The calm carrel: a relaxation technique for students with emotional and behavioural disorders

  • Author / Creator
    Cameron, Kent
  • The present study examined the implementation of a self-management strategy, termed the calm carrel, as a potential means of bringing about behavioural improvement (as reflected, primarily, in global behavioural ratings, extent of isolation time-out assignments, and student and teacher feedback) among six classes of Grade 4 to 6 children with emotional and behavioural disorders, being educated in self-contained classroom settings. The intervention consisted of a carrel within the class which students could choose to visit for up to three, 5-minute periods per day. While at the carrel, students could select from a variety of audio-based strategies provided on a CD player, comprising soothing music selections, as well as progressive muscle relaxation exercises, and visualization narratives which the children could work through. The option of completing a simple “problem-solving form”, as a means of reflecting upon their behaviour, was also provided. During both the 20-day baseline and 20-day experimental phase of the study, teachers maintained daily behavioural ratings and time-out frequency counts (also indicating the precipitating factor in the case of each time-out). Students kept their own records of carrel usage, and also completed pre- and post-intervention surveys and feedback forms. At the conclusion of the study, teachers completed a feedback form and were interviewed by the researcher. T-tests, Wilcoxon-signed rank tests, and ANOVA tests on the quantitative data garnered from the study, did not reveal the presence of significant trends suggestive of behavioural changes, within the data. Both student and teacher feedback, however, was largely positive, and can be regarded as indicative of the calm carrel’s value as an intervention blending self-management and relaxation techniques to provide a non-punitive student-directed alternative to the predominantly teacher-mediated approaches often characteristic of EBD classrooms. The intervention, deemed worthy of further study as a result of the present thesis, is thought to represent a technique which might help to facilitate the transition of students with EBD from segregated to inclusive class settings, insofar as it should be equally feasible to implement in both environments.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2011
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dworet, Don (Education) (Brock University)
    • Leroy, Carol (Elementary Education)
    • Rinaldi, Christina (Educational Psychology)
    • Smith, Veronica (Educational Psychology)
    • Sobsey, Dick (Educational Psychology)