Ruth Auld

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 1-1-2006


Worldwide Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Education Leaders (IDPEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Phillip J. Belfiore

Committee Member

Dennis Barrett

Committee Member

Mary Catherine Scheeler


classroom management, Gaskins Case, general education, inclusive practices, positive behavior supports


Recent changes in legislation regarding students with disabilities have increasingly placed these children in general education classrooms, frequently with teachers who have not had adequate training to teach them. Teachers who have received inadequate preparation for this inclusive educational environment often resort to punitive and/or exclusionary practices to address the behavioral issues that arise with these students rather than employing research-based practices and pro-active strategies to teach appropriate behaviors. One key factor that teachers need to consider is the function of the problem behavior. It is essential to identify the function of the behavior in order to recognize what maintains the behavior. This study will assess the effect of providing instruction in developing specific strategies to address problem behaviors for general education pre-service teachers during their student teaching internship. The outcomes suggest (a) an increase in pre-service teacher use of positive behavior supports to help students learn more appropriate classroom behaviors, and (b) a decrease in students' problem behaviors demonstrated within the classroom. Prior to the direct instruction workshops, students who engaged in inappropriate attention -- seeking behaviors were provided attention, which frequently strengthened the inappropriate behaviors. After the intervention workshop, pre-service teachers were focused on ignoring inappropriate behaviors and reinforcing students when they engage in appropriate classroom behaviors, resulting in a decrease in student talk-outs and an increase in the number of students raising hands.