A review, published in Review of Educational Research, analyzes the evidence on The Good Behavior Game (GBG), a classroom management program that has been used (and studied) for 40 years. Strategies in the program include acknowledging appropriate behavior, teaching classroom rules, providing feedback about inappropriate behavior, verbal praise, and providing rewards as reinforcement.
A total of 22 studies met the authors’ inclusion criteria. In these, the program was mainly being used in mainstream elementary schools with externalizing, challenging behaviors (e.g., disruptive behavior, off-task behavior, aggression, talking out, and out-of-seat behaviors).
The review aimed to describe and quantify the effect of the GBG on various challenging behaviors in school and classroom settings. The findings suggested that:
- The GBG had moderate to large effects on a range of challenging behaviors, and that these effects were immediate.
- Correct application of reward procedures was found to be important for intervention effectiveness.
The authors note that the GBG has been implemented by individuals in a variety of school roles (such as classroom teachers, student teachers, librarians, and lunchtime staff), and that this highlights the ease with which the GBG can be implemented under a variety of conditions. Additionally, the relatively brief training for practitioners in the studies suggests that the GBG can be used successfully without extensive training.
Few studies considered the long-term impact of the GBG, but the authors conclude that the effects were largely stable, with only a very slight decrease over time.
Source: Flower, A., McKenna, J. W., Bunuan, R. L., Muething, C. S., & Vega, R. (2014). Effects of The Good Behavior Game on challenging behaviors in school settings. Review of Educational Research, 84(4), 546–571.