Grant Proposal – Peer Reviews

By Day 1 of Week Five, the instructor will send you two de-identified
grant proposals to review for this assignment . You will play the role
of a grant reviewer by reading and giving feedback to two other
students’ grant proposals (proposals will be assigned at random). The Grant Proposal – Peer ReviewsMust be three to six double-spaced pages in length (not including
the title or reference pages) and formatted according to APA style as
outlined in the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..Must address the following areas of the proposal you are reviewing:
Specific Aims: Does the proposed study seem adequate to achieve these specific aims?Background: Does the literature review justify the need for the
study? Are there any gaps or missing data in the literature review?Significance: Does the proposed study improve scientific knowledge, technical capability and/or clinical practice?Proposed Study: Does the proposed study methodology answer the
hypotheses listed in the Background section? Is the proposed methodology
sufficient to achieve the stated specific aims?
Must include a separate title page with the following:
Title of paper you are reviewingReviewer’s nameCourse name and numberInstructor’s nameDate submitted
Must use at least one peer-reviewed source in addition to the course text.Must document all sources in APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.Must include a separate reference page that is formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.


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Grant Proposal
Student C
Ashford University
Dr. Nikola Lucas
April 7, 2018
Specific Aims
The area that I would like to focus my studies on is behaviorism. One of the most
influential American psychologists was B.F. Skinner (Moore, 2008). Skinner was a behaviorist
and he introduced operant conditioning which suggests that behavior can be controlled by
consequences or rewards that can be earned or avoided through choosing different behaviors
(Moore, 2008). There are many psychologists and research studies that have contributed greatly
to the current theories and research available in behaviorism. Pavlov conducted studies on
behaviorism and introduced the idea of conditioned responses also known as non-natural
responses (Harre, 2006).
The specific aim of this proposal is to assess the effectiveness of Behavior Management
in Special education programs within the Southern California Public school systems. It seems
that there are ineffective behavior management programs currently in place especially with
special education students. There are rising numbers of students who are dealing with mental
and emotional disorders. Our public schools need better programs and processes to help students
learn to effectively manage their behavior.
Our education system is very important to the future of our country and people in general.
We need to have effective processes established to help students manage their behaviors and feel
safe and learn efficiently at school. As stated by Boghossian (2006), “The great triumph of
Western intellectual history from the Enlightenment until the beginning of the 20th century rested
its ability to organize the knowledge of the world in a rational way of the independent of the
learner, determined by some structure of the subject.” Boghossian (2006) stated, “The task of
the teacher was to make clear to the learner the working of this machine and any accommodation
to the learner was only to account for different appropriate entry points for different learners”. It
is agreed by multiple researchers that behavior can be learned and changed.
There are many researchers who feel that misbehaving children have some things in
common such as race and economic status. In the article, “Racial Disparities in Children with
Behavior Problems in School”, “racial disparities in children with behavior problems at home
and in school and suggest some causes and solutions to address these issues.” Some researchers
feel that parents can and should do more work at home helping children learn appropriate
behaviors. According to Brotman et al., (2011), “ParentCorps resulted in significant benefits on
effective parenting practices and teacher ratings of child behavior problems in school.” Brotman
et al., (2011), continued to discuss, “Intervention effects were of similar magnitude for families
at different levels of risk and for Black and Latino families.”
Some researchers feel that we can learn life lessons from behaviorism and other areas of
study. Geller (2015) stated, “Seven evidence-based guidelines for improving the quality and
increasing the frequency of desirable behavior are described and illustrated as relevant for
benefiting human welfare and well-being.” Behaviorism is believed by many professionals to be
a learned discipline and behaviors can be changed and improved. Other researchers feel that it is
important to consider all factors when making strategies and processes to help students manage
behaviors. According to Bordenave (2014), “Strategies to deal with challenging behaviors by
parents, teachers, and professionals should recognize the potential impact of substance exposure
and changes in the family on the misbehaving child.” Some researchers also believe that
children are born with different traits and circumstances that contribute to behavior problems. In
this article Garstein et al., (2012) also revealed, “trait-by-trait moderation occurred, such that
negative emotionality was most closely related to behavior problems when orienting/regulatory
capacity or effortful control was low or when infant surgency was high.” The study concluded
with Garstein et al., (2012) explaining “results of this study have implications for theory linking
temperament and psychopathology, and clinical applications utilizing temperament assessment to
prevent behavior problems.”
Researchers are upholding ideas that if students are treated in ways that everyone would
want to be treated then behaviors would improve. According to Geller (2015), “If practiced
extensively, these life lessons would most assuredly improve overall quality of life by reducing
interpersonal conflict and bullying; preventing the occurrence of unintentional injuries and
fatalities; and enhancing work productivity, environmental sustainability, and life satisfaction.”
This article offered some further definition of humanistic behaviorism. In addition to providing
suggestions and recommendations for children this article provides recommendations for adults
and people of all ages suggesting that the golden rule should be replaced with the platinum rule,
“treat others the way they want to be treated” (Geller, 2015). However, there are still beliefs that
parents hold more responsibility in managing students behavior problems. Some professionals
and people agree with Tan et al., (2015), “Parenting has been conceptualized to mediate or
moderate children’s adaptation to family stress.” It is also important to consider that are children
often model and imitate the behaviors and actions that they are exposed to. McLeod (2016)
continued to state, “Children observe the people around them behaving in various ways”.
