the researchers.
The researchers noted that they had to change some things because they ran out of time near the end of the school year. I think that is a serious limitation considering that even the researchers noted that with more time the results may have been different. The intended audience is obviously an elementary school staff as this game would probably be ineffective in a middle or high school setting. Also, the intended audience is going to be someone who works with children in an urban school. With that being said, the same techniques could possibly be implemented in a setting that was not an urban school. I thought it was important to note that even the researchers stated in the article how vital classroom management is to student behavior and success. Helping students learn comes down to more than simply knowing a lot of History or Math.