Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Invited Tutorial #179
CE Offered: BACB
The Impact of Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis in Post-war, Post-communist Country: Bringing the Change and Hope for Children with and without Special Needs in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sunday, May 27, 2012
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
6E (Convention Center)
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Jessica Singer-Dudek, Ph.D.
Chair: Jessica Singer-Dudek (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Presenting Authors: : NIRVANA PISTOLJEVIC (Teachers College, Columbia University)

This presentation will focus on how a data-driven, research-based behavior analytic model of education is affecting the educational practices in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a post war country in transition with the post-communist model of education. For over 30 years the Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling or CABAS model schools have been serving students, parents and educators throughout the world and the research that comes out of those schools is continually advancing the science of Applied Behavior Analysis and Education. CABAS schools today serve students with and without disabilities and continue to promote high standards of educational practices and an overall scientific approach to teaching in the USA, England, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Spain. It is a comprehensive system of teaching as a science, that produces hundreds of experiments each year, disseminates the findings and applies the same across all classrooms it serves across the world. The CABAS model provided a modern, effective, evidence-based, and research-driven opportunity to help children in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and provided the evidence based pedagogy as a systematic solution to the education crisis in BiH. A Pilot Project with 2 classrooms and 20 children with developmental delays was started in 2010 and the first data suggest the Bosnian classrooms can successfully replicate the American outcomes. Twenty children, 10 educators, and 20 parents have directly benefited from teaching as science, and many more educators and students have benefited indirectly through lectures, consultations and observations of work with the target students. In 2011, 64 children were included in 7 classrooms, with a constant stream of new students arriving from the whole country. I will discuss the significance of applying the science of behavior to education in terms of how these data can affect the Bosnian education system and the successfulness of the evidence based pedagogy as a systematic solution to the education crisis in BiH. Also, I will share with you all the trials and tribulations of trying to start an education revolution one learn unit at the time!

NIRVANA PISTOLJEVIC (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Nirvana Pistoljevic received her Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Columbia University Teachers College and worked as the Assistant Director of The Fred S. Keller School, a private research based preschool (non-profit organization), training site for Columbia University graduate students. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education and Psychology in the programs for Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies at Teachers College. Dr. Pistoljevic has achieved the ranks of Senior Behavior Analyst and Assistant Research Scientist through the CABAS� system and she is a published researcher in the field of education, behavior science, and language development. Her current research interests include early verbal development, such as: Naming (incidental language acquisition capability), increasing spontaneous speech in children with Autism and related developmental delays, acquisition of listener behavior, observational learning and success in inclusion. Also, Dr. Pistoljevic is committed in helping children with Autism and other developmental delays in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she has established an NGO �EDUS-Education for All� committed advancing educational practices in the country. This is where she is spending this year contributing to changing educational practices and outcomes for children and their families by helping parents, educators, and other professionals, learn and implement newest evidence based practices in Sarajevo schools. She has spearheaded a Project �CABAS� Mjedenica� starting first classrooms for children with Autism and other developmental delays in Sarajevo, based on Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis. She is currently training a staff of 30 professionals, providing education for 80 children, lecturing as a visiting professor at University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Pedagogy, conducting research and writing.
Keyword(s): model schools, scientific teaching



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