Finally, it important to recognize that our students and education facilities are the future
in our world as far as expanding our economy and becoming successful as a country. It is
important that we make efforts to manage behaviors and help our students learn effective
managing skills. According to Miranda, (2009), “A significant number of students whom are at
a disadvantage in the college classroom as a result of negative past classroom experiences, low
levels of academic achievement and/or poor academic self-esteem, may not benefit from the
constructivist models of problem-based, or active learning.” Miranda (2009) continued to state,
“Learning and development are fostered when learner are challenged by educators who perform
increasingly more difficult tasks or to think in increasing more sophisticated ways”. Miranda
(2009) also stated, “There has been a shift away from behaviorism and toward constructivism in
teacher education as teachers attempt to avoid transmitting knowledge to their students in favor
of having students construct knowledge for themselves.”
The proposed research will evaluate current behavior management programs in Southern
California public schools for special needs students and offer suggestions for making improving
behavior management techniques and increasing learning opportunities for special needs
students. Special needs students and students dealing with mental health issues are increasing so
it is necessary for schools to have well established behavior plans in place. It seems that there
are many conflicts between students learning proper behaviors at home and at school. Parents
and schools need to unite and work together to help children learn effective behaviors.
Our students and current education system are going to help determine how successful
we are as communities and people in general, so it is important that we all work together to make
improvements. Training students to function and behave in appropriate ways will be very
beneficial to help students reach their highest potential and increase our safety and effectiveness
as communities. Times have definitely changed, as it seems when I was growing up and going
through school there were only a handful of students who struggled with behaviors, but now it
seems that there are higher numbers of students that simply do not know how to behave. I do not
like to think about the number of school shootings and outrageous violence that is happening in
public schools and I feel that helping students learn better coping skills and behavior
management can help reduce these problems.
Proposed Study
In order to effectively evaluate behavior management for special education students in
Southern California participants will be selected from three different school districts in San
Diego County. Participants will include, teacher, aides, special education directors, parents of
special needs students, and some higher functioning special needs students. The specific school
districts that participants will be selected from are San Diego County School District, Santee
School District, and Lakeside School District. This study will be informative to both school staff
and parents as some people may believe that behavior management is a problem at certain school
districts or areas. All participants will be interviewed and asked to rate the effectiveness of the
behavior management policies that school districts are using. Asking parents and higher
functioning special needs students to participate in this study will allow for a more complete
picture of the effectiveness of behavior management policies for special education students.
All parents with students in public school are concerned about how students are learning
and growing at school and when students are also challenged with special needs behavior
management becomes even more complicated. It seems that some parents may think that it is
only certain districts or areas that have behavior management issues, but the proposed study may
be effective at establishing just how big of an issue behavior management is.
In order to evaluate and understand what policies and procedures are in place in school
districts it will be most effective to conduct interviews for school staff, parents, and some higher
functioning special needs students. It is necessary to first gain a complete understanding of the
policies and procedures that are in place and then to understand the needs and concerns for the
behavior management of special needs students. After everything is discussed and understood
then suggestions for improvements and changes can be made to help improve things for all
involved in the special education process. The problems for appropriate behavior management
and services for special education students are not limited to just one school district or just a few
students, the problems are everywhere and seem to be growing quickly. Students suffering from
mental health and other disabilities is increasing so we need proper methods and practices to help
special education students manage behavior and become as functional as possible.
Hypothesis & Analysis:
One of the main reasons both school staff and parents need to be interviewed is school
staff is likely to suggest that their policies are effective and parents are likely to report a great
deal of frustration with school district’s behavior management programs for special education
students. There may be some laws that school districts need to adhere to when managing special
needs kids which could be preventing them from establishing better behavior management
programs. It is also frustrating and scary for parents with special needs children to have to send
their children to school and worry about how their children are being handled at school. The best
way to help school districts recognize the need for improvements may be to help them see the
perspectives of the parents and students who are in special education programs.
Budget Justification
A funding budget will be needed to complete the proposed research project. Funding is
being requested for three part time research assistants to help with recruiting participants in each
school district including school staff, parents, and higher function special education students.
Additional funding will be requested for the principal researcher who will be in charge of the
entire study as well as data analysis and producing results. Some travel funding will be
requested as principal researcher will need to travel between school districts to help oversee the
research efforts. And finally, funding is being requested for participant payment of $25 for each
participant (21 total) to compensate participants for their time to help with the research.
Boghossian, P. (2006). Behaviorism, Constructivism, and Socratic Pedagogy. Educational
Philosophy and Theory, 38(6).
Bordenave, D. (2014). Racial Disparities in Children with Behavior Problems in School. Race,
Gender, &Class. 82 (1).
Brotman, L., Calzada, E., & Huang, K. (2011). Promoting Effective Parenting Practices and
Preventing Child Behavior Problems in School Among Ethnically Diverse Underserved
Families. Child Development. 82 (1).
