Verbal Intervention Training Helps Educators With Classroom Management

May 28, 2013
Colored pencils next to a stack of books.

Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® Certified Instructor Sara Jozwik and fellow researcher Christy Borders, both of Illinois State University, conducted a research study with 21 general education and subject-specific teachers in an inclusive elementary school in the Chicago area.
The researchers used CPI’s verbal intervention training materials. They trained the teachers in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® program principles and investigated how the teachers viewed their own effectiveness at managing challenging classroom behavior.
Using data gathered from surveys and behavior referral forms, the researchers found that verbal intervention training plays a role in:

  • Improved teacher effectiveness
  • A reduction in student misbehavior
  • A rise in student compliance

One key to the positive outcomes achieved with training was helping teachers determine the functions of students’ challenging behaviors. For example, does a student constantly leave his desk and sharpen his pencil because he’s refusing to follow directions or engaging in a power struggle with his teacher? It’s important to consider that, rather than attempting to gain power in a situation, the student is aiming to avoid the task at hand. Getting to the bottom of the cause of the behavior can help identify a positive approach to helping the student change that behavior. This can lead to less disruption and more compliance.
The study determined that effective verbal intervention skills are essential to classroom management. Additionally, general educators, who typically receive less training in behavior management than special educators, benefit from ongoing training in managing noncompliant student behavior. General educators who receive training report feeling more confidence in handling behaviors such as shouting out, inattention, task avoidance, disrespect, eye-rolling, refusal, and power struggles.
Read more about the study in “Wise Words, Wise Actions: Verbal Intervention Training for Managing Classroom Behavior.” 

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