Sunday, 6 February 2011

Applied Behaviour Analysis Course

A few weeks ago I have started the course I'd been been on the waiting list for for over a year. The course was founded by Dr Susan Friedman. The course I am taking is aimed at parrot owners/caregivers. It is free,  but you are asked to donate a minimum of $50 to a chosen parrot charity. What charity is it you get notified  a few weeks before the course starts. It is a very popular course, firstly because it is a great source of information, inspiration and a brilliant way to establish better relationships with those around you and not just parrots, but also I suppose, because it is pretty much free.

This is one behaviour I might need to think of modifying - curtain climbing

The course itself is conducted via a closed yahoo group, with weekly lectures posted to the board. After reading the lecture you submit your homework and then work on it with your Teacher Assistant. I have to say it is such an uplifting experience - it truly is based on positive reinforcement. You have the whole week to submit your homework and it only takes a few hours, so it is not too time consuming.
The main idea of the course as it appears to me is that we should forget about changing our birds if something is not going right, all we need to do is to change the environment. Every action is predetermined by the antecedent and is reinforced by the consequence. By changing the antecedents and the consequences we can modify the behaviour, painlessly to the animal. This is just a simplified idea, to learn more, a lot more, you will just have to take the course.

To subscribe to the course all you need to do is to drop an email to Dr Susan Friedman and you will be put on the waiting list. It's not short, and is well worth waiting for. You will be notified about the start of your course a couple of weeks prior to it, and if by that time you decide you no longer need to take it you can just let the curator know. You don't have to pay the donation either, it is a voluntarily donation, but the chances are - you will want to do it yourself.

Here you can find the overview of the course and how to subscribe Behaviorworks Website

Even if you are not up for taking this course it's well worth checking the Behavior Works website out for very interesting articles and plenty of information on parrot care. 

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