You are on page 1of 9


Understanding and Addressing

OpposlftlonM and Defiant
CUassroom Behaviors
Spencer J. Salend * Shawna Sylvestre

Justin seemed to delight in irritatingMr. him in the learningprocess and in mon- culties associated with educating stu-
Howe. Even the simplest request from itoring his own behavior. dents who exhibit oppositional and defi-
Mr. Howe resulted in resistance from Mr. Howe also tried to change his ant behaviors (see box, "Labeling
Justin. Although Mr. Howe initiallydealt demeanor and facial expressions with Students"). Although this article pres-
with Justin's resistance by trying to Justin.He calmly gave Justin brief, easy- ents these suggestions in the context of
cajole, convince, or bribe him to comply, to-follow directions and provided him promoting the learning of students who
he was losingpatience with Justin. Now,' with some choices. If Justin resisted, Mr. engage in oppositional and defiant
when Justin refused to do something, Howe briefly listened to Justin's expla- behaviors, they can be used to support
Mr. Howe became angry and quickly nation and either discussed it privately the learning of all students.
threatened him in front of the class, with him or quickly exited the situation.
which Justin seemed to enjoy even more. When Justin complied with Mr. Howe's
Mr. Howe realized that he was play- requests, Mr. Howe occasionally and pri-
ing into Justin's hands and contacted vately acknowledged this behavior by Gpponsionzg azl Deicznt
the school's prereferral team, which employing quick walk-by reinforcement Behaviors
included Ms. Douglas, a special educator such as a gesture, whisper, or pat on the
who had worked with Justin and his back or left a note for Justin to find later Students who exhibit oppositional
family. The team collected information in the day. and defiant behaviors engage in a
L about Justinand his behavior. They ana- persistent pattern of manipulative or
lyzed several recent incidents to identify Educators like Mr. Howe teach a noncompliant behavior. These
_n the actions of Justin and Mr. Howe that range of students with special needs, behaviors, which occur frequently
precipitatedand maintained their power including students who exhibit opposi- for a minimum of 6 months, may
struggles. Justin's family also discussed tional and defiant behaviors (Jenson, include a combination of the follow-
how they use routines and how they 2001; Woolsey-Terrazas & Chavez, ing:
m structure transitionsto avoid confronta- 2002). Such students engage in a variety "*Refusing to comply with rules.
tions with him at home. On the basis of of behaviors designed to resist the "*Blaming or arguing with others.
this information, the team concluded requests of authority figures. These "*Losing their temper.
z that Justin truly enjoyed his confronta- behaviors often interfere with school "*Being easily angered, frustrated,
tions with Mr. Howe. The team then col- performance (see box, "Oppositional and annoyed.
laborated with Mr.Howe to create a plan and Defiant Behaviors"). "*Cursing and using inappropriate
to try to reduce Justin'spower struggles. Teachers must be knowledgeable language.
C They determined which classroom rules about the unique characteristics of their "*Having low self-esteem.
C were nonnegotiable and what the conse- students so that they can plan and "*Appearing to enjoy annoying and
quences would be for violating them. implement educational programs that bothering others.
They used these rules to establish a address the students' individual "*Seeking attention (Jenson, 2001;
home-school contract with Justin'sfami- strengths and needs. This article uses Woolsey-Terrazas & Chavez,
ly. They also discussed ways for Mr. the experiences of Mr. Howe and Ms. 2002).
Howe to change his instructional tech- Douglas to provide suggestions for
niques to motivate Justin and involve understanding and addressing the diffi-


