A Token Economy: An Approach used for Behaviour Modifications among Disruptive Primary School Children
Received Date: Jan 01, 1970 / Accepted Date: Jan 01, 1970 / Published Date: Jun 30, 2018
Introduction: For decades, academic and non-academic researchers have been examining the issue of school-based violence, especially disruptive behaviour exhibited by students including those at the primary level. Despite the plethora of studies and intervention programmes implemented in school including Peace and Love in Schools (PALS), bullying, physical confrontations, and other types of disruptive behaviours are on the rise, and there appears to be no ending in sight.
Objective: This research seeks to examine and determine the impact that the token economy system as a behaviour modifier has on disruptive behaviour in classrooms among a group of primary level students in the parish of Manchester, Jamaica.
Methods: This study employed mixed methodologies (i.e. objectivism (survey research) and subjectivism (phenomenology) in an effort to comprehensively understand the phenomenon. The sample size is 40 students; 21 girls and 19 boys, and the classroom teacher. These students exhibited behaviours which disrupted the teaching and learning process. This has created a problem within our classrooms. In order to alleviate this problem an eight weeks’ intervention plan was carried out. During this intervention plan an observational checklist, a teacher’s questionnaire and a teacher’s journal were used to collect data. The results were presented to show a review of the use of the token economy in the school environment using figures, tables, and charts.
Findings: The results revealed that students’ behavioural levels after the intervention showed evidence that the use of tokens in minimizing disruptive behaviour was very effective. Fewer warnings were given and more time was spent instructing students to participate in meaningful class activities. This resulted because disruptive behaviour such as frequent requests for bathroom breaks decreased to 23%, disorderly conduct decreased to 40%, fighting levels decreased to 5%, talking in the class decreased to 40%, joking in the class decreased to 10%, quarreling in the class decreased to 13% and eating in the class stopped completely. The use of the tokens also had a positive impact on the students’ academic performance, and helped in creating a more positive relationship between students and teacher and student and student. This resulted because the levels of disruptive behaviours decreased which allowed for the transformation from a tense and hostile classroom; to a classroom where students have more chances to freely express themselves and receive feedback. It can be deduced from the results that the extensive implementation and evaluation of the use of the token economy was an effective way of decreasing disruptive behaviours among a group of primary school students in the classroom.
Conclusion: The use of token economy should be a strategy that is employed in the teaching-learning process as a medium of increasing academic performance and decreasing disruptive behaviours.
Keywords: Classroom management; Coaching; Disruptive behaviour; Leadership; Token economy
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