There are five steps to the process of conducting functional analysis of behavior. The first step is the description and definition of the target behavior. A well defined behavior is very essential when collecting and even communication with team members. T6he behavior should be defined in specific, measurable (something you can see and count) and observable terms. For example it will not be advisable to say “Peter is aggressive”. The statement is too vague because it does not depict some of the reasons as to why Peter is aggressive but if one says “Peter is aggressive because he kicks, hits and pokes other students during transition time”, he will be specific because the statement gives out the reasons of the aggressiveness. When collecting the student behavior it will be very important for the team to consider the expectations of the teacher in terms of student academic performance and classroom conduct. This is because the teacher’s expectations exceed or even fall below the student’s performance ability. While assessing the student behavior it is important to consider cultural differences. For instance I some culture competition between peers is discouraged while in others eye contact with the adults is not allowed. It is therefore very important for the parents to provide valuable information their behaviors or cultural values. When considering the student’s behavior the school personnel should ensure that they are aware of the existing differences so that they may respect them and also adopt the family’s perspective. In order for the student’s behavior to be explicitly identified it is important to observe them in different setting and during different types of activities. A “yes” answer to the questions asked to the schools subordinate staff and caregivers can be very vital in the pinpointing of the specific characteristics of a behavior.
The other step of conducting functional behavior analysis is to collect information to determine function. This is because the collection and analysis of various kinds of information about behavior that significantly disrupts the teaching and learning process will assist the school personnel in selecting the most appropriate interventions. Information on the social, environmental context, events preceding and following the behavior respectively and the past events may be of great influence to the current behavior. It also assists the teams in predicting when, where and with whom and even under what condition a certain behavior is most likely to occur. Collecting information on the various conditions under which a student is most and least likely to exhibit the problem behavior is of major importance because it ensures that the determination of specific contextual factors is accomplished. Contextual factors are more than that the whole of observable behaviors because they include the affective and cognitive mannerisms .this means that the cause of the behavior may not be something that is directly observable but and therefore must be identified using indirect measures. For example when a student acts out when given a worksheet it may not be the worksheet that causing the acting-out but the fact that the student t doesn’t know what is required and thus anticipating failure or ridicule. A behavior problem stems from a variety of causes and therefore it is advisable for the team to examine the behavior from as many different angles as possible. This calls for the use of multiple means of collecting information about the behavior this may include the review of t he student s past and current records (medical and educational) and evaluation of a sample of the students items or products such as in-class assignments, homework and tests. In this step of conducting functional behavior analysis two methods (direct and indirect assessment) are used in the measurement of the student’s behavior. Direct assessment consists actually observing the problem behavior and describing g the conditions which are surroundings the behavior (its context).the context involves the events that are antecedent and consequent to the student behaviors of interest. Indirect assessment tends to rely heavily on the use of interviews with teachers and other adults (bus drivers, parents) who have direct contact with the student. A semi structured interview with the student will also provide a critical insight into the student’s perspective of the issue and therefore yield a more complete understanding of the reasons behind the inappropriate behavior.