team, or a child study team-are part of CofIect Assessment Data and
L C•nel.u Students a preventive problem-solving process Per2orm a Functional
that can assist classroom teachers in Behaviora! Assessment
Educators have recently used the addressing challenging students before
term "oppositional defiance disor- the teacher needs to refer the student During the assessment process, the pre-
der" to describe the oppositional and for a special education placement referral team collects data needed to
defiant behaviors of students; how- (Ormsbee, 2001). The prereferral team identify and develop a plan to address
ever, educators need to be aware of gathers information to develop a plan to the student's academic and social
the problems associated with label- help the teacher successfully teach the behaviors. The team uses these data to
ing students. Such terms as "opposi- student. The team determines prerefer- examine existing learning and behav-
tional defiance disorder" locate prob- ral interventions on the basis of the ioral patterns and to identify the extent
lems within students rather than individual student's strengths and chal- to which other factors (e.g., experiential
within the educational system. These lenges; his or her educational, social, and cultural factors, unsettling family
labels can also limit the way that oth- events, and variables related to the
and medical history; and his or her lan-
ers perceive and interact with stu- guage and cultural background, as well instructional program) may explain the
dents, thereby disabling the students difficulties that the student is experienc-
as the teacher's concerns and the nature
academically and hindering the ing in school. In developing these pro-
of the learning environment. In the situ-
development of their self-esteem. files and making these determinations,
ation of Justin and Mr. Howe, the team
Educators must recognize that no educators take measurements in a vari-
can work collaboratively with teachers
two students are alike and that each ety of areas, including the student's
and family members to develop a plan
educational program must be based behavior in the classroom and at home,
that includes a range of methods.
on individual strengths and behav- as well as his or her academic perform-
ioral challenges rather than on a ance, social relationships, learning pref- Family Cco llaboration erences, emotional status, and commu-
label. and Communication nication skills.
Since oppositional and defiant
As the example of Justin and Mr. Howe
These 14 suggestions are as follows: behavior may vary depending on the
indicatbs, good collaboration and com-
"•Access prereferral services. environment, examining the student's
munication with students' families can behavioral patterns at school and at
"*Encourage family collaboration and strengthen the connection between
communication. home is important. Educators can col-
school and home and create a shared lect this information in a variety of
"*Collect assessment data and perform commitment to learning (Salend, 2005).
a functional behavioral assessment. ways: -

Therefore, educators should View fami- "*Direct observation of students in a

"•Address students' learning and moti- lies as a valuable resource and partner
vational difficulties. variety of settings can provide
in the educational process and should insights into behavioral and academ-
"*Provide social skills instruction. include them in the prereferral process.
"*Offer attribution training. ic skills, as well as the student's inter-
Since members of a student's family can actions with others.
"°Build relationships with students.
share useful information about how "oEducators can record measurements
"•Develop students' self-esteem.
they manage the child's behavior at of behavioral and social skills by
"oGive students choices.
home, families can help the team under- completing checklists, rating scales,.
"•Be aware of verbal and nonverbal
stand the student. Family members also and questionnaires related to a range
can collaborate with educators to imple-
"*Teach students to use self-manage-
ment interventions to foster students'
ment interventions.
"°Follow routines and foster transitions. positive behavior. For example, an effec- Good collaboration and
"*Establish and teach rules. tive intervention for students who
"oLearn more about oppositional and exhibit oppositional and defiant class- communication with
defiant behaviors. room behaviors is a home-school con-
We next discuss these suggestions in tract in which teachers communicate students' families can
detail. with the student's family regarding
behavior in school and families rein- strengthen the connection
Access Prereferal Servlces force the' child's improved behavior.
Before implementing a home-school between school and, home
Prereferral services are an essential contract, all parties should discuss and
resource for teachers like Mr. Howe and agree on the specifics of the contract. and create a shared
students like Justin. Prereferral servic- When the system is in place, follow-up
es-sometimes called a teacher assis- communication regarding its implemen- commitment to learning.
tance team, an instructional support tation and effectiveness is also essential. ............ -* ...... vo...............


