Toward a Model of Educational Equality

Establishing Social Validity Measures for Inclusion


  • Jeremy H. Greenberg The Children's Institute of Hong Kong
  • Hiu Ching Cheung The Children's Institute of Hong Kong


autism, special education needs, inclusion, applied behavior analysis, attending behaviors, on task, international school


Inclusion of students with special education needs (SEN) and especially autism spectrum disorder (ASD) into general education curricula is a challenging practice.  In recent years, the practice of inclusion has been expanding within the international school community.  Outside of the United States, the process of inclusion is developing rapidly due to an ever-increasing demand.  The demand is fueled by families and is compounded by the scarcity of international schools with developed programs and inclusive classrooms.  Applied Behavior Analysis provides evidence-based strategies and tactics that support educators and those responsible for inclusion of students SEN and ASD.  The purpose of the present study was to use behavioral observation techniques to determine socially valid performance criterion for attending behaviors in typically developing primary school students during group instruction and independent desk work.  No direct observation data were found on this subject, to date.  Direct observations occurred in situ using whole interval recording procedures across typical students across primary grades one through eight, inclusive.  Data were collected under two types of conditions, lecture style instruction, and independent desk work for boys and girls across all grades.  The performance criterion could then be used to guide decisions by IEP teams to fade out support of those students with SEN in the general education setting. Results show that typical students attend to the teacher during live lectures an average of 93% of the time using a time sampling data collection technique and 96% during independent desk work.