The Good Inclusion Game (GIG): developing an effective procedure for inclusive classrooms

  • Caleb Coyle

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The present study investigated the development and use of a new behavioural intervention call the Good Inclusion Game (GIG) to help increase the inclusion of children with SEN within general education classrooms. The GIG is an adaptation for inclusive classrooms of the well-known behavioural intervention, the Good Behaviour Game (GBG). Initially, the GBG was replicated to establish its effect on inclusive behaviours (Study 1: Replication study). Findings showed that the GBG was not effective in increasing inclusive behaviours and therefore the Good Inclusion Game (GIG) was developed and tested.The research reported here was conducted in one special needs school (Study 1: Replication study) and six mainstream schools across Northern Ireland. These spanned across 3 of the 6 counties of Northern Ireland; Londonderry, Antrim, and Down. Schools differed on their locations, 3 of which came from a rural setting and the others larger towns and cities. A total of 10 classrooms were available to the study from these 6 schools. Only classrooms which employed inclusive practices were used within the sample. Social validity measures were also collected from the teachers through the use of questionnaires and fields notes.Data were recorded of various iterations for the development of the GIG. Findings showed significant increases of inclusive behaviours once the GIG had been introduced into the classrooms. This was evident for both the children with identified special needs (SEN) and their typically developing peers. The use of the GBG during class time decreased the likelihood of inclusive style behaviours occurring due to its focus on behaviour reduction procedures. The GBG however was effective at reducing off-task behaviours during its use. The GIG also showed encouraging results in reducing off-task behaviours like the GBG, although not being targeted within its ruleset. There were no significant ordering effects, thus showing that the GIG was effective in its own right and not just if played after the GBG.Social validity measures of both games showed that teachers viewed as positive the goals, procedures, and effects of the GIG. Inter-observer reliability measures evidenced good measurement quality.There is a lack of a behavioural intervention aimed at improving inclusion. Preliminary findings for the GIG reported here were positive in relation to improving inclusion as well as reducing problem behaviours and further research should be carried out to explore generalisation and long-term effects. As a proof of concept, the GIG is a promising behavioural intervention for inclusive classrooms.

Date of AwardJul 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorKarola Dillenburger (Supervisor)

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