of behaviors in a variety of settings
recognize and respond appropriately to
(Taylor, 2000).
What Es o IYurn-onag the feelings of others. It also can help
" Interviews, sociograms, and self-con-
Behaviora A2ssessment? them resolve conflicts; understand their
cept measures-in addition to an
own strengths, challenges, and emo-
examination of school records and
A functional behavior assessment tions; and deal with frustration and
documents indicating the number
(17A) is a person-centered, problem- anger (Morris, 2002).
and types of discipline referrals,
solving process that involves gather- By clearly explaining the desired
behavioral incidents, and interrup-
ing information to help determine behavior, its importance, and when it
tions-can provide supplemental
the function of specific problem should be used, teachers can help stu-
behaviors and the variables that dents develop their social skills.
"*An assessment of student behavior appear to lead to and maintain the Teachers also can demonstrate, explain,
should also include a functional
behavior (Sugai, Horner, & Sprague, role-play, and practice using the behav-
behavioral assessment, or FBA
1999). Educators and family mem- ior, in addition to providing students
(Murdick, Gartin, & Stockall, 2003;
bers can then use this behavior with numerous opportunities to use it in
see box, "What Is a Functional
assessment to select interventions natural settings with peers (Lo, Loe, &
Behavior Assessment?").
and develop a plan to help students Cartledge, 2002). Teachers can provide
In addition to assessing students' engage in behavior that is more feedback, employ cues to promote the
behavioral and social skills, educators appropriate and more prosocial. use of social skills in various settings,
can develop academic performance pro- and teach their students to use learning
files by using standardized criterion-ref- strategies that foster social interactions
erenced and norm-referenced testing. ties, relevant and integrated content, (Bock, 2003; Presley & Hughes, 2000).
Such assessment techniques as per- and culturally relevant topics and Teachers also teach social skills by
formance-based and portfolio assess- instructional materials that relate to stu- using social skills curricula, literature,
ment, curriculum-based measurement, dents' lives (Kern, Bambara, & Fogt, and student reflection. Williams and
rubrics, dynamic assessment, learning 2002). Teachers can share with students Reisberg (2003) and Elksnin and
logs, and self-evaluation can help pro- why the content, process, and products Elksnin (1998) provide a list of
vide more complete profiles of students associated with learning activities are resources that can assist in teaching
and can identify their, academic worthwhile for them. They can use stu- social skills to students. Students can
strengths, needs, and learning styles, as dent-directed learning to help students work in groups to read, discuss, and
well as the impact of these factors on become involved in instruction and gain role-play juvenile literature around the
learning and behavior (Salend, 2005). a sense of ownership in their education, theme of social skills (Cartledge &
thereby increasing students' motivation, Kiarieý, 2001; Gut & Safran, 2002). To
Address Students' Leamni and self-efficacy, and learning (Brown, encourage students to reflect on their
MLotivational Di'lcules 2002) social skills, teachers can ask them to
Learning activities that students respond to the following questions:
The learning and motivational difficul- enjoy, that pique their curiosity; and "*What did you do to get along with
ties of students can affect their behavior. that use novelty can also motivate stu- others?
Teachers can use innovative and moti- dents. Suspense, fantasy, color, and "oHow well did it work?
vating differentiated teaching practices technology can arouse student interest. " How do you think the others felt
to minimize resistance behaviors that In developing classroom examples and about what you did?
are related to these difficulties. A variety assignments, educators can use the stu- "*What did you learn from this experi-
of teaching strategies, instructional dents' interests and experiences, as well ence? (Church, Gottschalk, & Leddy,
technologies, and curricular approaches as popular characters, items, and 2003)
can accommodate students' individual trends. Active academic games are
learning strengths, preferences, and another way to incorporate novelty into ,•ffer At•ribution 7ra•ning
styles, as well as their experiential, cul- the instructional process. These games
tural, and language backgrounds should be cooperative rather than com- Students who exhibit oppositional and
(Salend, 2005). petitive and should be structured to defiant behaviors can benefit from attri-
Providing students with access to involve all students. bution training, which involves teach-
meaningful, interesting, and challeng- ing them to understand how their
ing curricula and age-appropriate and Provide Social SUil1s IUnstruction actions affect their success and failure.
creative instructional programs is also a By offering attribution training, teachers
critical factor in establishing a learning Justin and students like him often lack can help students develop the belief that
environment that helps students and social skills and can therefore benefit their actions affect their success. This
motivates them to succeed (Tomlinson, from social skills instruction. Social understanding can in turn minimize the
2002). Educators can enhance student skills teaching helps students learn how extent to which the students blame oth-
motivation by using high-interest activi- to work in groups, make friends, and ers for their own difficulties. Students


