What are the effects on the behavior of fifth grade ADHD students if they are placed/seated closer to the teacher?

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(2) What are the effects on the behavior of fifth grade ADHD students if they are placed/seated closer to the teacher?. Víctor González. English Pedagogy November 2017.

(3) Abstract. This research was focused on understanding the potential effects of a preferential seating arrangement on a group of eight Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) students from a fifth grade class. The methodology used in this research was quantitative in nature and involved a survey applied at the beginning of the intervention and at the end of the period of this research. This survey was a simplification of a Likert scale, and primary purpose was to gather information regarding the students' perception of the classroom environment. In addition to this survey, a structured observation was carried out in order to understand the situated effects of the intervention on students’ behavior over a predetermined time period. Through these methods, it was possible to conclude that the effects of preferential seating were not positive to the context of this research.. 2.

(4) Research context. This research was carried out at Marcelino Champagnat, a Marist school located in La Pintana. The subject of study for this research was a group of eight students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) from a fifth-grade class. "ADHD is characterized by a pattern of behavior, present in multiple settings (e.g., school and home), that can result in performance issues in social, educational, or work settings" (American Psychiatric Association, 2013, p. 1). Of the eight students at the centre of this study, three were suspected by the educational psychologist of having ADHD, and were under observation, whilst the remaining five had already been diagnosed with ADHD. Only two students (out of these five) were taking medication to regulate their behavior at the moment of this research. During the observations of the class in which this research was conducted, it was apparent that a specific group of students, who were placed at the back of the classroom, was having a disruptive influence by talking during the instruction, standing away from their places and walking around the classroom, bothering other classmates and throwing paper balls. The students were not engaged in class. These situations were affecting the class environment by making it noisy and unproductive. The teacher had to stop the lesson many times in order to regulate student's behavior, directly affecting the normal development of the class. The teacher argued in discussion that most of the students who were having disruptive behavior during the lesson were ADHD students.. I raised my concern regarding these student's behavior and possible accommodations to tackle this issue. According to Olinghouse (2008), accommodations refer to changes made in the instructional delivery method, assessment method or both. It is important to clarify that, "we accommodate the teaching/learning process to meet student needs and allow demonstration of grade level expectations" (Oxley, 2010, p.3) In other words, accommodations refers to process carried out by the teacher in order to foster students learning, the process of accommodations does not imply changes on the content or lowering the level of expectations, but meet the students’ special educational needs through modifications in the teaching/learning process.. The teacher suggested a meeting with the educational psychologist of secondary cycle (5th grade to 8th grade), as she was responsible for monitoring the requirements for students with special educational needs. During the meeting, the educational psychologist explained the 3.

(5) instructional and assessment accommodations applied by the teachers, such as using L1 for checking instruction understanding or reducing the number of questions on tests. She told me that. despite these considerations, the results of ADHD students (in terms of marks and. behavior) were not as good as expected, meaning that they were obtaining marks under the minimum passing score. I raised my concern about the learning environment during the class and proposed the possibility of applying environmental accommodations in order to provide better conditions for ADHD students’ learning. Regarding environmental accommodations for ADHD students, there were many options that could be implemented (see appendix A). The environmental accommodation I decided to explore was giving the ADHD students a preferential sitting. This consists of sitting closer to the instructor in order to minimize the distractions, key issue when working with ADHD students (CADDAC, 2017). Based on this explanation, my research question became:. What are the effects on the behavior of fifth grade ADHD students if they are placed/seated closer to the teacher?. Methodology. The data collection methods used in this research were quantitative in nature. In order to create the data collections methods, two main sources—studies by Rabiner (2010) and Clifton (2007)—were used as reference. The first planning of this research were focused on the improvement of the English learning of the students and contemplated the application of a CEFR test at the beginning and at the end of the intervention, however, due to the circumstances (activities and classes' suspension), the original period of observation was reduced to less than a half of that originally intended for the research.. 4.

