Today’s cooperative training was on reinforcement. Reinforcement is defined as anything that increases the future likelihood of a behavior. Reinforcement is the backbone of the evidence-based practices we utilize. B.F. Skinner taught that behavior can be strengthened or diminished be controlling the consequences of that behavior. As we defined reinforcement, we asked parents and teachers what some reinforcers might be for any child and they responded, “Money, stickers, and candies.” This is an excellent response and true for many children we have met.
Next we asked the group what is their reinforcement for coming to training? Some of the responses included-
“To learn how to teach my brother and all children.”
“To get more information and knowledge.”
“To learn new strategies for her child.”
“Enhance my career and move up.”
These are all awesome answers and we believe that they are powerful reinforcers for these families and teachers since they keep coming to training and are so excited to learn.
Some of the families asked us what our reinforcers are for giving the training and doing all the work that we do. What a wonderful question! Dana’s reinforcement is seeing the people smile.
My reinforcement is seeing children do things that amaze their parents. Melissa’s reinforcement is watching parents and teachers take ownership of children’s learning outcomes.
As we worked through the principles of reinforcement, we asked the families to hypothesize some reinforcement for their children in our program. We got so many great answers-
Playing with sister, chocolate, snacks, PE class, playing soccer, cake, playing with siblings, coloring, bicycling , suiting relatives house, chips, marbles, ice cream, biscuits, water play.
Those are all fantastic ideas and we can’t wait to try out some of them at the center.
We talked about the need for immediate reinforcement of good behavior and Issa’s dad summed it up perfectly for us when he said, “If we don’t reinforce immediately, he might forget why he is being reinforced”
We look forward to practicing reinforcement in the center this week and adding more skills in the coming weeks.