Interview conducted by Sorah Stein
Dr. Eldar is head of the Applied Behavior Analysis program at the Kibbutzim College – Israel, and serves as the chairman of the Israeli Applied Behavior Analysis Association. Dr. Eldar published books and papers in the area of Teacher Education and Applied Behavior Analysis. Developed the model – “Educating through the Physical”, integrating physical activity and games as a context for value education and behavioral rehabilitation. Dr. Eldar supervises programs in the area of inclusion of Autistic children into the education system, communication improvement, and value education at home and at school and dealing with challenging behaviors at these settings. He also developed a comprehensive clinical program for Wucailu – an organization for supporting children with ASD – based in Beijing, China. During the last 7 years, 3 centers have been established in Beijing – all provide services to families arriving from all over China.
How and /or why did you get into the field?
My career began in physical education – teacher education, when I realized that I could combine that with clinical work, so I pursued a PhD at The Ohio State University, where I met Siedentop, Cooper, Heron, and Heward, and ultimately connected physical education and applied behavior analysis. When I returned to Israel, I started the first academic program for teaching applied behavior analysis – at the Physical Education College at the Wingate Institute.
What do you think is your most important accomplishment?
Definitely playing a major role in bringing applied behavior analysis to Israel. When I started in 1989, there were only a few behavior analysts in the country. We began an instructional program in 1990 with three students. Now there are over a hundred students and more than 10 staff in that program, plus a few other programs in Israel. Additionally, writing the ABA textbook in Hebrew and helping to establish ABA centers in China are among the accomplishments with which I am very happy.
What is your favorite thing about behavior analysis?
I enjoy how much theory and practice are well bonded. Every thing in every day can be explained by theory; yet, we can still be romantic and do the unexpected.
What advice would you give to students just beginning their careers in applied behavior analysis?
Make sure you acquire a broad basis in Applied Behavior Analysis, including the philosophical, theoretical, and experimental foundations.
Do you have any “must read” books for students?
Make sure you read as many skinner’s books as possible.