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Learning Theories

operant conditioning, gestalt and observational

andy parkinson

on 15 November 2013

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Transcript of Learning Theories

Learning Theories
AS Physical Education

Operant Conditioning
Watch the following video clip .
The pigeon appears to have learned how to read but really it has been conditioned to respond (turn or peck)to a stimulus (word) in a particular way.
This is called a stimulus-response (S-R) bond.
We can learn skills in the same way
Application of Operant Conditioning
For this to happen we need to do the following:
1. The environment needs to be manipulated - e.g. we add targets to a court
2. A period of trial and error learning needs to take place - e.g. the learner attempts a number of shots
3. The learners response is shaped. A good response is reinforced to strengthen the S-R Bond - e.g. we praise the correct shot
4. Any unwanted response receiving no reinforcement will disappear - e.g. we ignore the wrong shot
In the cricket clip, the environment has been manipulated using a cone, a drop and underarm feed to encourage the player to hit off their front foot.
A target could be added for them to hit the ball through.

Reinforcement is used to strengthen the S-R Bond
Positive Reinforcement - after a successful response a show of approval from coach/teacher e.g.well done.
Negative Reinforcement - the removal of disapproval for an incorrect response when the correct response is achieved e.g.
that was rubbish' removed for 'well done'.
An unpleasant reaction is presented to an incorrect response to weaken the S-R Bond e.g 5 press-ups for getting it wrong.
Thorndike's Laws
To strengthen the S-R Bond you need to apply the following laws
1. law of Effect - reinforcement
2. Law of Exercise - practice
3. Law or Readiness - physically and mentally capable of performing skill.
Cognitive Theory of Learning - Gestalt
Learning is best achieved by presenting the whole skill or problem
The learner must understand and think through a solution to the problem
The learner will depend upon perception (make sense of environment) relying upon:
Current knowledge
Previous experience
To help solve the problem the learner would focus on mental rehearsal and previous experiences - these processes are called
intervening variables
e.g for the pigeon this would involve remembering or picturing that standing on a box would make it taller and able to reach higher.

solving the whole problem involves a moment of
Observational Learning
Select one person to carry out the task which is to tie the two pieces of string together without taking them down from the ceiling

How did you go about approaching the task?
Full transcript