Gartstein, M., Putnam, S., & Rothbart, M. (2012). Etiology of preschool behavior problems:
Contributions of temperament attributes in early childhood development. Infant Mental
Health Journal. 33(2).
Geller, S. (2015). Seven life lessons from humanistic behaviorism: How to Bring the Best out of
yourself and others. Journal of Organizational Management. 35(1-2) 151-170.
Harre, R. (2006). Key thinkers in psychology. London, UK: Sage.
Kushnir, J. & Sadeh, A. (2010). Childhood Fear, Neurobehavioral Functioning and Behavior
Problems in School Age Children. Child Psychiatry & Human Development. 1(1).
McLeod, S. (2016). Bandura-Social Learning Theory. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from
Miranda, M. (2009). Creating the successful community college student using behaviorism to
foster constructivism. The Community College Enterprise, 15(1). 21-38.
Moore, J. (2008). A critical appraisal of contemporary approaches in the quantitative analysis of
behavior. The Psychological Record. 58(4) 641-664.
Ribes-Inesta, E. (2011). Behaviorism in Mexico. A historical chronicle. International Journal of
Hispanic Psychology. 4(2). 107-124.
Tan, T., Gelley, C., & Dedrick, R. (2015). Non-child related Family Stress, Parenting Styles, and
Behavior Problems in School-Age Children. Journal of Child and Family Studies. 24(10).
Running Header: PART THREE FINAL
Final Part Three: Proposed Study & Budget
Kathy Rundell
PSY625 Biological Bases of Behavior
Nicola Lucas
Proposed Study
The idea behind this study is to integrate neuroscience into the method currently used
in teaching within a young adolescent platform. This will be a longitudinal study which will take
place over time, throughout the specified groups school career. That being said, participants
include students grades 1-6, and the open format will allow for all students to be given a place
within the study, regardless of any disabilities learning or otherwise. This is important because
the educational environment, and what is perceived as important to every-day life is vital to
each and every student. Also, the study would become null and void if it only addressed the
children whom are ‘set up’ for success in their day-to-day life. The main goal is to find a way to
make school better, easier, and more productive for all of our students within the elementary
school program, not just those in the streamline classes. The students affected by the changes
implemented will come from the Occonomowoc School District, specifically the local
elementary school, and include all students.
The method will rely on making specific changes to the way not just the lessons are
presented within the classroom, but also the way the environment is presented in general.
More specifically, as children get older they tend to shy away from the value of education
leading to a lack of interest, and to feelings of uselessness. The goal will be to change this way
of thinking by taking into account the way kids come up with connections to value and
importance within their minds. The plan relies on using research regarding how the adolescent
brain works on a technical level to make current education more valuable. This will include
some décor changes within classrooms (such as painting walls) as well as learning resources
(from posters around the room, to the way lessons are presented) and disciplinary plans. Also
included will be a revamp to the offered hot lunch program, allowing for a sub-study regarding
if the changes made had a real effect on the children through comparison to those who
continue eating their typical lunch choice from home. Some different things offered may
include fresh fruit, salads, and a more food pyramid geared program with the attempt to hit the
recommended nutritional values for an average day in the life of an adolescent.
The method itself will rely heavily on an age appropriate survey completed at the start
of the school year by the individual students regarding their views on school in general and
what they feel would help them to stay interested and motivated to do their best. Some ideas
may include things like integrated songs, chances for individualized lesson plans, as well as a
section regarding things they maybe did not like about the environment and/or school itself the
previous year. This will allow for information regarding what the students themselves see as
their education. A similar survey will be taken by all staff regarding specifics such as any
relevant complaints, or suggested changes to be made. Any décor changes will take place
during the summer months, while lesson and food changes can happen progressively as the
school year gets into its swing. At the end of the year we will do the survey again to see any
changes in the responses. These students will inadvertently be part of the longitudinal aspect
of the study due to notable changes in their participation and the results shown as their school
career moves forward. As the students near the completion of their high school career there
will be another survey given to those whom participate in the changes to assess how they view
these changes to have affected their views on schooling. This will allow for great insight into
the neuroscience itself behind keeping youth interested in school and continuing their
Budget Justification
Funding is requested for a full-time study assistant to be responsible for day-to-dayoperations and onsite assistance, arrangement of training, obtaining and organizing results, and
administering the surveys.
Funding for full time study lead also requested, responsibilities including overseeing the
study, analyzing data, publication and presentation of results yearly.
Funding requested for travel is for the study lead to present the yearly updated results.
Additional travel funding goes to the teachers for travel to and from training.
Funding requested for teacher training for 24 teachers. Additional funding will go to
improving the nutritional program for the school itself.
Additional funding was requested for improvements and changes made to the
classrooms, asking 500$ per classroom times 15 classrooms.
Funding is requested for a Microsoft Surface Book (13.5″ 2-in-1 with 8 GB of device
storage and i5-7300U intel processor) for storage and organization of data. Additional funding
will go to extra office supplies.
*This is a 10 year study.
**See Appendix A: Budget for detailed budget figures.

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