How to Improve Classroom Management with the Good Behavior Game: Session 171 with Jeanne Donaldson

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If you're a BCBA supporting kids in public school settings, or even if you're a parent who has kids in school, you probably already know that sound classroom management is hard to come by. This phenomenon is perhaps more acute as schools have to contend with the disruptions in continuity imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As such, it is reasonable to ask what Behavior Analysis has to offer when it comes to helping teachers spend more time teaching, and less time dealing with conduct problems.

Luckily, Behavior Analysis has provided us with a tried and true, easily implemented strategy for improving classroom management, and it's called The Good Behavior Game (GBG for short). And in Session 171, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Jeanne Donaldson from Louisiana State University about the GBG in quite a bit of detail.

As you'll discover in the interview, Jeanne earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Florida and is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Louisiana State University, where she conducts research on commonly-encountered childhood behavioral challenges. She was the 2018 recipient of the B. F. Skinner Foundation New Applied Researcher Award from APA Division 25. She is currently an Associate Editor at the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Donaldson is a BCBA-D and Licensed Behavior Analyst in the state of Louisiana.

In this episode we discuss how Jeanne got into Behavior Analysis, we provide an overview of the general structure of the GBG, and we hear what it was like for Jeanne to run the GBG for the first time in a classroom setting. We also talk about procedural variations of the GBG as well as how to troubleshoot when the GBG.

In these exchanges, I hope you'll develop an appreciation of the broad applicability of this approach, especially in light of some of the positive outcomes that have been documented in some longitudinal studies of the GBG.

At the same time, I always get a bit disappointed when discussing the GBG, because we have an extraordinarily robust intervention ready to offer the world, but as we discuss in this episode, most public school teachers have no clue about it. It's kind of the opposite of the Habit Reversal literature, where the behavioral treatment of tic disorders could be considered standard-of-care these days.

As such, for my fellow school-based practitioners, I'd love to hear what you think the barriers are to this intervention.

Lastly, Jeanne has also contributed to the Time Out literature, and for Patreon subscribers, we spend the last 15 minutes or so discussing what some current best practices are for using this procedure. Patreon subscribers can get early access and ad-free episodes, along with bonus content like this.

Here are links to the resources we discussed:

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