[R-0464] S6: Social Interactions

Citation: The CSEFEL. (2007). Acknowledging Children’s Positive Behaviors, 22, 1-4.  Retrieved from: http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/briefs/wwb_22.pdf [or enter The CSEFEL. (2007). Acknowledging Children’s Positive Behaviors” in your search window]

Abstract: This is a research brief that is part of the What Works Brief series produced by The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL). It begins with a description of a problem occurring in an early childhood classroom and uses that problem to introduce the evidence-based practice of acknowledging the positive behaviors of young children. Not only is the practice described, readers learn how a teacher would implement and sustain its use in an early childhood setting. After reading this brief, scholars will learn how to acknowledge desirable behaviors, and the rationale of why early childhood educators should acknowledge those behaviors.

Integration: “Acknowledging positive behaviors is a strategy that educators, family members, and other caregivers can use to devote more time and attention to desirable child behavior than to undesirable child behavior.” As described in this brief, the center director becomes the teacher’s mentor and encourages her to videotape her interactions in the classroom. Watching the video together gives the teacher a chance to view her behavior and to focus on what happened before challenging behaviors occurred, the nature of the behaviors and why they were a problem, and how she reacted. Scholars will learn how to create a plan that includes focusing on a problem behavior, not a child; describing what behavior will look like when it improves; setting behavioral goals that identify when and where the improved behaviors will occur and how the teacher will measure success.

Content Focus: Child Guidance; Classroom Rules; Behavior Expectations; Challenging Behaviors; Positive Behaviors; Prevention Strategies; Social and Emotional Development

Notes: This brief includes links to additional information on implementing the practice of acknowledging the positive behaviors of young children. It also provides the names of researchers who have examined the short- and long-term effectiveness of adults’ use of the strategy described here as Acknowledging Positive Behavior. Instructors will find this a useful brief to use as they review how important it is for educators to videotape themselves as they work with young children and review the videotape with mentor to pinpoint areas in which they need to improve.