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However, despite the teacher’s best efforts, it is highly likely that some children may still display disruptive behaviour on occasions. In this case, according to behaviourism, it is important to address the consequences of the behaviour as it may be the case that the undesirable behaviour is being reinforced by the reaction the learner provokes. For example, the child may behave badly in order to gain the teacher’s attention as, for some children, any attention, even negative, is better than no attention. Every time the teacher reacts, they are reinforcing the child’s disruptive behaviour. Alternatively, the child may be behaving badly in order to secure a reaction from their peers, and again, if this reaction is gained, the behaviour is being reinforced (Wray, 2010). Therefore, behaviourism advocates teaching learners new repertoires of behaviour and then reinforcing this good behaviour. Equally important, the undesirable behaviour should not be reinforced. Thus, reinforcement is the key aspect of this stage; however, it should be noted that, according to behaviourism, punishments and sanctions are not a part of the reinforcement schedule (Gulliford and Miller, 2015). Instead, positive reinforcement should be used as it is argued that pleasant experiences are more likely to help learners make the desired connections between specific stimuli and the appropriate response to that stimuli (Wray, 2010). Positive reinforcement can be given in three instances (LaVigna, 2000): a reward can be given when a learner chooses a preferred behaviour, known as differential reinforcement of an alternative response; a reward can be given when the learner chooses not to commit the undesirable behaviour, known as a differential reinforcement of the omission of a response; finally, a reward can be given when the learner displays a lower frequency of unwanted behaviour, known as a differential reinforcement of lower rates of responding. Disruptive and undesirable behaviour should be ignored as much as possible so as not to reinforce the behaviour .


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