who understand positive attributions important factor in teaching students a teacher uses humor, he or-she must be
recognize and acknowledge that their like Justin. Teachers can facilitate rela- certain that it is not directed toward stu-
successful performance is because of tionships with students by creating a dents as ridicule or sarcasm; that stu-
effort, ability, and other factors within learning environment that is based on dents do not misinterpret it; and that it
themselves; however, students who fail mutual respect and by learning about is free of racial, ethnic, religious, sexual,
to understand attribution often attribute what is important to their students. or gender bias 'and connotations. To use
their difficulties to others and to exter- They can foster relationships with their humor appropriately and strategically,
nal factors. students outside, as well as inside, the teachers also need to be aware of events
Teachers can use a variety of strate- classroom by attending extracurricular in the students' lives, their schools, and
gies to help students learn to use posi- activities in which their students partic- the world.
tive attributions (Salend, 2005). They ipate and by connecting classroom
can assess and foster their students' activities with students' interests and Devellop stuclents, self-Esteem
positive attributions by teaching them hobbies.
to use attribution self-report scales and Teachers also can build relationships Helping students develop their self-
dialogue pages. For example, after with their students by establishing and esteem is another way for teachers to
instructional activities, teachers can maintaining rapport with them. establish a positive learning environ-
give students an attribution scale to rate Teachers can establish rapport by ment. Teachers can help develop self-
the level of difficulty of the task, their "oTalking to students about topics that esteem by giving students opportunities
effort, and the factors that contributed interest them. to demonstrate their competence to oth-
to their success (Corral &Antia, 1997). "*Showing an interest in students' per- ers and to perform skills, roles, and jobs
Similarly, students can respond to dia- lives. that others value (Jones, 2002).
logue pages that ask them what they, did "•Sharing their own interests. Teachers also can foster their students'
to succeed, why they succeeded, what "*'Giving emotional support. self-esteem by listening to them; show-
prevented them from succeeding, and "*Letting students perform activities in ing them that they value the students'
what they can do to be even more suc- which they excel. ideas, opinions, interests, and skills;
cessful (Kozminsky & Kozminsky, "•Greeting students by name. and involving them in the decision-
2002). In addition, educators can teach "oRecognizing special events in stu- making process. Other methods include
their students to do the following: dents' lives, such as birthdays. recognizing students' achievements and
a Understand how attributions and "*Displaying,kindness. talents, teaching them to use self-man-
effort affect performance. "oSpending informal time with stu- agement techniques, asking them to
* View failure as the first part of learn- dents. perform meaningful classroom and
ing and a sign of the need to work "*Complimenting students (Owens & school-based jobs, and 'posting their
harder. Dieker, 2003). work in the classroom and throughout
* Focus on improvement and analyze the 'school (Pavri, 2001).
past successes. Acknowledging positive aspects of
a Talk about mistakes and assume students' behaviors can promote self-
responsibility for successful out- Students who fail to esteem in students and can strengthen
comes. the bond between teachers and their
Teachers can also encourage stu- understand attribution students (Hester, 2002). Educators
dents to use positive attributions by should tailor these comments to stu-
modeling them, having students self- often attribute their dents' ages, skill levels, and cultural
record them, responding to students' backgrounds, Educators should recog-
correct responses with effort feedback difficulties to others and to nize effort, as well as specific behaviors
("You're really working hard") or ability and outcomes, and should acknowledge
feedback ("You have the skill' to do external factors. the individual achievements of'students
this"), and by responding to students' rather than comparing their perform-
incorrect responses with a strategy or ance with that of others.
informational feedback ("'fy another
way of doing this") (Corral & Antia, In addition to defusing difficult class- Give studenb Choices
1997; Yasutake, Bryan, & Dohm, 1996). room situations, humor can help teach-
ers and their students develop a good Educators can lessen power struggles
Buil nelcationships Wihh relationship and create a positive class- with students by allowing them to make
stuclents room atmosphere (Duckworth et al., choices. Such choices can also foster
2001). A teacher who effectively uses their self-esteem. Since students may
Although building meaningful and gen- humor can help put students at ease, initially have difficulty making choices,
uine relationships with and among all gain their attention, and help them see teaching them how to make and express
students is essential, it is an especially teachers as individuals. However, when their choices is important, in addition to