(6) Sept. October. A.. November. PRE. Period one. Period two. Period three. 29th. 5th 6th 12th 13th 19th 20th 26th 27th. 2th. 3th. 9th. X. B.. 10th. x x. x. x. x. x. x. x. x. x. x. x. x. A. - Survey (Appendix C.) B. - Structured observation (Appendix B.). This research was divided into three periods. Before these periods, a survey (see Appendix C) was provided to targeted students in order to collect data about their perception of the classroom environment before the intervention. After this, data was collected about the number of disruptive behaviors using the observation schedule (See appendix B) during two classes (period one). This first period worked as a precedent of the Classroom environment without intervention. After these observations, the intervention (preferential sitting) was applied and data was collected data on the results of this intervention. Finally, structured observation was used to gather data related to the effects of placing the students closer to the teacher during the lesson and applied a survey to contrast possible changes on students perceptions.. Structured observation: The purpose of this data collection method was to codify the disruptive behavior of the students, in order to understand the process and to keep record on any increase/decrease related to the students' behavior before and after the intervention.. Firstly, it was fundamental to determine the specific actions that qualify as the behavior of interest for this research. As stated before, the context in which this research took place, was very messy and unproductive due to the constant interruptions of the students. According to Charles (1999), disruptive behavior is a "behavior that is considered inappropriate for the setting or situation in which it occurs" ( p.2). Extrapolating this definition to the context of an English class, any action that is not related to the English class can be considered as 5.

(7) disruptive behavior. In order to complement this definition Ali and Gracey (2013) propose that:. If a student is interrupting the class by talking with fellow students during lecture times, it may not be disruptive. However, if the student is asked not to talk while the professor is lecturing and keeps doing it after being told not to, then the behavior is considered disruptive. ( p. 3). From these definitions of disruptive behavior, it was possible to understand two different forms of disruptive behaviors. First, pre-disruptive behavior, which was understood as any action that does not corresponds to the English class and that affects the attention of the student (s) that are performing the actions, for instance, talking to a fellow student during the lecture times or standing away from their places. Second, disruptive behavior, which consisted of any action that does not correspond to the English class affecting the normal development of it by making the teacher stop the class to regulate these actions. These definitions are suitable for the context in which this research took place due to its similarity with the behavior observed during class.. The observation schedule took the form of a chart in which all the "pre-disruptive behaviors" and "disruptive behaviors" were registered. This action was carried out by the guide teacher.. The results of these observations were codified using a line graph, being "Y" the number of "disruptive behaviors" registered by the teacher. and "X" the weeks of intervention. The purpose of this was to show the variations in the data in a determined period of time. (Bell, 2014, p. 214). Survey: Before and after the intervention the students answered a survey related to their perception of the classroom environment (See Appendix C). The survey was an ordinal scale presented in L1. It was composed of four questions related to the students' perception of the learning environment in the classroom. This survey was a simplification of a Likert scale, The purpose of this survey was to collect information related to the perception of the students about the environment inside the classroom. According to Sugawara, and Brandt (1999), the way in which the students perceive their environments, whether positive or negative, has an effect on their learning experience. 6.

(8) The rationale behind this is to know if there is a correlation between the perception of the students and the observations of the teachers. The results of this survey were charted using a bar graph, this with the purpose of providing a clear representation of the different values obtained.. 7.

(9) Research Findings. Structured observation. During the first period of observation, the incidence of pre-disruptive behaviors was more significant than the disruptive behavior. On October 12th, 61% of the disruptive behavior was pre-disruptive and 39% of it was disruptive, directly affecting the normal development of the lesson. On the observation of October 13th, 73% of the behavior non-associated to the English class was pre-disruptive and 27% was disruptive. The first day of intervention, these values got closer. The pre-disruptive behavior significantly decreased (to 59 %) making disruptive behavior percentually increased (41%). At the last period of intervention the amount of pre-disruptive and disruptive behavior were not so far from each other, however, they inverted. On November 9th the number of disruptive behavior kept increasing (60%) and the “pre-disruptive” behavior decreased (40%). This situation changed on November 10th, both values increased, however, disruptive behavior remained over pre-disruptive behavior.. 8.

(10) Survey. The first implementation of this survey was previous to the intervention involving the changing the places of the students inside the classroom. The second time the survey was applied was after the changes in the student's places inside the classroom.. Survey first application results. Question 1 referred to the way the students felt the order during the class, the question was “How do you feel about the order during the lesson?”.. -. 16% of the students answered that they feel “fine” with the order during the lesson.. -. 50% of the students answered that they feel “regular” with the order during the lesson.. -. 34% of the students answered that they feel “bad” with the order during the lesson.. Question 2 aimed at the perception of the students regarding the lack of order during the lesson, the question was “Do you think that there is too much disorder during the lesson?”. -. 5% of the students replied “Not much, the class is quiet”. -. 24% of the students replied “Sometimes, it can be annoying”. 9.

