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Episode 145: Behavior Contracts

For learners who can understand delayed reinforcement, we sometimes use behavior contracts. But in recent years, our enthusiasm has wavered on them. Should we use them or not?

Behavior contracts can be a great way to help learners understand and integrate those unwritten rules we see in places like school and the workplace. They are a form of agreement between practitioners and learners, or even parents and children. They aren’t all good or all bad, so it can be hard to know if you should use one with your learners.

Here, we define what behavior contracts are and talk about when they’re typically put into place. We discuss the positives, including how to encourage reflection and self-monitoring. As well as some of the downsides, like using “good” and “bad” terminology as well as the all or nothing approach they tend to take. We also discuss some best practices if you decide to use one.

How to Create Behavior Contracts

For some learners, behavior contracts work really well. It’s important to use them in the most effective way possible. So we have a sample contract available to download a use as a guideline with your learners. Get it below.

What’s Inside:

  • How a behavior contract helps learners understand unwritten rules
  • The positives and downsides of using a behavior contract
  • Best practices for using contracts with learners

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What is a Behavior Contract?