verbal and verbal messages. As Mr. - Determine whether the solutions
are effective ("Does it work?").
Acknowledging positive Howe realized, teachers also should try
to avoid making threats, using body lan- Teachers can increase the effective-
aspects of students' guage that communicates disapproval, ness of these strategies by using combi-
and responding emotionally during con- nations of them, by giving students
behaviors can promote frontations. numerous opportunities to practice and
Teachers can use verbal and nonver- master them, and by prompting stu-
self-esteem in students and bal cues as physical gestures to prompt dents to use them (King-Sears &Bonfils,
and acknowledge prosocial behavior 2000). The use of technology can fur-
can strengthen the bond (Marks et al., 2003). These cues also ther enhance the success of these strate-
can establish routines, promote efficien- gies. For example, educators can teach
between teachers and their cy, or signal to students that their students to use personal digital assis-
behavior is unacceptable and should be tants and auditory-based technology
students. changed. For example, as Mr. Howe dis- systems to prompt themselves to
covered, educators can use individual- demonstrate, self-record, self-evaluate,
ized eye contact, hand signals, head and self-reinforce their prosocial behav-
movements, and notes to quickly and iors (Bauer & Ulrich, 2002; Post, Storey
helping them understand the conse- covertly indicate affirmation, correction, & Karabin, 2002). Students also can
quences of their choices (Cook-Sather, or the need to refocus on appropriate learn to use software packages to graph,
2003). Teachers can also facilitate the behavior. When teachers work with stu- store, access, and reflect on their
choice-making process by providing stu- dents from different cultural and lan- progress in changing their behavior
dents with options and by allowing guage backgrounds, using cues that are (Gunter, Miller, Venn, Thomas, &
them to make some choices during House, 2002).
culturally appropriate is important.
nonacademic activities. During instruc-
tional activities, teachers can give stu-
Teach Students to Use Self- Follow Routines and Foster
dents choices regarding the order in
anagement Interventions Trans•tions
which they begin and complete assign-
ments, the instructional materials that Since unexpected changes in classroom
Because self-management strategies
they will use, the classroom places
actively involve students in monitoring routines can cause students who exhib-
where they will work, and the class-
and changing their behaviors, they are it oppositional and defiant behavior to
mates with whom they would like to
especially good techniques for students act out and respond in defiant ways
collaborate (Jolivette, Stichter, &
like Justin to learn to use (Daly & (Hall, Williams &Hall, 2000), following
McCormick, 2002).
Ranalli, 2003). Self-management strate- consistent and predictable routines and
gies include the following: fostering transitions from one activity to
Be Aware of Verbal and
Nonverbal Communication "*Self-monitoring, whereby students another are important. When students
record their behaviors by using a know the routines and activities that
Both verbal and nonverbal communica- data-collection system. they can expect in the classroom each
tion affect teachers' relationships with "*Self-evaluation or self-assessment, day, they are more likely to believe that
their students. When students and whereby students learn to evaluate they are in control of their environment,
teachers do not understand these com- their in-class behavior according to which can reduce instances of defiance
munications, the resulting miscommu- some standard or scale. in the classroom.
nication can escalate conflicts between "oSelf-reinforcement, whereby students Establishing and following a regular
students and teachers. Therefore, verbal are taught to evaluate their behavior schedule that includes ongoing class-
and nonverbal communication should and then deliver self-selected rewards room -routines can improve student
foster positive interactions, should be if appropriate. learning and behavior (Downing &
consistent with students' behavioral "oSelf-instruction, whereby students Peckham-Hardin, 2001; Hester, 2002).
expectations, and should communicate verbalize to themselves the questions Good scheduling involves considering
attitudes. For example, Mr. Howe and responses necessary to student characteristics as well as impor-
learned to use facial expressions and - Identify problems ("What am I tant features of the educational program
eye contact to communicate to Justin being asked to do?" ). and classroom. In establishing routines
his approval, interest, concern, and - Generate potential solutions and schedules, it is generally helpful to
warmth. 'In responding to students, ("What are the ways to do it?"). " Begin the school day or classroom
teachers should be sensitive to the non- - Evaluate solutions (What is the period with an activity that is moti-
verbal behaviors of their students and best way?"). vating and interesting to students,
should interact with them by using con- - Use appropriate solutions ("Did I "oSolicit input from students in plan-
gruent and culturally appropriate non- do it?"). Sning routines and schedules.


