From a child’s point of view (whether that child has special needs or not), he or she needs to feel successful and happy when learning. A trusting, supportive relationship allows a child to thrive. Behavioral science gives us the tools to make this possible.
Dr. Susan Friedman, Professor of Psychology at Utah State University, explains how ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) offers a scientifically sound teaching technology and ethical standard that can improve the lives of all learners.
Enjoy the 1 ½ minute video or read the transcript below!
“Let’s think about trust.
A trusting relationship is an essential element of teaching and learning.
Think of it this way. A learner’s trust is like money in a bank account. You can make deposits into the trust account and also withdraw from it. When the withdrawal exceeds the balance the relationship goes bankrupt. It’s very hard to teach well when you have a bankrupt relationship.
Every interaction with the learner that results in positive reinforcement puts a deposit into the trust account. Some simple examples of positive reinforcers are praise, touch, and treats, but reinforcers are very individual.
Other interactions withdraw trust from the account. Withdrawals of trust happen when we use less compassionate teaching practices such as punishment, force, and threats.
Try to make your interactions positive to keep your trust account in the black. Once a trust account is overdrawn, it’s hard to re-build the positive balance.
That’s what great relationships are all about: big trust accounts.”
This is a great explanation of the importance of building trust with positive reinforcement. Thank you, Dr. Friedman! For more information about Dr. Friedman and her work, please see her website.
What is TAGteach?
TAGteach stands for Teaching with Acoustical Guidance. TAGteach is a teaching and communication method based on the scientific principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).
TAGteach enables extremely precise positive reinforcement of behavior by using an acoustical signal to “mark” the behavior – at the precise moment the child performs the behavior! The acoustical signal is a short, sharp sound made by a handheld device (the “tagger”). When the child performs the correct action, the parent/instructor immediately presses the button on the tagger and hands over a treat (candy, treat, token, praise, social recognition, or money) as a reinforcer.
With TAGteach, it is easy to reinforce behaviors precisely, quickly, and intensively. The immediate, accurate feedback and positive reinforcement result in the child performing the correct action more often, and for longer periods of time. With immediate feedback and learning tasks broken down into small steps, children (and adults) can learn many new skills with TAGteach — at their own pace.
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