Which individuals become the principal agents for regulating their own behavior. One strategy for developing self-control is cue regulation. Which involvea changing conditions antecedent to a target behavior. For example, a student with poor study habits may use a rearanged room for study. Another strategy is self-reinforcement, by which student reward them selves for completion of tasks. A third is self-observation. This involves self-monitoring and perhaps charting one’s own behavior. Each of these procedures suggest areas for informal assessment. Perhaps through student or teacher interviews. And training.
Fagen and Long (1979) have developed an assessment and curriculum system for teaching self-control skills. The eight skill clusters in this system are
1. Selection – ability to percieve incoming information accurately
2. Storage – ability to retain the information received
3. Sequencing and ordering – ability to organize actions on the basis of a planned order
4. Anticipated consequences – ability to relate actions to expected outcomes
5. Appreciated feelings – ability to identify and constructively use affective experience
6. Managing frustrations – ability to cope with external obstacles that produce stress
7. Inhibition and delay – ability to postpone or retrain action tendencies
8. Relaxation – ability to deruce internal tension
To develop an assesment base for curricular decisions, students rate themselves on self-control. Students also seem to be affected by teacher models, and there appears to be a connection between teacher behavior and the lack of self control and impulsivity in students. Thus, teachers also rate their skills in encouraging self-control. Figure 11-6 presents a rating scale for students and one for teachers. Both scales are based upon the eight self-control areas described by Fagen and Long (1979).
Study skills and work habits
To succed in the classroom, students must avoid displaying inapropriate behaviors and also employ good study skills and work habits. Wallace and Kauffman (1978) note the following student behaviors as significant:
a. Accept the tasks provided by the teachers,
b. Complete the tasks within a reasonable amount of time,
c. Work neatly and accurately
d. Participate in group activities.
Brown (1978) describes independent study behaviors as
a. undertaken to show others what is known or what has been learned
b. Produced in the from of seatwork, homework, various test responses, and oral recitations or interviews
c. Usually done in isolation and highly independently
d. Intentional rather then incidental
e. Rewarded or punished by grades usually in content areas
f. Requiring that a student knows how to learn
g. Involving practice or skill when criterion performance is specified
h. Learned inductively from peers, teachers, and parents,
i. In order to be effective, habitual
In some cases study skills and work habits are related motivation. Thus, the student’s reward preferences should be identifyied and compared with the reward system used in the classroom. Cartwright and Cartwright (1970) have developed the modified reward preference assessment, in which cards depicting choices of reinforcers are precented to the students. They may select from rewards such as adult approval, competition, consumables, peer approval, and independence. Thus, they indicate their own preferences.
Another technique for identifying reinforcers is to have students complete open-ended statements. Croth (1975) has developed the following set of items.
The things i like to do after school are:
If i had ten dollars I’d:
My favorite TV programs are :
My favorite game at schools is:
My best friend are :
My favorite time of the day is:
My favorite toys is:
My favorite record is:
My favorite subject at schools is:
I like to read books about:
The places i’d like to go in town are:
My favorite foods are :
These items may be used in student questionnaires or interviews to gain information about the student’s likes and dislikes.
Classrom behavior may be influenced by feelings and attitudes. Handicapped students typically have school performance problems which may affect their attitudes toward themselves, toward school. And toward the learning process. School failure may lead to poor self concept and negative attitudes about school, which may in turn affect classroom behavior. Thus, it is important for the special education assessment team to consider the student’s opinions and feelings.
Assessment of self-concept may be undertaken in saveral ways. Students may be interviewed about their perceptions of self-worth, or rating scales and checklists may be used. In addition, observational data about some aspects of self-concept may be gathered. For example, it is possible to count the number of negative and positive statement the students frequently make negative comments such as “i’m dumb” or “o can’t do that” while others are more positive in their self-appraisal.
A formal measure that is frequently used in this area is the Piers-Harris Children’s self concept (piers & Harris, 1969). This scale, which appropriate for grades 3 through 12, consists of 80 declarative statements such as
My classmates make fun of me
I am smart
I give up easily
Students read each statement and then circle “yes” if they feel the statement describes them and “no” if they feel that the statement does not describe them. The items are written on a third-grade reading level, and both positive and negative statements are included.
The Piers-Harris yields a composite self-concept score which may range from 0 to 80 higher scores indicate more positive self-concepts. There are also six cluster scores corresponding to dimensions of self-concept: behavior, happiness-satisfaction, intellectual and school status, physical appearance, anxiety, and popularity.
Target behavior by Kroth (1978) is another measure of self-concept. Students are given 25 cards describing school or home behavior and must arrange them on the chart illustrated in figure 11-7. Thus, each behavior is characterized by the student as “most like me” “most unlike me” or somewhere between these extremes. The 25 school-related statements included in target behavior are
1. Gets work done on time
2. Pokes or hits classmates
3. Out of seat without permission
4. Scores high in spelling
5. Plays with objects while working
6. Scores high in reading
7. Disturbs neigbors by making noises
8. Is quiet during class time
9. Tips chair often
10. Follows directions
11. Smiles frequently
12. Often taps foot, fingers, or pencil
13. Pays attention to work
14. Works slowly
15. Throws objects in class
16. Reads well orally
17. Talks to classmate often
18. Scores high in english
19. Talks out without permission
20. Rocks in chair
21. Scores high in arithmetic
22. Asks teacher questions
23. Uses free time to read or study
24. Works until the job is finished
25. Walks around room during study time
An interesting feature of this measure is that students may be asked to arrange the cards twice, first to illustrate their current self-concept and second to indicate an ideal self. It is then possible to compare these two sets of perceptions.
Checklists may also be used to assess self-concept. Students may be asked to select adjectives or descriptive phrases that they fee; describe them. Smith (1969) provides examples such as the ones shown in figure 11-8.
Attitude toward school
Students with learning problems may have negative attitudes toward school. Poor academic achievement, frustration in compliying with classroom rules, difficulty relating to teachers and peers can all contribute to negative feelings. These attitudes may in turn relate to tardiness, absences from school, inappropriate classroom behavior, and so forth.
Attitudes toward school, as attitudes toward self, may be assessed by observations, interviews, rating scales, and checklists. This board survey instrument includes questions not only about school but also about self-concept, interactions with teachers, and peer relationship.
Fox, Luszki, and Schmuck (1966) have developed a series of attitude questionnaires . of particular interest is the procedure “how this class feels” which can be used to assess both how a student feels about school and how the student sees the perceptions of other student included are five statements.
1. It is good to take part as possible in classroom work.
2. Asking the teacher for help is good thing to do.
3. It is good to help other pupils with their school work except during test.
4. School work is more often “fun” that it is “not fun”
5. Our teacher really understands how pupils feel.