G. B. Biederman, J. L. Fairhall, K. A. Raven




Exceptional Children

In hand-over-hand modeling with response-contingent verbal prompts, tasks are divided into identifiable sequential components, and the achievement of each component is marked by the delivery of some form of verbal prompt. In a within-subjects design, children were trained in one skill with response-contingent verbal prompts and in a second skill with simple passive observation. A separate group of children were trained with less rigorous verbal prompting in one skill and with passive observation in a second. Consistent with previous research, we found that passive modeling was overall significantly more effective than hand-over-hand modeling and that passive modeling was significantly more effective than hand-over-hand modeling with response-contingent prompting. Our evidence therefore indicates that current methods for teaching basic skills to children with severe developmental delays may require reassessment because simple observation of modeled skills appears to be more effective than more labor-intensive instruction.

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