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Token System Essay

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Token economies, or better known as token reinforcers are a component of behaviorism used by teachers and paraprofessionals in the classroom setting. This system allows for teachers to better manage the behavior of their students both in and outside of the classroom. The idea of token economies is that a token reinforcer acts as a symbolic representation that becomes exchangeable for another reinforcer, which is of value to the student. (Alberto & Troutman, 2003). Teachers often use token systems when teaching academic, conversational, and play skills, as well as task and behavioral management. Token reinforcements need to be exchangeable with a wide variety of primary and secondary reinforcers for students to be able to adapt to the desired behaviors in the classroom. The token reinforcement system can be adapted for many different uses, it can affect one student with one desired behavior change, or a group of students with multiple desired behavior changes. (Alberto & Troutman, 2003).
For a token reinforcement system to work correctly it requires two parts, the tokens themselves and backup reinforcers. That is, the backup reinforcers should have no innate value to the student, but that the backup item itself should have value to the student. (Alberto &
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This allows students to trust the teachers and their new token process. Also when using the token system, teachers should put in place a rule that students need to use their tokens in a certain amount of time or else the tokens become “expired” and they have to start from starch. This way it stops the accumulation of tokens as well as the possibility of stoppage in behaviors due to the students believing that they have enough tokens and therefore don’t need to participate in the desired classroom behaviors (Alberto & Troutman,
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