Special Education 462

EDSP 462: Proactive Classroom Management and Positive Behavior Support

Prerequisites:  EDSP 360 or EDSP 361 and a minimum 2.5 GPA

Credit Hours: (3)

The future educator will learn the skills necessary to effectively manage a classroom environment, conduct functional behavior assessments regarding difficult behavior, and design an individual behavior intervention plan. Related topics include overall behavioral assessment, positive behavior supports, the development and teaching of social skills, prevention, teaching and reactive strategies related to addressing misbehaviors, the design of effective instruction to enhance behavioral success, and research-based models of effective classroom management.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The prospective educator is provided with knowledge of and skills for managing the behavior of children both with and without disabilities in public schools. Topics include:

1. Organization of the physical classroom environment for optimal management and structure

2. Rules, routines and procedures that aid in management

3. Direct assessment of and instruction in age appropriate social skills

4.  Research-based models for classroom management and discipline

5.  Building student-teacher relationships and classroom community

6.  Legal issues and implications regarding discipline of students with and without disabilities

7. Communicating with and involving parents in behavior management strategies

8. Overall classroom management techniques and strategies that are based on dignity and respect of all learners, along with the differentiation of approaches based on learner needs


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course is conducted through lecture, demonstration, simulation, use of media and a variety of readings with in-class discussion, in-class activities and group and individual projects. Field-based activities will include observations in the schools and data collection on individual child behavior.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address NCATE Standard 1c Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills. 

Objectives below also include the following standards:

  • Council for Exceptional Children [CEC]Common Core and Licensure area specific Knowledge and Skill Standards in Standard #1: Foundations (CC1), Standard #4 Instructional Strategies, Standard #5: Learning Environments and Social Interactions(CC 5) for all Entry-level Special Education Teachers.
  • Virginia Special Education: General Education Curriculum requirements  in Foundations, Characteristics, and Legal Aspects (VGC1b2) and Curriculum and Instruction, classroom and behavior management (VGC2c )
  • Virginia Early Childhood Special Education requirements in Understanding of behavior management (VEC5)
  • Virginia Professional Studies requirements in Classroom and Behavior Management [VPS3] for Prek-12, special education, and secondary education and [VPS2c] Early/ primary prek-3 education, elementary education, prek-6, and middle education.
  • Virginia Hearing Impairment requirements in Classroom [and behavior] management, including behavior support systems and individual planning (VHI4i) and Individual and group behavior management techniques in VHI4f; and


Upon completion of this course the student will demonstrate an understanding of:  

1. Laws, policies, and ethical principles regarding behavior management planning and implementation, and disciplinary practices and policies. (CC1K2) (VGC1b2)(VHI2e)

2. Models and theories of deviance and behavior problems and theories of reinforcement techniques in serving individuals with disabilities. (GC1K2 & GC1K9)

3. Use procedures to increase the individual’s self-awareness, self-management, self-control, self-reliance, and self-esteem, and teach individuals with disabilities to give and receive meaningful feedback from peers and adults. (CC4S5 & GC5S4)

4. Use a variety of non-aversive techniques to control targeted behavior and maintain attention of individuals with disabilities. (GC4S9, VGC2c & VPS3)

5. The demands of learning environments, teacher attitudes and behaviors that influence behavior, basic classroom management theories, and strategies for individuals with exceptional learning needs; and plan for and use effective management of teaching and learning. (CC5K1, CC5K2, CC5K3, CC5K4, CC5S10, VGC2c, VPS3, VPS2c)

6. Social skills needed for educational and other environments and identify realistic expectations for personal and social behavior in various settings. (CC5K5 &CC5S2)

7. Strategies for crisis prevention and intervention. (CC5K6 & VGC2c)

8. A safe, equitable, positive, and supportive learning environment in which diversities are valued, and use performance date and information from stakeholders to provide adaptation of the physical environment to provide optimal learning opportunities for individuals with disabilities and to assist in managing behaviors. (GC5K2, CC5S1, CC5S5, CC5S6, VGC2c & VPS3)

9. Use the least intensive behavior management strategy consistent with the needs of the individual with exceptional learning needs including planning and implementing individualized reinforcement systems and environmental modifications at levels equal to the intensity of the behavior. (CC5S11, GC7S1, VGC2c, VEC5, VHI4i)

10. Develop a systematic, rational behavior management plan using a variety of behavioral principles (including functional behavioral analysis, identifying and recording target behaviors and critical variables, data collection, intervention technique based on prevention, reactive strategies, and teaching appropriate replacement behaviors, and schedules of reinforcement.) (VPS2c, VPS3, VGC2c, VHI4i)

11. Select functional classroom designs (e.g., functional seating, work area, storage) and consistent routines and rules to create positive learning environments where diversity is valued. (CC5S12, GC5S6, VEC5). 

12. Demonstrate awareness of behavior management resources and social skills materials with a multicultural perspective, including those commercially available, that addresses the management of behavioral problems, social skill deficits, and facilitate communication links applicable to students with and without disabilities.(CC5S12, GC5S6, VEC5)


Assessment Measures

1. Formal written examinations

2. Daily class participation

3. Field-based observations in the schools

4. Conduct a functional behavioral assessment including data collection and interviews, and use results to develop a positive behavior support plan around one individual. Final written product is an NCATE candidate performance assessment.

5. Multimedia class presentation/project related to proactive classroom management.

6. Research journal articles search using online search databases


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

Revised April, 2009