"*Post and review daily schedules and
routines. huporlan? EInterviret Resources
e Share an agenda for each of the day's
"*Coordinate schedules and routines Big's Place (
with other professionals. This site provides a variety of links to information on oppositional behaviors. The
"*Alert students in advance to changes links are organized by category and include research, special medical programs,
in the routines and schedule. publications, and family support groups.
An important aspect of the daily
schedule and routines is making transi- Conduct (
tions from one activity to the next This site, designed by families of challenging children, offers a variety of sugges-
(Salend, 2005). When transitions occur tions and alternatives for working with individuals with a variety of behavioral
within the classroom, students who issues. It also provides suggestions for further reading, articles, links, and a dis-
exhibit oppositional and defiant behav- cussion forum.
iors may become frustrated and unclear
about their place in the classroom, and Kwik Link Internet Services (
they may therefore behave inappropri- pamphlet.htm)
ately. Teachers can use a variety of This site offers information, resources, and case studies related to students who
strategies to foster smooth and quick exhibit oppositional behaviors and conduct disorders, as well as information on
transitions. They can act like disk jock- these behaviors and disorders in combination with such other issues as attention
eys or newscasters who use segues to deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, substance abuse, and anxiety.
prepare listeners for the next recording
or story. For example, teachers can pro- Internet Mental Health (
vide verbal, musical, or physical cues as This site disseminates research about a variety of mental health disorders. It offers
segues to signal to students that they an online encyclopedia that contains information on diagnosis, treatment,
need to prepare for a new activity and research, medications, and related links.
can give them specific directions for
moving to the next activity (Gibson & Not My (
Govendo, 1999; Hester, 2002). When This site offers information and resources on a variety of aspects related to oppo-
students come from a less-structured sitional behai,iors, including symptoms from infancy to adolescence, suggestions
•social activity like lunch or recess to a and strategies for promoting positive behaviors, professional interventions, and a
setting that requires quiet and attention, variety of ways to obtain further support and information.
educators can use a transitional activity.
For example, following recess, the New York Online Access to Health (
teacher can ask students to write in This bilingual site (Spanish and English) contains facts about a wide variety of
their journals one topic of discussion in health issues and offers information on oppositional behaviors, including symp-
a specific class on the previous day. toms, treatment, advocacy, and resources.
Teachers also can minimize problems
with transitions by allowing students to (
practice making transitions and teach- This site addresses a variety of behavioral issues and includes such helpful fea-
ing them to use learning strategies that tures as a question-and-answer forum, intervention strategies, links to the feder-
facilitate transitions (Marks et al., al laws concerning individuals with disabilities, and professional organizations
2003). For example, Babkie and Provost that provide current research.
(2002) offer'mnemonic-based learning
strategies for helping students make Uplift-Wyoming (
transitions in hallways and school cafe- This site provides a booklet containing information about the symptoms associ-
terias. ated with oppositional and defiant behaviors, as well as helpful suggestions for
making everyday life easier for all those involved.
Estcablish and Teach Rules
Global Internet ( - ebdstudy/disordl/oppose.htm)
When working with students like This site outlines potential indicators related to oppositional and defiant behav-
Justin, establishing classroom rules and iors provides intervention strategies, including behavioral management, self-
routines and fostering transitions from control instruction, self-esteem enhancement, and family education. It also pres-
one activity to another are helpful tech- ents information on the advantages and disadvantages of various strategies.
niques (Salend, 2005). Allowing stu-
dents to be involved in developing the
rules communicates to them that they


