Bronx Envision Academy is a public school located in Bronx, New York. This public school is a small community located on the 4th floor of the Herman Ridder Campus. The Herman Ridder School Campus is an urban district 12 New York City Department of Education School established on September 8, 1931. The building has been deemed a historical landmark in 1990, and the school was called the city’s “first modernistic schoolhouse”. The school is located in 1619 Boston Road in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, and it houses three schools. Two High Schools (Bronx Envision Academy High School and Explorations Academy High School) and one Middle School (Intermediate School 98). The community is mainly composed of African American and Latino students, and it serves 962 students from grades 6th through 12th. More than 25%-30% of the entire student population receives special education services. Each grade in middle school is serviced with SETTS, ICT, 12:1, 12:1:1 setting for special education students, and each grade. As for both high schools, they only offer SETTS and ICT services for special education students. Bronx Envision Academy has 404 students, grade levels 9-12, and two graduating classes. 96 students receive special education services. Each grade is serviced with SETTS, ICT settings for special education students.
Bronx Envision Academy provides services for those students who are aged typically between 13-18 years, but our special education students are serviced until the year they turn 21 years of age. Students live in residential neighborhoods of the South Bronx. It is possible to observe the following tendencies in this school’s demographics: racial and cultural backgrounds of students are diverse; Hispanics and African Americans represent the majority of the population in this school. At Bronx Envision Academy, the student body is made up of 41% males and 59% females, and the total minority enrollment is 97%, as well as 88% of economically disadvantaged students. Most learners have similar social status and receive reduced or free school lunches.
The focus learner is in the ninth grade. The class consists of twelve students who have selected mathematics as their specialization. While focusing on the gender composition of the class, it is important to note that it consists of eight males and four females. Five students are Hispanics, two students are Caucasians, one student is Asian, and four students are African Americans. In classrooms for conducting mathematics, English, and history lessons, students’ desks stand in rows in front of a teacher’s table.
Focus learner & general overview of behavior
John is a focused learner who is selected for this project. John is a 15-year-old Hispanic male who was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is important to note that John is sociable, and he interacts actively with other students in the class. However, those teachers who usually work with John state that this young male is inclined to interrupt other students when they try to answer teachers’ questions and respond to questions even quicker than other students do. When John provides correct answers to questions instead of or before other learners, he smiles and tends to focus on students’ reactions. When other learners choose to comment on John’s habit to interrupt them, he responds to these comments loudly and uses words with a negative connotation. According to Shepherd and Linn, such situations can prevent teachers from conducting their assessments properly, and they can lead to worsening communication in the class.
It is important to note that John is a skilled student who has high grades and a good reputation for an athlete. Still, despite being almost always correct in his answers, John does not react to teachers’ comments, and he does not try to change his behavior. According to Taylor, students with ADHD often demonstrate the unwillingness to wait for their turn while answering questions, and these students can interrupt both learners and teachers. Nevertheless, it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that John avoids interrupting students or preventing them from speaking at lessons in mathematics. John also does not interrupt teachers, and he is interested in providing answers which are correct and which can be highly assessed by teachers. Observers, teachers, and students report that the focus learner is inclined to listen to other students’ answers attentively only at mathematics lessons.
Cultural influences on behavior
While referring to the readings on classroom and behavior management, it is almost impossible to state that John’s behavior is provoked or reinforced by factors associated with his cultural background. However, it is possible to assume that John’s focus on interrupting others and presenting his answers to questions can be associated with a social situation observed in the class. John is regarded as a “popular” student who demonstrates high achievements in both studies and sports. Other male students in the class are also members of the school’s sports teams. John actively interacts with representatives of all ethnicities in the class, and diversity is typical of Bronx Envision Academy High School. However, it is also necessary to refer to the focus of the learner’s family because John’s parents actively support their son and motivate him for further achievements even though his parents are separated. They communicate actively and seem to co-parent well. This aspect and the culture of the competition promoted in the family can influence John’s behavior in the class.
Interrupting: John interrupts other students when they are asked to provide answers to questions. When questions are asked, John responds to them quicker and louder than other students do; he shouts out answers, and the focus is only on those cases when other learners cannot respond to questions before being interrupted by John.
While focusing on data collection for Part Two of the project, it is necessary to assess the frequency of the observed behavior. The frequency with which John interrupts other students when they intend to provide answers to certain questions is important to be assessed because this behavior is often observed in the classroom, but there are situations when the focus learner does not interrupt students even though this behavior is typical of John. From this perspective, it is important to focus on the frequency of interruptions at different lessons and under various circumstances to assess the focus learner’s behavior in detail and determine factors that can influence the discussed pattern (Gallagher, Abikoff, & Spira, 2014). In this context, the focus on the duration of interrupting, its magnitude, topography, or locus is ineffective to understand the causes of the behavior.
To collect the data related to the identified and defined behavior, it is appropriate to use partial interval recording as a procedure to document the “number of time intervals” when Jon interrupts other students in the class and prevents them from answering teachers’ questions. Partial interval recording is selected for documenting the results of observation in this case because it is necessary to concentrate on the frequency of interruptions noticed at different lessons during intervals when teachers ask questions, initiate discussions, and stimulate students to react to their statements. Frequency recording is inappropriate to be used in this case because the focus on intervals is important to analyze factors that influence John’s behaviors. Duration recording and latency recording are also ineffective to collect data related to the observed behavior (Dombrowski, 2015).
John demonstrates the behavior that is studied in this project in mathematics, English, and history lessons. However, teachers note that the frequency of John’s interruptions at these lessons is different. Differences can depend on the lesson type or on the period among other factors. Recording sessions should be conducted in John’s class during mathematics, English, and history lessons for two weeks. Recordings should be made only during question-and-answer sessions and discussions. To plan recording sessions, it is appropriate to interact with teachers and receive information regarding lesson plans to understand the structure of a concrete lesson.
Dombrowski, S. C. (2015). Psychoeducational assessment and report writing. New York, NY: Springer.
Gallagher, R., Abikoff, H. B., & Spira, E. G. (2014). Organizational skills training for children with ADHD: An empirically supported treatment. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.