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Behaviour Training with Children


Important Note

  • All Semester II bachelor and master psychology courses and examinations (2020-2021) will be offered in an on-line format.

  • If it is safe and possible to do so, supplementary course meetings may be planned on-campus. However, attendance at these meetings will not be required to successfully complete Semester II courses.

  • All obligatory work groups and examinations will be offered on-line during Central European Time, which is local time in the Netherlands.

  • Information on the mode of instruction and the assessment method per course will be offered in Brightspace, considering the possibilities that are available at that moment. The information in Brightspace is leading during the Corona crisis, even if this does not match the information in the Prospectus.

Entry requirements

Master’s students in Psychology with specialisation Child and Adolescent Psychology.


This course introduces behaviour therapy for the benefit of children. Lectures, workgroups, and self study prepare the student for the central assignment of the course, which is to teach two children, between 4 and 8 years old, different useful skills. The first is a self-help skill, which is often easy to teach. It serves as a warming-up for the second skill, which concerns social behaviour, academic content (language, reading, math, writing), or task-related behaviour. The second skill is often more difficult to teach. The student searches for a school, and chooses the children in consultation with teachers in Groups 1-4 (kindergarten, first or second grade). The student visits the school 3 times per week, for a period lasting 8 to 10 weeks.

Course objectives

The course has a primary and a secondary goal. The primary goal of the course is that you can design and carry out a program for treating a simple behaviour problem in a child. The secondary goal has three parts: 1) you can see basic forms of learning in stories about children's behaviour, 2) you can cooperate with others for the benefit of children, and 3) you can prepare for that cooperation.

These goals are essential for child behaviour therapy, which is practised worldwide.


For the timetables of your lectures, work group sessions, and exams, see the timetables page of your study programme. You will also find the enrolment codes here. Psychology timetables



Students need to enrol for lectures and work group sessions. Master’s course registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date. Students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination. Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

7 2-hour lectures discussing the concepts, principles and procedures of behaviour training with children.
7 2-hour work group sessions facilitating the central assignment of the course

The total workload of the course is:

  • 14 hours lectures

  • 14 hours workgroup sessions

  • 61 hours self study

  • 50 hours central assignment

  • 1 hour of individual consultation with workgroup facilitator

Assessment method

Students' learning is assessed on the basis of (1) study questions answered during the course and (2) written reports of central assignments. This assessment method is entirely natural, because the primary goal of the course refers to the central assignment, and the secondary goal refers to all other course activities, including the answering of study questions.

The Institute of Psychology follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of this fraud policy.

Reading list

Martin, G., & Pear, J. (2019). Behavior modification: What it is and how to do it. (11th ed.) New York: Routledge. ISBN 9780815366546. Available via Studystore.

Contact information

Dr. Harrie Boelens