Challenging Behaviors in Early Childhood Settings: Creating a Place for All Children / Edition 1

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This family-focused edited volume provides practical, classroom-based suggestions for coping with challenging behaviors in early childhood settings. Aimed at pre-service and in-service early childhood educators, the book aims to provide assessment and intervention tips that can be tailored to each individual child and classroom situation. The book's secondary purpose is to create linkages between developmentally appropriate curriculun and instructional practices and effective behavioral interventions. The chapter authors use recent research in the field and their classroom-based experiences to provide practical advice. Vignettes are used throughout the text to illustrate examples of children's behaviors and effective strategies for overcoming challenging behavior. The chapters are organized around common questions educators face and include checklists that can be used to assess current childcare practices.

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Editorial Reviews

Young Children
"Includes methods for assessing and understanding the causes of challenging behaviors, ways that administrators can develop centerwide support, and ideas for engaging families as partners. Clear, concise language and questions in each chapter help staff determine if solutions and new strategies have been applied, making this book especially useful to those new to teaching young children."
From the Publisher

"Includes methods for assessing and understanding the causes of challenging behaviors, ways that administrators can develop centerwide support, and ideas for engaging families as partners. Clear, concise language and questions in each chapter help staff determine if solutions and new strategies have been applied, making this book especially useful to those new to teaching young children."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557666826
  • Publisher: Brookes Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/1/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 749,320
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne M. Bauer, Ed.D., is a professor in the Division of Teacher Education at the University of Cincinnati's College of Education.

Susan Hart Bell, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology and Coordinator of Child Development at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. Dr. Bell received a master of science degree in clinical psychology from Eastern Kentucky University and a doctorate in school psychology from the University of Cincinnati. She has coordinated an interdisciplinary team serving preschool children with disabilities in Raleigh, North Carolina, and consulted with preschools in the Greater Cincinnati area. Dr. Bell directed the Ohio Early Childhood Intervention Project at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Bell and her husband, Jeff, have two children, Sarah and Chad, and one grandchild, Elijah Chad.

Victoria Carr, Ed.D., is Director of the Arlitt Child and Family Research and Education Center and Associate Professor in Early Childhood Education, University of Cincinnati. She is Executive Director for the Arlitt Head Start program and Executive Producer for Arlitt Instructional Media. For many years, Dr. Carr’s work has focused on children who have challenging behaviors. Her current research is on nature and children. She collaborates with the Cincinnati Nature Center to lead The Cincinnati Playscape Initiative. Dr. Carr holds a bachelor of science in elementary education and learning and behavioral disorders, a master of science in gifted education, and a doctorate in early childhood special education.

Dawn Denno, M.Ed., Ed.D., is Director of Early Education and Care at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Denno received a master of science in early childhood education and an education doctorate in special education. Dr. Denno spent 10 years as an early education classroom teacher. She has served as a Head Start director, a child care licensing specialist, and an administrator of Montessori and traditional child care programs. Dr. Denno previously worked for the Ohio Department of Education, where she facilitated quality improvement initiatives and assessment in early education programs across the state. Dr. Denno’s areas of interest include school readiness, literacy, assessment, language development, and supporting children with challenging behavior. Her publications include articles on early intervention, outcome measurement, and behavior support.

Lawrence J. Johnson is Dean of the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services; Professor of Education; and Executive Director of the Arlitt Child and Family Research and Education Center at the University of Cincinnati. He earned his doctoral degree in working with at-risk populations, statistical analysis, and research methods from the University of Illinois. He has published extensively, having written 11 books, 27 book chapters, and 67 refereed journal articles.

In addition to his publications, Dr. Johnson served as principal investigator or primary author of 200 grant proposals, which were funded for a combined total in excess of $100,000,000. These projects have had an impact at the local, state, and national levels, as evidenced by the recognition that Dr. Johnson has received from the states of Illinois, Alabama, and Ohio for his contributions to their citizens. In addition, he has been recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) for his contributions as President of the Teacher Education Division and by the CEC's Division for Early Childhood for his contributions as Chair of the Research Committee. Dr. Johnson served as co-editor of the Journal for Teacher Education and Special Education and as chair of the State of Ohio University of Education Deans.

