Behaviorism is the prediction and control of human behavior in which introspection and/or independent thinking play no essential part of its teaching methods. The behaviorist recognizes no dividing line between man and animal-both learn to behave solely through a system of positive and negative rewards.
Pavlov became famous for his behavioral experiments with dogs, and he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1904. Pavlov used conditioning on dogs called classic conditioning: refers to the natural reflex that occurs in response to a stimulus.
Skinner describes another form of conditioning that is labeled as behavioral or operant conditioning. Operant conditioning: describes learning that is controlled and results in shaping behavior through the reinforcement of stimulus- response patterns.
Bandura studied and is famous for his ideas on social learning, which he renamed Social Cognitive Theory. Bandura believes that people acquire behaviors, first, through the observation of others and then, by using those observations to imitate what they have observed. Observation modeling: is watching something then mimicking the observed behavior.
Behavioral approaches to teaching generally involve the following: 1. Breaking down the skills and information to be learned into small units. 2. Checking students work regularly and providing feedback as well as encouragement (reinforcement). 3. Teaching "out of context." Behaviorists generally believe that students can be taught best when the focus is directly on the content to be taught. Behavioral instruction often takes the material out of the context in which it will be used. 4. Direct or "teacher centered" instruction. Lectures, tutorials, drills, demonstrations, and other forms of teacher controlled teaching tend to dominate behavioral classrooms.
Emphasis on behavior: Students should be active respondents to learning, and in the learning process. They should be given an opportunity to actually behave or demonstrate learning. Secondly students should be assessed by observing behavior, we can never assume that students are learning unless we can observe that behavior is. Changing Drill and practice: the repetition of stimulus response habits can strengthen those habits. For example, some believe that the best way to improve reading is to have students read more and More Breaking habits: in order to break habits, that teacher needs to lead an individual to make a new response to this same old stimulus.
Today the most successful expression of the behavioral approach to educational technology is the Integrated Learning System (ILS). ILS’s generally begin with a computer-administered diagnostic-prescriptive evaluation of the students current achievement level. Then the software breaks down the content to be taught into small units, teaches a unit, assesses progress, an then moves on to the next unit or provides remedial instruction as indicated. The most popular ILS’s cover core content areas such as reading, language arts, and mathematics, but many also include instruction in science and social studies.
I believe this theory is an amazing teaching tool. Students currently learn everyday in our classrooms using the behaviorism theory. I believe this theory should be practiced and learned by teachers everywhere to help ensure proper learning. I plan on using the behaviorism theory in my classroom one day as well.
Behavioral Theories. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2011, from http://viking.coe.uh.edu/~ichen/ebook/et- it/behavior.htm Behaviorism. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2011, from http://teachnet.edb.utexas.edu/~Lynda_abbot/Behavioris m.html Photoes8. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2011, from http://photos8.org/search.php?search=thinking&match_ty pe=all Shelly, G. B., Gunter, G. A., & Gunter, R. E. (2010). Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom. Boston, MA: Course Technology.
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