Classroom behavior is something that has been studied by sociologists and scientists alike. Academic journals and other resources have long studied child psychology; the statistical data gathered in some of their tests can truly help assist young people who may be struggling in school. This sample essay contains information about how one’s proximity to the front of the classroom or teacher correlates to their shyness or activeness in the classroom. The hypothesis, that the closer one sits to their respective instructor the more active they are, is essentially proven correctly with the limited sample study that follows. This sample psychology case study was conducted by one of the scholarly writers from Ultius.
Multiple Baseline Test: Classroom Shyness
For this study, I am recruiting ten seventeen (17) year old boys who are enrolled in high school. Each of these adolescents are going to be White Caucasian males with grade point averages in between 2.2 and 3.2. Additionally, they will be screened through their guidance counselor in order to ensure that they have been rated as being generally passive, withdrawn and disconnected from classroom activities. In order to ensure accuracy of these criteria, we will also require the students to do pre-observation questionnaires in which they are screened for these characteristics. We will use Costa McCrae’s Five Factor Model in this analysis.
Criteria for behavioral study
Often, students that are timid tend to withdraw from classroom interactions where their learning is dependent on asking questions and working with classmates in order to enhance comprehension of class material. The behavior that I would like to address is shyness in the classroom as it relates to boys aged seventeen that are in their junior year of high school. Specifically, the overall social relationships that a given student has with both teachers and other students will be explored. The specific behaviors that relate to overall to overall shyness in the classroom are divided into three categories:
- Proximity of chosen seat relative to the teacher
- Number of questions asked during the course of the classroom experience
- Number of questions that the student voluntarily responds to throughout the classroom exercise
In this study, students are going to be measured on how much their overall interaction with the teacher changes for these three target behaviors after the intervention method.
Training methods of the study
In order to encourage students to interact with the teacher more, we are going to provide three forms of formal training to address each target behavior:
- In the first, we are going to show the subjects a ten-minute video where they see a brief classroom experience, with narrator’s comments, where students are actively engaging in asking the instructor questions in order to further their understanding of course material.
- Through modeling in the second phase, we will show the benefits of being proactive in the classroom by encouraging students to answer questions posited by the teacher.
- Lastly, students will be given a worksheet that defines ten behaviors which are scientifically proven to improve social skills and encourage stronger comprehension.
Among these, sitting closer to the teacher will be listed first and last, adhering to the law of primacy and recency. We will test them for comprehension in relationship to the importance of communication in society.
The research design that I will use will be the multiple baseline design in which I will test and rate the behaviors of students based on a point scale. Students will be required to participate in a compulsory ‘course’ that their high school has regarded as being essential to their graduation. For the first five days, we will collect data in order to establish their baseline shyness as a stable factor with little variation. We also made sure that participants didn’t have any learning disabilities. Then, we will administer the first training on asking questions. After we have collected data for that period, we will administer the second training segment on answering questions. Finally, the third training will be given in the last five days in order to see if seating proximity to the teacher has changed.
Establishing a scoring system for behavior
The point system will be based on the three factors aforementioned:
- Chosen seat proximity to teacher
- Number of questions asked
- Number of questions responded to
Based on five rows of seating, a student will be given a maximum one hundred points based on how much closer they sit to the teacher relative to where they normally sat in the first five days. For each question asked or question answered, they will be given ten points that will add to their score. This test design and scoring system will be effective because it will concretely quantify behaviors that are indicative of overcoming shyness and reflective of each training session with respect to the desired outcome. Their results will be grouped into a mean score that will be cross referenced with the baseline test in order to determine if there was a significant change.
Implementing control of the study
In order to exert a control for the experimental method of the study, the teacher will denote certain phrases that will discourage a segment of the classroom from participating in certain behaviors. For example, if testing for a student’s engagement in answering questions, the educator may instruct the students that the other portion of the class must be more engaged in asking questions and vice versa. This will place emphasis on allowing only certain, desired behaviors to be expressed, if the student chooses to do so. Some possible threats to validity are that the behaviors may be open to influence from other factors: seating based on preference from vision, daily mood and other causal factors that may influence overall engagement. We addressed these by screening the students on a daily basis on order to determine whether their behaviors were relevant with the baseline behaviors they exhibited or the survey that they took on the first day.
Limitations and successes of the study
There are surely some limitations to our results. While we did find that students did engage in more open discourse with the teacher by asking and answering more questions, this may not fully imply causality:
- We are not certain that either of the behaviors were fully independent with one another in that they did not affect the others’ outcome. For example, a student who felt more inclined to ask questions may have simultaneously felt more inclined to answer questions as a result.
- Also, while seating proximity did meet our expectations in terms of the student choosing to sit closer, this may not imply that shyness was overcome.
Some future areas of research would separate these behaviors into their own distinct research study. There may be other causal factors that influence a student’s decision that might be better addressed through a restatement and expansion of the hypothesis. For example, students may be more open to interaction if they have a stronger relationship with their instructor (this is usually developed over time).
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Ultius, Inc. “Sample Study on Classroom Behavior and Etiquette.” Ultius Blog. Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services, 13 May 2013. Web.
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