Consequence Intervention: Definition, Strategies & Examples

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will define and provide examples of strategies that teachers may use to implement consequence intervention when dealing with students who exhibit problematic behaviors.


When Mike Teevee on Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory decides that he wants to be the first person to be sent by television, his mother screams while Willy Wonka says, ''Stop, don't, come back'' in a disinterested way. As a result of his behavior issues and lack of discipline, Mike is miniaturized and misses out on most of the tour.

As a teacher, you may inherit students with behavior issues. It is your responsibility to keep those students safe and prevent them from missing out on the educational opportunities that are available to them. One way to approach significant behavior issues is through consequence intervention. Consequence intervention is a plan to respond to a behavior problem to reduce the likelihood that it will continue. Let's look at some strategies and examples of consequence intervention.


Once you have identified a problem behavior, you will need to uncover the reason for the student's behavior. Some possible reasons why students misbehave could be that they are trying to avoid something or someone. It could also be that they are trying to get something, such as the teacher's attention. Uncovering what the student is gaining through misbehavior is necessary to understanding the best way to handle it.

Once this information has been discovered, the teacher can decide which way the behavior should be handled. It is either dealt with by reinforcing a replacement behavior or extinguishing the problem behavior. There are also times when a teacher will need to alter a lesson or an approach to a student to prevent setting that student off.


If a student is defiant towards the teacher because he/she does not want to do math work because it is too hard, that is an avoidance behavior. The teacher may need to adjust the assignment or break it up into smaller chunks so that it does not seem as overwhelming to the student. The teacher will also use praise, rewards, or something else that the student values to reinforce an alternative behavior, which is completing assignments.

Extinguishing Behavior

Let's say that the student is capable of doing the work but is insecure socially. This student is disruptive in class because he/she is trying to impress his/her peers. To change or extinguish the behavior, the student will need to stop getting reinforcement from the other students. Disruptions should be handled privately, and the student should be temporarily removed to a part of the classroom where he/she will not engage with peers.

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