Teaching Teachers to Use Prompts, Opportunities to Respond, and Specific Praise

Nov. 10, 2010

Source: Teacher Education and Special Education, v. 33 no. 4, p. 300-318. (November 2010).
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

Classroom management skills are critical for teachers. Yet teachers receive little training in classroom management, and empirical research on teacher training in classroom management is lacking.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of PORT, an intervention comprising explicit training and performance feedback for teachers on implementation of three critical classroom management skills.

Research Question
The authors conducted this study to address the following research question:
Is there a functional relationship between the PORT intervention (explicit training, with performance feedback) and teachers' use of trained classroom management skills (i.e., presentation of prompts, OTRs, and specific praise)?

Participants and Setting

This study took place at a public alternative school, located in a northeastern state, which primarily serves students with high incidence disabilities (e.g., emotional disturbance) who display intense and potentially aggressive problem behavior.

Three teachers participated in this study.
"Laura" is a certified special and general education teacher with a master's degree and 16 years of teaching experience.
"Lisa" is a certified special education teacher. Lisa has 13 years of teaching experience in special education.
"Bob" is a certified special education teacher with a master's degree. Bob has 13 years of teaching experience in special education.

Researchers used a multiple baseline design to demonstrate experimental control, introducing training and then performance feedback in a systematic and staggered fashion across the three teacher behaviors.

The PORT intervention included two independent variables: explicit training and performance feedback. PORT intervention components were designed to promote socially significant behavior change.


The results indicate that there was not a functional relationship between explicit training and teachers' demonstration of classroom management skills; however, introducing performance feedback following training was functionally related to an increase in the level, trend, or stability of teachers' use of each skill.

Implications of the Study

The authors suggest that school administrators and other personnel who consult with or supervise teachers should strongly consider augmenting typical professional development activities with performance feedback.

Updated: Jan. 23, 2011