Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Heal, Nicole

Abstract

Embedded teaching procedures have become a recommended practice and a commonly implemented teaching strategy in early childhood classrooms. Embedded teaching is characterized by instructions and feedback regarding target skills being delivered within child-initiated activities during varied and typical routines. Although embedded teaching strategies have been widely adopted, little research has been conducted on the critical elements of embedded teaching. The purpose of this project is to determine the relative efficacy of and child preference for different embedded teaching conditions that vary in the rate of embedded teacher prompts. Three preschool aged children experienced three teaching conditions 1) Dense Condition (four embedded prompts per min were programmed), 2) Lean Condition (one embedded prompt per min was programmed) and 3) Control Condition (no embedded prompts). The relative efficacy of the teaching conditions were evaluated within a multielement design while a concurrent chains procedure was implemented to directly assess each child's preference for the teaching conditions. The dense and lean embedded teaching strategies were equally efficacious for teaching preschool children food name relations and the participant's preference assessment results were variable across the three participants. One participant showed a preference for the control condition, and the other two participant's preference was variable between the three conditions. The importance of choice making and using evidence based teaching strategies in preschool environments is discussed.

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