(11) -. 71% of the students replied “a lot, it is hard to keep focus”. Question 3 was focused on gathering data about the perception of the students about the interruptions during the class, the question was “Do you consider that there are too many interruptions during the class?”. -. 13% of the students indicated “Not much, the class is quiet”. -. 55% of the students indicated “Sometimes, it can annoying”. -. 32% of the students indicated “a lot, it is hard to keep focus”. Question 4 intended to collect data about the perception of the students in regard to the participation at the time of the class, the question was “Do you think there is a lot of participation during the lesson?”. -. 61% of the students responded “Yes, everybody contribute”. -. 26% of the students responded “Regular, always contribute the same people”. -. 13% of the students responded “No, almost no one contributes”. 10.

(12) Survey second application results. Question 1: “How do you feel about the order during the lesson?”.. -. 10% of the students answered that they feel “fine” with the order during the lesson.. -. 32% of the students answered that they feel “regular” with the order during the lesson.. -. 58% of the students answered that they feel “bad” with the order during the lesson.. Question 2 “Do you think that there is too much disorder during the lesson? ”. -. 16% of the students replied “Not much, the class is quiet”. -. 39% of the students replied “Sometimes, it can be annoying”. -. 45% of the students replied “a lot, it is hard to keep focus”. Question 3 “Do you consider that there are too many interruptions during the class?”. -. 13.157894736842104% of the students indicated “Not much, the class is quiet”. -. 37% of the students indicated “Sometimes, it can annoying”. -. 50% of the students indicated “a lot, it is hard to keep focus”. 11.

(13) Question 4 “Do you think there is a lot of participation during the lesson?”. -. 8% of the students responded “Yes, everybody contribute”. -. 18% of the students responded “Regular, always contribute the same people”. -. 74% of the students responded “No, almost no one contributes”. Data analysis. The first record on the structured observation did not have the intervention considered for this research. During this period, the pre-disruptive was predominant, a clear example of this was observed on October 13th. class in which the "pre-disruptive" behavior was 73% of the disruption registered by the teachers, while disruptive behavior was only 27%. Taking into account the nature of the "pre-disruptive" behavior, the impact of it during the class is minimum. In addition, based on the first two observations it is possible to assert that "predisruptive" behavior is not necessarily a precedent of disruptive behavior. During the second period of observation, in which the intervention was applied, the number of pre-disruptive behaviors registered on the observation chart decreased 14% and, even though disruptive behavior increased an average 8% in relation to the previous records of the structured observation, if we look at the concrete numbers, the difference from the second day of observation is just 2 (15 disruptive behaviors registered on October 12th and 13 disruptive behaviors registered on October 26th) and compared to the second day of observation is just 1 (12 disruptive behaviors registered on October 13th and 13 disruptive behaviors registered on October 26th). Considering the results obtained during the first day of intervention, it is possible to assess that the intervention worked during this first day. Nevertheless, in the period after the intervention, the disruptive behavior increased (60&) overcoming the "pre-disruptive behavior" (40%), taking into consideration the definition of disruptive behavior used on this research, its increment implies the deterioration of the learning environment. The data collected from the applications of the survey is correlated to the results obtained from the observations. The first application of the survey states that in terms of the students’ feelings about the order during the lesson, only 36% of the students felt "bad" about it, while 71% of the students answered that there was a lot of disorder during the lesson, making it hard to keep focus. This perception of "disorder" can be connected to the "pre-disruptive 12.

(14) behavior", which is over the 32% of students who answered that the interruptions during the lesson were a lot, making hard to keep focus, interruptions can be connected to the understanding of disruptive behavior used on this research. Additionally, 61% of the students responded that everybody was contributing to the class. This first application of the survey aligns with the results obtained during the first period of observation. The second application of the survey accounts that in relation to the students feelings regarding the order during the class, 58% of the students felt "bad" increasing 22% percentage points in relation to the first application of the survey, while 45% of the students answered that there was a lot of disorder during the lesson decreasing 26% percentual points. The perception of the students regarding the high amount of interruptions during the class increased to 50%. The main difference between both applications of the survey is that, according to the perception of the students, the participation decreased 53% in relation to the results of the first survey. Research implications. The effects of changing the places of ADHD students seemed to be positive during the first day of intervention, in spite of this, the following days of intervention it proved to be counterproductive, raising the amount of disruptive behavior. It is important to keep in mind that, each disruptive behavior registered on the observation sheet, implies that the teacher had to stop the class to ask the students to cease their disruptive behavior, interrupting the continuity of the lesson. According to Ali and Gracey (2013), "when it (disruptive behavior) elevates to the level of disruption for others in the classroom, actions must be taken to seek resolution" (p.2) meaning that it is not possible to ignore these situations. The results of this research are contradicted by the results obtained by Clifton (2007). He concluded that preferential seating is a suitable accommodation for ADHD students, however, it should be coupled with other interventions and applied at the beginning of the semester. Clifton also mentions that, in spite that preferential seating is a frequent intervention recommended for students with ADHD, there is no solid empirical evidence to support this recommendation.. 13.

