How to Shape Children's Behavior for Learning and Engagement

How to Shape Children's Behavior for Learning and Engagement presented by

Robin McWilliam, Ph.D.

Amy Casey, Ph.D., BCBA

Session Description

Teaching children skills including appropriate behavior boils down to a few simple principles-principles many teachers and parents inadvertently violate. This session will explain how reinforcement can promote childrenís engagement, including the reduction of inappropriate behaviors and the acquisition of functional skills. Hands-on examples of putting these principles into practice will be described.

Presenter Biographical Information

Dr. McWilliam is the Director of the Siskin Center for Child and Family Research. He is one of the nationís leading researchers in early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE). As director of our research center, he serves as the new Siskin Endowed Chair of Research in Early Childhood Education, Intervention and Development[RAM1] . Most recently, he was the director of the Center for Child Development at Vanderbilt Childrenís Hospital in Nashville. Before that, he was a Senior Scientist and Professor at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was the founder and director of the National Individualizing Preschool Inclusion Project, working in 15 states. He is the foremost investigator of engagement in children with disabilities and is the author, with Amy Casey, of the only book on child engagement, Engagement of Every Child in the Preschool Classroom. Dr. McWilliam is the Past President of the CEC Division for Research and is on the steering committee for CECís efforts to define and identify evidence-based practices in special education. Dr. McWilliamís workshops are highly interactive and applied, and he is in constant demand as a speaker and consultant, throughout the U.S. and in Europe.

Dr. Casey is a Research Scientist at the Siskin Center for Child and Family Research. She completed her doctoral work at Vanderbilt University, studying early childhood special education. Her areas of interest include childrenís engagement, incidental teaching, and performance feedback to change teachersí behavior. Dr. Casey is the newsletter editor for CECís Division for Research and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Special Education. As a doctoral student, she co-authored research articles in prominent journals, co-authored a book about child engagement, received a Head Start Graduate Student Research Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and served as a student representative on the executive board of CECís Division for Research. These activities were accomplished while completing a pre-doctoral traineeship in behavioral research and developmental disabilities funded by an NIH National Research Scientist Award. In addition to completing the doctoral program, Dr. Casey also completed the behavior analysis certification program and is credentialed as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

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