Using Self-management Interventions to Increase On-task Behaviors of Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Inclusive Classrooms in Türkiye (Turkey)
Low levels of on-task behaviors can be troublesome for both teachers and students leading to difficulties associated with regulating off-task and disruptive behaviors and providing continuous prompts. Research indicates that students with intellectual disabilities (IDs) frequently engage in off-task and disruptive behaviors (e.g., talking, sleeping, and making negative statements). According to teachers, the on-task behaviors of students with IDs are unsatisfactory due to a behavioral deficit; as a result, these students demand more individual time and attention from adults than their typically developing classmates. This dependence on external prompts can have negative consequences for students with IDs, including exclusion from general education classes and school dropout. Although empirical investigations to address on-task behaviors is limited in Türkiye, Turkish educators indicated that one of their primary concerns was to manage off-task behaviors of students with disabilities in their classrooms. General education classroom teachers also have suggested that special education classrooms were a better placement for students with IDs because of the need to manage off-task behaviors via one-on-one or small group instructional arrangements. As a result of these off-task issues, there is a need for interventions to assist teachers in improving on-task behaviors of students with IDs which may, in turn, promote the inclusion of these students into general education classrooms.
One such intervention is self-management. Self-management strategies in general and self-monitoring in particular have been found to be effective in enhancing on-task behaviors of students with IDs due in part to intrusiveness, adaptability, and reactivity impact. These interventions can also be used to promote inclusion because the responsibility of behavior management passes from the teacher to the student.This change in responsibility could leave teachers more time to teach instead of providing continuous prompts given the higher teacher-student ration in general education classrooms. Unfortunately, there are several limitations in self-management research in Türkiye including the following: (a) the implementation of self-management interventions to improve on-task behaviors has been prominently conducted with students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and learning disabilities (LD); (b) the vast majority of these interventions has been conducted in segregated settings such as special education classrooms in middle school settings; and (c) systematic planning in generalization and maintenance has been lacking or limited that have caused lack of generalization of increased on-task behaviors to other settings. Given that Türkiye has only two studies investigated self-management interventions with students with IDs, these interventions have similar concerns as Western countries including lack of investigations in general education classrooms and the absence of generalization and maintenance planning.
In the current data set, self-management interventions (i.e., self-monitoring, self-evaluation, token economy) was utilized to improve on-task behaviors of 4 students with IDs in general education classrooms in Türkiye. A single case multiple-baseline across participants design was used. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate (a) the magnitude of the effect of self-monitoring of the on-task behaviors of Turkish students with IDs, (b) the extent to which the on-task behaviors of Turkish students with IDs generalized and maintained after exposure to self-monitoring training, (c) the effect of self-monitoring on the academic behaviors of Turkish students with IDs, and (d) the relationship between the implementation of self-monitoring and teacher reports on changes in students’ on-task behaviors. Self-management interventions were implemented across three settings (i.e., Turkish-Language Art [TLA], math, social studies), and generalization data were collected in English-Language Art classes (ELA). Additionally, an average of 16-week maintenance data were collected from all the intervention settings (i.e., TLA, math, social studies). Based on two statistical analyses (i.e., Tau-U and Performance Criteria Based Effect Size [PCES]), the effect of self-management interventions was immediate, generalized across settings, and maintained over long period of time. PCESimmediate was computed to be 1.14 with a significant effect. The overall impact of the Tau-U intervention was 1.00 CI95 (.705 to 1.00), with generalization and maintenance effects of 1.00 CI95 (.695 to 1.00) and 1.00 CI95 (.592 to 1.00), respectively. The total PCES values were determined to be 1.2 for high effectiveness, 1.08 for generalization, and 1.2 for strong effect maintenance. The classroom teachers’ overall classroom behavior ratings were also aligned with the increased on-task behaviors. Therefore, study findings suggested that self-management interventions that originated in the West can be implemented in diverse cultural contexts, specifically with Turkish students with IDs in inclusive classrooms. Implications for future studies are discussed.