Teacher Training on Behaviour Modification for Learners
Brief Description

The aim of the training is to equip teachers with theoretical and practical knowledge and skills on behaviour modification as an intervention strategy in promoting healthy behaviour among learners. The training content will provide teachers with the theoretical background of the learning theories that led to the behaviour modification. Teachers will be equipped with strategies on how to identify learners experiencing emotional problems that result in behavioural problems and how to support them in changing their behaviour for the better in the classroom situation.  

There is extensive literature on behaviour modification strategies and programs. Behaviour modification techniques are essential for addressing negative behaviour exhibited by children (Wood & Eames, 2017; Jangir & Govinda, 2018; John & Thomas, 2018). According to John and Thomas (2019:418) behaviour modification refers to the shaping of individual behaviour by identifying undesirable responses and specifying constructive behaviour. In South Africa, there is proliferation of media reports on unhealthy behavioural patterns observed from school’s learners. These unhealthy behavioural patterns range from bullying to killings among the learners in schools, communities, homes and other areas of developments which have been reported in many social media platforms from different provinces in South Africa.

Behaviour modification is therefore needed to help redirect the unhealthy behaviour patterns of learners in schools so that teaching and learning can be focused on (John & Thomas, 2019). Self-regulation is one of the highly effective techniques in behaviour modification as learners are expected to regulate behaviour and thus exhibit acceptable behaviour in various contexts of their lives. McClelland et al. (2018:115) define self-regulation as “aspects of adaption, as people alter their thoughts, attention, emotions, and behaviours to react to contextual events and, as well, to influence selected features of their contexts”. Finally, Marteau, Dieppe, Foy, Kinmonth, & Schneiderman, (2006), indicate that though the relatively small investment in preventing health and behavioural sciences, there is evidence for the effectiveness of behaviour change interventions at individual, community and population levels. Furthermore, these authors maintain that to maximize the potential efficacy of interventions, it is necessary to understand behaviour and behaviour change: in other words, it is necessary to have a theoretical understanding of behaviour change meaning that theory represents the accumulated knowledge of the mechanisms of action.

Learning Outcomes
  • Understand theories of behaviour modification and their relevance to teaching and learning
  • To assess and define problem behaviour in children
  • To differentiate between healthy and unhealthy behaviour in children
  • To differentiate between punishment, discipline and behaviour modification
  • To understand and differentiate between rewarding and sanctioning behaviour
  • To know the significance of self-regulation in advancing healthy behaviour in children
  • To design and apply support strategies to enhance healthy behaviour
  • To know when to refer a child with problem behaviour to specialist
    • To understand the aetiology of behaviour and its significance to human development
Course Content

Day 1

  • Overview on theories on behaviour modification and their implication in supporting behavioural changes in learners
  • Overview on learning theories, understanding on how learning occurs and how it relates to behaviour in the classroom
  • Case study examples on well-known behaviour theories that are aligned to teaching and learning e.g. operant condition learning theory and self-efficacy learning theory
  • Self-regulation as an essential skill that teachers needs to understand to manage disruptive emotions and impulses in class.


    Day 2

  • Understanding child development and its implications to behaviour
  • Developmental stages of children focusing on physical, cognitive, social, moral and emotional aspects and how they relate to behaviour
  • How emotional experiences impact negatively on learners’ behaviour
  • Identification of unhealthy behavioural patterns

    Day 3

  • Strategies that are essential to modify problem behaviour and to enhance healthy behaviour
  • Defining behaviour modification
  • Assessing behaviour and understanding when to intervene (when is behaviour modification required?)
  • Defining and understanding why behaviour modification is required


    Day 4

  • Intervention strategies of behaviour modification
  • Techniques to apply cognitive behaviour modification
  • Techniques to apply operant conditioning behaviour modification
  • Techniques to apply classical behaviour modification

    Day 5

  • Practical implementation of behaviour modification strategies
  • Case study discussion and use of intervention strategies
  • Positive strategies versus corporal punishment
  • Classroom management techniques
Entry Requirements
 The course is open to all interested persons.
Course Number:
Catalogue and Category:
Education and Teacher Development
Who Should attend:
Parents, Adults of all ages, Psychologist, Registered Counsellors and Teachers
Delivery Mode:
Contact Sessions
Contact Days:
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