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Behaviorist Theory of Learning

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Amanda Morton

on 26 September 2012

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Transcript of Behaviorist Theory of Learning

Behaviorist Theory As It
Relates to Education Pavlov: Classical Conditioning by accident
Watson: Classical Conditioning=
Stimulus & Response
Thorndike: Law of Effect; behavior is an indication of the mind
Skinner: Operant Conditioning
Stimulus + Pos or Neg Reinforcer = Response Ivan Pavlov(1849-1936) began with canines, experimenting
with their salivary reflexes
in regards to seeing food.

1. Food = Salivation
2. Food + Bell Ring = Salivation
before long....
3. Bell ring = Salivation A brief summary of behaviorism theorists John Watson(1878-1958)
- put a label to the stimulus & response
- Watson's observations stated that
"conclusions about human
development should be
based on observation of over
behavior rather than speculation
about subconscious motives or latent
cognitive processes."(Shaffer, 2000)
- stimuli will produce conditioned responses, much like reflexes. He did a lot of research with different animals BF Skinner(1904-1990) Skinner recognized an additional influence in the stimulus & response sequence. Operant Conditioning involves positive as well as negative reinforcements for desired behavior and punishments for undesired behaviors.
Saw underlying indications behind the behaviors, but his research showed the power that reinforcement has in modifying behaviors. Edward Thorndike(1874-1949) Widely known for his Law of Effect: "Behavior that is followed by pleasant consequences is likely to be repeated, and any behavior followed by unpleasant consequences is likely to be stopped." (Culatta, 2011)
Behavior is learned by positive and negative reinforcement of the behaviors. Those that are not rewarded will fade away and those that are rewarded will continue to appear. Teacher=Stimulus Student=Response providing content
homework assignments
memory work
tactile learning
classroom arrangement Correct answers
Deeper thinking/ critical thinking displayed
Passed tests
Knowledge of spelling words, math problems, memorization assignments, etc. Critiques of the Behaviorist Approach Strictly based on observable behavior-does not take into consideration underlying motivation, cognition, or any other internal or external factors.
The theory began with heavy indication toward reflexive reactions but later on did give way to positive and negative consequences being seen as a means to develop intrinsic motivation.
Students are seen a blank slate whose success or failure is essentially dictated by the response the teacher gives to the stimulus the student exudes.
May foster expectations that will not be met later in life: rewards are NOT always given for doing the correct behavior and at the same time, big rewards does not always justify continuing the behavior(high-paying job that one does not enjoy).
"Relies on reactive rather than proactive learning." (Ducz, 2009) Sources Culatta, R. (2011). Behaviorist Learning Theory. Retrived on 09/15/2012, from http://www.innovativelearning.com/teaching/behaviorism.html

McLeod, S. A. (2007). Edward Thorndike. Retrieved on 09/15/2012, from http://www.simplepsychology.org/edward-throndike.html

Mergel, B. (1998) Instructional Design & Learning Theory. Retrieved 09/15/2012, from http:/www.asask.ca/education/coursework/802papers/mergel/brenda.html.

Reinemeyer, E. (1999) Edward Lee Thorndike. Retrieved on 09/15/2012, from http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/pshcweb/history/thorndike.htm

Shaffer, D. (2000) Social and Personality Development (4th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning.

Standridge, M. (2002) Behaviorism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging Perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved 09/15/2012, from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Behaviorism did further conditioning studies with cats in puzzle boxes, pushing a lever was the behavior that would get them out of the box-explored pos & neg consequences
behavior is the easiest to observe, but it can be used to make conclusions about mental states (Culatta, 2011). Some Traditional Uses in the Classroom Flash cards
Multiplication Tables
True/False questions
Sight Words
scan trons
Step by Step processes(show your work, not just the answer)
computer based testing
educational computer games
memorization and reciting In a nutshell.... oldest theory of education
each student is a blank slate
behavior is the only thing that is measurable
teachers are the determining factor, students work and learning is a result of proper stimulus and feedback from the teacher
this is the most prevalent form of learning that happens today but many students would say that it is not the most memorable or meaningful method Reinforcements/Punishments good grades
bonus activities bad grades
low points
redoing work
not passing tests What does this mean for the classroom?
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