A Synthesis of the Effects of the Color Wheel System on Classroom Behaviors

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Teachers spend a significant amount of time redirecting students, addressing problem behaviors, and transitioning the class, leading to less instructional time. The Color Wheel System (CWS) is a classroom behavioral management intervention that uses clear, specific rules for different activities. It can be implemented in a variety of classrooms and modified to meet the needs of the teacher (e.g. additional rule sets, reinforcements, using animals instead of colors to differentiate between rule sets). This literature synthesis and meta-analysis evaluated the overall effectiveness of the CWS. Thirteen studies using single-case design methodologies within 12 articles with a total of 261 participants were included in the analysis. Results indicated an overall moderate treatment effect, Tau-U = 0.88 (CI = [0.78, 1.35]) on student behaviors with individual study effects ranging from 0.61 to 1.00. There were no variables that significantly moderated the effects of the CWS on student behavior. Discussion focuses on implications for researchers and educators.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied School Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • behavior
  • classroom management
  • Color wheel
  • meta-analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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