(15) Conclusion. The aim of this research was to know if preferential seating was an appropriate accommodation for ADHD students. According to different authors, it does work, nevertheless, the observed effects on my context where highly negative. As a conclusion, two main aspects were identified that could have conditioned the results of this research. First, the reduction of the intervention and observation period. Firstly, students did not have time to get used to their new position in the classroom neither was there time to register and act according to the results of the observations. Secondly, the context in which this intervention was carried out; the fact that there is no empirical evidence to support this accommodation is because the suitability of preferential seating is influenced by the characteristics of the individuals in which this accommodation will be applied.. 14.

(16) References. Ali, A., & Gracey, D. (2013). Dealing with student disruptive behavior in the classroom–A case example of the coordination between faculty and assistant dean for academics. In Proceedings of the Informing Science and Information Technology Education Conference (pp. 1-15). Informing Science Institute.. American Psychiatric Association, (2013) Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder, retrieved from: http://www.adhd-liitto.fi/sites/default/files/adhd_fact_sheet.pdf.. Bernard J. (2012). A PLACE TO LEARN: LESSONS FROM RESEARCH ON LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS (N° 9). retrieved from UNESCO Institute for Statistics: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002154/215468e.pdf. Bell, J. (2014). Doing Your Research Project: A guide for first-time researchers. McGrawHill Education (UK).. Boston, C. (2002). The Concept of Formative Assessment. ERIC Digest.. CADDAC. (2017), Types of Classroom Accommodations, retrieved from: http://caddac.ca/adhd/document/types-of-classroom-accommodations/. Charles, C. M. (1999). Building classroom discipline. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. Clifton, J. L. (2007) PREFERENTIAL SEATING FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS WITH ADHD: IS IT AN EFFECTIVE ACCOMMODATION? ( Dissertation) Minnesota State UniversityMankato. De Europa, C. (2002). Marco común europeo de referencia para las lenguas. Strasburgo: Consejo de Europa, Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte/Instituto Cervantes Olinghouse, N. (2008). Designing Lessons for Diverse Learners. Oxley, J. (2010). Accommodations and Modifications 15.

(17) Appendix. 16.

(18) Appendix A - (Clifton, p, 81, 2007). Possible Academic Accommodations for Students with ADD/ADHD 1. Adjust student seating 2. Use simple, concise instructions 3. Provide a peer tutor/helper 4. Teach compensatory strategies 5. Administer medication 6. Monitor stress and fatigue; adjust activities 7. Modify assignments 8. Change instructional pace 9. Provide supervision during transitions, disruptions, field trips 10. Use study guides, organizing tools 11. Modify testing procedures 12. Provide counseling 13. Initiate frequent parent communication 14. Establish a school/home behavior management program 15. Provide training for staff and parents 16. Have student use an organizer-train in organizational skills 17. Establish a cue between teacher and student 18. Assign chores/duties around room/school 19. Modify environment to avoid distractions 20. Have child work alone or in study carrel 21. Highlight important information/directions 22. Place assignments/directions on tape for auditory learner 23. Provide a checklist for student, parents, and/or teacher to record assignments or completed tasks 24. Use a time to assist student to focus on given task or number of problems in time allotted – stress that they need to be done correctly 25. Have student re-state or write directions/instructions 26. Allow student to respond in a variety of different modes, i.e., may place answers for tests on tape instead of paper 27. Give student opportunity to stand while working 28. Provide additional supervision to and from school 17.

(19) 29. Furnish an FM system 30. Modify students work area with barriers 31. Inservice other students and staff with parent permission 32. Develop a behavior modification plan 33. Supply treats and rewards to motivate behavior change 34. Prescribe physical activity, exercise, etc. 35. Determine trigger points and prevent action leading to trigger points 36. Provide a sociometric/sociogram design, such as a circle of friends. Source: Mountain Plains Regional Resource Center. (1998). Students with Attention Deficit Disorders ADD/ADHD: Eligibility Issuesand Service Options Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504. Utah State University: Logan Sponsored by Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.. 18.

(20) Appendix B. Pre- disruptive behaviour 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Disruptive behaviour 8. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. A ADHD. B. STUDENTS C D E F G H. Participants: Each letter corresponds to an ADHD students. Amount of disruptive behaviors: In this section the amount of pre-disruptive behaviors is registered. Amount of disruptive behaviors: In this section the amount of disruptive behaviors is registered.. 19.

(21) Appendix C. 20.

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