Sally Moomaw, Ed.D., is Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. She taught preschool and kindergarten children in inclusive,

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from Chapter 7 of Challenging Behaviors in Early Childhood Settings: Creating a Place for All Children
By Susan Hart Bell, Ph.D., Victoria Carr, Ed.D., Dawn Denno, M.Ed., Lawrence J. Johnson, Ph.D., and Louise R. Phillips, M.Ed.
©2004. Brookes Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

Implementing Individualized Behavior Plans

An early childhood teacher attempts to provide an orderly, engaging classroom environment for a group of children with diverse temperaments, skills, and experiences. Some children rush into the classroom with tales of weekend activities, excitedly sharing their stories with peers and teachers. Others trail in sadly, scolded by parents who are late for work, seeking the comfort of a warm lap and a good book. Still others experience cyclical changes in their moods and behavior and may be forced to adapt to the fluctuating expectations and daily schedules of divorced parents with joint custody. In turn, the classroom climate changes daily, mirroring the moods and activities of the children. As suggested previously, the early childhood teacher routinely assesses the goodness-of-fit among the classroom schedule, the physical arrangement, the curricular offerings, and the needs of the children, making changes as problems arise. These changes, although usually discussed with assistant teachers and staff, are informal and subject to revision. The teacher uses "gut feeling" in determining how the modifications contribute to the smoothness of the classroom routines.

As discussed in Chapters 5 and 6, an experienced classroom teacher follows this same process when addressing behavior that results in a marked disruption of classroom activities. The teacher begins to step up her involvement with the child, closely scrutinizing the child's behavior and providing more support during tough times of the day. The educator looks for patterns in the child's behavior, which serve as warning signs, and begins to group the child with different children or to modify his or her daily schedule. These strategies are followed intuitively but informally—almost on an experimental basis. When the teacher finds a strategy (or combination of strategies) that seems to resolve the problem, he or she can turn to other concerns.

However, when the teacher is faced with a child whose behavior 1) is resistant to these informal strategies, 2) appears to escalate or become more frequent despite accommodations and increased support, and/or 3) occurs apparently without warning, the time spent attending to the daily management of the child's behavior justifies further investment in the development of an individualized and formal intervention plan. Jackson and Panyan (2002) described behavioral intervention as a deliberate rearrangement of environmental conditions. This plan is based on a general understanding of the factors influencing the behavior to promote the child's growth and learning. The eventual goal of any behavioral intervention is to enhance the comfort of the child and those around him or her. This chapter highlights the factors that the classroom teacher should examine in planning for behavioral intervention: strategies for deciding when formal intervention is necessary, methods for convening an intervention team, techniques for gathering information related to the problem situation, and components of a successful intervention plan.


The following subsections examine possible indicators of the need for a formal intervention plan.

Factors Beyond the Teacher's Control

As part of initial intervention planning, the classroom teacher should determine whether the challenging behaviors stem from medical conditions or characteristics of the home environment that are difficult to address with classroom interventions (Barnett, Bell, & Carey, 1999). If health conditions are present, then the appropriate response is to refer the

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Table of Contents

About the Authors
Invited Contributors
  1. Clarifying the Elements of Challenging Behavior
    Susan Hart Bell and Sheryl Quinn
  2. Developing Centerwide Support
    Victoria Carr, Lawrence J. Johnson, and Connie C. Corkwell
  3. Engaging Parents as Partners in Changing Behavior
    Anne M. Bauer, Monica Battle, and Lawrence J. Johnson
  4. Creating a Supportive Classroom Environment
    Dawn Denno, Louise R. Phillips, Helene Arbouet Harte, and Sally Moomaw
  5. Seeing the Challenge More Clearly
    Louise R. Phillips, Joyce Hensler, Mef Diesel, and Andrea Cefalo
  6. Determining the Teacher's Role in Further Assessment and Intervention
    Susan Hart Bell, Amy Clancy, and Erin N. Gaddes
  7. Implementing Individualized Behavior Plans
    Susan Hart Bell and Victoria Carr
  8. Evaluating and Revising Intervention Plans
    Susan Hart Bell and Christine M. Gilkey
  9. Planning for Crises
    Victoria Carr, Helene Arbouet Harte, and Louise R. Phillips
  10. Determining When Outside Help Is Needed
    Mary M. Boat, Victoria Carr, Lawrence J. Johnson, and Dawn Denno
  11. Putting it All Together
    Susan Hart Bell

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