are responsible for their actions. tially fail to comply so that they can suc- mote learning and positive behavior. It
Students also are more likely to follow ceed in the future. also means that educators establish
rules that they help create. Therefore, partnerships with families and other
teachers can work with students to Learn More About Oppostional professionals to collaboratively plan,
develop reasonable rules that address anl Deriant Behaviors deliver, and monitor the effectiveness of
cooperative and productive learning educational programs. We hope this
behaviors, guide classroom interactions, Special education is a field that is con- article will help educators respond to
and are acceptable to students and stantly changing. New research, model these challenges by presenting informa-
teachers. For example, Mr. Howe can programs, teaching and classroom man- tion to help them better understand and
ask Justin and his classmates what rules agement strategies, and legislation relat- work more effectively with students
they think the class needs, present ed to such issues as students who who exhibit oppositional and defiant
classroom 'problems, and ask students exhibit oppositional and defiant behav- behaviors and their families.
to brainstorm solutions and rules to iors are evolving. Since effective profes-
address these problems; or Mr. Howe sionals strive to keep abreast of new Relerences
can have students create a classroom developments and continue to develop Babkie, A. M., & Provost, M. C. (2002).
constitution or mission statement. their skills, teachers can engage in a Select, write, and use metacognitive
Students also can provide suggestions variety of activities to learn more about strategies in the classroom. Intervention in
regarding the consequences for follow- these students. For example, teachers School and Clinic, 37, 173-177.
ing rules and the violations for breaking can read journal articles and books such Bauer, A.M., &Ulrich, M.E. (2002). "I've got
them. as those in this article's reference list a palm in my pocket": Using handheld
Teachers can follow several guide- and can view Web sites (see, box, computers in an inclusive classroom.
lines to make classroom rules meaning- "Important Internet Resources") that TEACHING Exceptional Children, 35(2),
ful to their students. They can make offer information and resources 18-22.
sure that their rules are stated concisely addressing issues related to students Bock, M. A. (2003). SODA strategy:
in positive terms, that rules are easy to who exhibit oppositional and defiant Enhancing the social interaction skills of
understand, and that they are usable in behaviors. youngsters with Asperger syndrome.
many situations and settings. Rules also Intervention in School and Clinic, 36, 272-
should have some flexibility that is Final Thoughts 278.
based on students' individual differ- Brown, D.F. (2002). Self-directed learning in
ences and circumstances. When excep- The challenge of teaching requires that an 8th grade classroom. Educational
tions to rules exist, teachers can identi- educators understand and address the Leadership, 60(1), 54-59.
fy the exceptions and discuss them in unique characteristics of all students, Cartledge, G., & Kiarie, M. W. (2001).
advance. Similarly, when teachers need including those who exhibit opposition- Learning social skills through literature for
to make allowances for students like al and defiant behaviors. Rather than children and adolescents. TEACHING
Justin to accommodate their unique Exceptional Children, 34(2), 40-47.
needs and behaviors, they should dis- Church, K., Gottschalk, C.M., &Leddy, J. N.
cuss and explain to the class the ratio- The challenge of teaching (2003). Tlwenty ways to enhance social
nales for these allowances. and friendship skills. Intervention in
Helping students learn the rules is requires educators to School and Clinic, 38, 307-310.
also important (Hester, 2002). Educators Cook-Sather, A. (2003). Listening to students
often need to describe and demonstrate understand and address the about learning differences. TEACHING
the observable behaviors that make up Exceptional Children, 35(4), 22-27.
the rules, give examples of rule viola- unique characteristics of all Corral, N., & Antia, S. D. (1997). Self-task:
tions and behaviors related to the rules, Strategies for success in math. TEACHING
and role-play rule-following and rule- students, including those Exceptional Children, 29(4), 42-45.
violating behaviors. Teachers and stu- Daly, P.M., &Ranalli, P. (2003). Using coun-
dents can also discuss the rationale for who exhibit oppositional toons to teach self-monitoring skills.
the rules, the contexts in which rules TEACHING Exceptional Children, 35(5),
apply, and the benefits of each rule. and defiant behaviors. 30-35.
Teachers can review the rules frequent- Downing, J. E., & Peckham-Hardin, K. D.
ly with the class at the beginning of the (2001). Daily schedules: A helpful learn-
school year and periodically ask stun ing tool. TEACHING Exceptional Children,
dents to review or practice them. focusing on students' labels, successful 33(3), 62-68.
Teachers must also enforce the rules teaching requires that educators employ Duckworth, S., Smith-Rex, S., Okey, S.,
consistently, acknowledge students for a variety of individualized assessment, Brookshire, M. A., Rawlinson, D.,
following the rules, arid offer positive instructional, collaboration, and class- Rawlinson, R., et al. (2001). Wraparound
corrective feedback to students who ini- room management strategies to pro- services for young schoolchildren with


