Otten, K. & Tuttle, J. (2012) "Individual Reinforcement Systems."
In behavior management, a young child must first be shown how his or her needs can be met, through appropriate behavior, on a basic functional level. For instance, a very young child must understand that if he or she behaves appropriately, snack time will 'happen' as a result of his or her willingness to clean up his or her work space and prepare for this desirable activity. As the child grows older and becomes more cognizant of the needs of others, he or she begins to realize that the behavior of sharing brings about positive emotional and physical responses of mutual sharing in others and results in the formation of lasting friendships. However, a child will only be willing to share his or her snack, for instance, if he or she is receiving enough food at home, and can be reliably sure that his or her own sense of security -- the snack given at snack time -- will not be arbitrarily snatched away for no reason, because of no behavior of his or her own.
Positive and reliable reinforcement ultimately results in the child or young adolescent reaching the highest principle of the hierarchy, seeking fulfillment in the larger 'scheme of things' by helping others to achieve a sense of empowerment in the world. Greater responsibility leads to greater approval and a sense of internal empowerment and satisfaction on the hierarchy of needs. This value of behavior management is in evidence not simply for children who are within the conventional, accepted framework of developmental identity, but even those children with emotional and behavior problems. The concept of IDEA, for instance, an advocacy group designed to help such children, is based upon the idea of social modeling, which states that, by being educated with other children and being placed in a relatively unrestrictive environment, troubled children will have age-appropriate social models on which to model their behaviors. (CECP.AIR.ORG, 2004) In line with Erikson's theories of behavior modification, IDEA suggests that cloistering special-needs children away from other children denies them the ability to engage in age-appropriate interactions.
Although special needs children with additional emotional, intellectual, or behavioral needs may need individual tutoring and reinforcement outside of the classroom, they also require the social teaching that takes place in the context of a community that includes all individuals, and exposes them to the needs and apprehensions of others, and the system of behavior that rewards socially open and giving behavior and discourages behavior that is selfish and threatening to the needs of others.
Burden, P.R. (2003). Classroom management: Creating a successful learning community (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.
Arthur-Kelly et al. (2006) "Classroom Management: Creating positive learning environments" (2nd ed.) Austin, TX: Thomson.
Gere, A. (2009). A Visibility Project: Learning to See How Preservice Teachers Take Up Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 816-852.
Lansford, J. (2005). Physical Discipline and Children's Adjustment: Cultural Normativeness as a Moderator. Child Development, 1234 -- 1246.
McKevitt, B., & Braaksma, A. (2004). Best Practices in Developing a Positive Behavior Support. Retrieved from Nasponline.org: http://www.nasponline.org/publications/booksproducts/bp5samples/735_bpv89_44.pdf
Santamaria, L. (2009). Culturally Responsive Differentiated. Teachers College Record, 214-217.