emotional and behavioral disorders. Intervention in School and Clinic, 35(2), Salend, S. J. (2005). Creating inclusive class-
TEACHING Exceptional Children, 33,(4), 96-107. mooms: Effective and reflective practicesfor
54-60. Kozminsky, E., & Kozminsky, L. (2002). The all students, (5th ed.). Columbus, OH:
Elksnin, L. K., &Elksnin, N. (1998). Teaching dialogue page: Teacher and student dia- Merrill/Prentice Hall.
social skills to students with learning and logues to improve learning motivation. Sugai, G., Homer, R. H., & Sprague, J. R.
behavior problems. Intervention in School Intervention in School and Clinic, 38, 88- (1999)., Functional-assessment-based
and Clinic, 33(3), 131-140. 95. behavior support planning: Research to
Gibson, B. P., & Govendo, B. L. (1999). Lo, Y., Loe, S. A., & Cartledge, G. (2002). The practice to research. BehavioralDisorders,
Encouraging constructive behavior in effects of social skills instruction on the 24(3), 253-257.
middle school classrooms: A multiple- social behaviors of students at risk for Taylor, R. L. (2000). Assessment of exception-
intelligences approach. Intervention in emotional or behavioral disorders. al students: Educational andpsychological
School and Clinic, 35, 16-21. BehavioralDisorders, 27, 371-385. procedures (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn and
Gunter, P. L., Miller, K. A., Venn, M. L., Marks, S. U., Shaw-Hegwer, J., Schrader, C., Bacon.
Thomas, K., & House, S. (2002). Self- Longaker, T., Peters, I., Powers, F., et al. Tomlinson, C. A. (2002). Invitations to learn.
graphing to success: Computerized data (2003). Instructional tips for teachers of EducationalLeadership, 60(1), 6-10.
management. TEACHING Exceptional students with autistic spectrum disorder Williams, G. J., & Reisberg, L. (2003).
Children, 35(2), 30-35. (ASD). TEACHING Exceptional Children, Successful inclusion: Teaching social skills
Gut, D. M., & Safran, S. P. (2002). 35(4), k0-54. through curriculum integration.
Cooperative learning and social stories: Morris, S. (2002). Promoting social skills Intervention in School and Clinic, 38, 193-
Effective social skills strategies for reading among students with nonverbal disabili- 210.
teachers. Reading and Writing Quarterly: ties. TEACHING Exceptional Children, Woolsey-Terrazas, W, & Chavez, J. A.
Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 18(1), 34(3), 66-70. (2002). Strategies to work with students
87-91. Murdick, N. L., Gartin, B. C., & Stockall, N. with oppositional defiant disorder. CEC
Hall, N., Williams, J., & Hall, P. S. (2000). (2003). Step by step: How to meet the Today, 8(7), 12.
Fresh approaches with oppositional stu- functional assessment of behavior require- Yasutake, D., Bryan, T., & Dohm, E. (1996).
dents. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 8, ments of IDEA. Beyond Behavior, 12(2), The effects of combining peer tutoring
219-229. 25-30. and attribution training on students' per-
Hester, P. (2002). What teachers can do to Ormsbee, C. K. (2001). Effective preassess- ceived self-competence. Remedial and
prevent behavior problems in schools. ment team procedures: Making the Special Education, 17(2), 83-91.
Preventing School Failure,47, 33-38. process work for teachers and students.
Jenson, E. (2001). Fragile brains. Educational Intervention in School and Clinic, 36, 146- Spencer J. Salend (CEC Chapter #615),
Leadership, 59(3), 32-37. 153. Professor, Department of Educational
Jolivette, K., Stichter, J. P., &McCormick, K. Owens, L., & Dieker, L. A. (2003). How to Studies, State University of New York at
M. (2002). Making choices-improving spell success for secondary students New Paltz. Shawna Sylvestre (CEC
behavior-engaging in learning. TEACH- labeled EBD: How students define effec- Chapter #615), Special Education
ING Exceptional Children, 34(3), 24-29. tive teachers. Beyond Behavior, 12(2), 19- Teacher, Pine Bush Central School
Jones, V. (2002). Creating communities of 23. District, New York.
support: The missing link in dealing with Pavri, S. (2001). Loneliness in children with
student behavior problems and reducing disabilities: How teachers can help. Address correspondence to Spencer J.
violence in schools. 'Beyond Behavior, TEACHING Exceptional Children, 33(6), Salend, Department of Educational
11(2), 16-23. 52-58. Studies, OMB 11, State University of New
Kern, L., Bambara, L., & Fogt, J. (2002). Post, M., Storey, K., & Karabin, M. (2002). York at New Paltz, 75 Manheim Blvd.,
Class-wide curricular modifications to C0ol headphones for effective prompts: New Paltz, NY 12561, salends@new-
improve the behavior of students with Supporting students and adults in work
emotional and behavioral disorders. and community environments. TEACH-
Behavioral Disorders,27, 317-326. ING Exceptional Children, 34(3), 60-65. TEACHING Exceptional Children, Vol. 37,
King-Sears, M. E., & Bonfils, K. A. (2000). Presley, J. A., & Hughes, C. (2000). Peers as No. 6, pp. 32-39
Self-management instruction for middle teachers of anger management to high
school students with LD and ED. school students with behavioral disorders. Copyright 2005 CEC.
Behavioral Disorders, 25, 114-130.



TITLE: Understanding and Addressing Oppositional and Defiant

Classroom Behaviors
SOURCE: Teach Except Child 37 no6 Jl/Ag 2005
WN: 0518200442005

The magazine publisher is the copyright holder of this article and it

is reproduced with permission. Further reproduction of this article in
violation of the copyright is prohibited. To contact the publisher:

Copyright 1982-2005 The H.W. Wilson Company. All rights reserved.