A Behaviorist View ofLearningUsing instrumental conditioningUsing instrumental conditioning
Presenters• Dean Fenn• Melissa Rodhe• Jill Sooy
Purpose of In-service• Provide professional development in behavioristviews of learning• Provide practical techniques for working withdifferent situations• Establish greater emphasis on behavioralobjectives• Ongoing sessions• To monitor implementation• Discuss practical ideas
Reason for the change Our district believes behaviorist methods willOur district believes behaviorist methods willlead to better managed classrooms and overalllead to better managed classrooms and overallimprovements in the education of our studentsimprovements in the education of our students
Instrumental Conditioning“The major problems of the world todaycan be solved only if we improve ourunderstanding of human behavior”(Skinner, 1974)Fenn, Rodhe, Sooy – Learning Theories - 2010
Instrumental Conditioning The behaviorist view called instrumentalThe behaviorist view called instrumentalconditioning is based on a theory that humansconditioning is based on a theory that humansand animals behave in ways that provideand animals behave in ways that providepleasant consequences or avoid unpleasantpleasant consequences or avoid unpleasantonesones..
Edward Thorndike In 1898 Thorndike proposed a connectionIn 1898 Thorndike proposed a connectionbetween experience and the strengthening orbetween experience and the strengthening orweakening of behavioral responsesweakening of behavioral responses Thorndike’s law of effect stated responses to aThorndike’s law of effect stated responses to asituation that are followed by satisfaction aresituation that are followed by satisfaction arestrengthened and responses that are followed bystrengthened and responses that are followed bydiscomfort are weakeneddiscomfort are weakened
B.F. Skinner’s operantconditioning Based on Thorndike’s findings, Skinner’s theoryBased on Thorndike’s findings, Skinner’s theoryshowed that organisms choose to respond toshowed that organisms choose to respond tosituations in a way they believe will lead to asituations in a way they believe will lead to adesired stimulus or eventdesired stimulus or event This desired stimulus or event is called aThis desired stimulus or event is called areinforcerreinforcer
Use of reinforcers Using reinforcement does work, howeverUsing reinforcement does work, howeverundesirable behaviors can be reinforced as wellundesirable behaviors can be reinforced as well Misbehaviors may get teachers or classmatesMisbehaviors may get teachers or classmatesattention when productive behavior does notattention when productive behavior does not Teachers must be careful to not reinforceTeachers must be careful to not reinforcebehaviors they are trying to reducebehaviors they are trying to reduce
Punishment Punishment has been shown to be effective inPunishment has been shown to be effective inreducing inappropriate behaviorsreducing inappropriate behaviors Effective forms of punishment includeEffective forms of punishment include Verbal reprimandsVerbal reprimands RestitutionRestitution Restitutional overcorrectionRestitutional overcorrection
PunishmentIneffective forms of punishmentIneffective forms of punishment Physical:Physical: Experts agree that physical punishment for school ageExperts agree that physical punishment for school agechildren can lead to undesirable behaviors and is illegal in almostchildren can lead to undesirable behaviors and is illegal in almostevery caseevery case Psychological:Psychological: This form of punishment can damage the self-This form of punishment can damage the self-esteem and emotional well being of a studentesteem and emotional well being of a student Extra WorkExtra Work Missing recessMissing recess Out of school suspensionOut of school suspension Have all been shown not to be effective in changing behaviorHave all been shown not to be effective in changing behavior
Criticisms of reinforcementand punishment Reinforcement is briberyReinforcement is bribery Reinforcement leads to dependence on concreteReinforcement leads to dependence on concreterewardsrewards Punishment reduces self esteemPunishment reduces self esteem Reinforcing one student for being goodReinforcing one student for being goodencourages others to be badencourages others to be bad Eliminating a problem behavior does notEliminating a problem behavior does noteliminate underlying cause of behavioreliminate underlying cause of behavior
Thinking about classroombehaviors, would you likeyour classroom to looklike
Examples of UsingReinforcement toDesirable Behaviors• Setting up desired behaviors up front• Shaping complex behaviors• Learners gain more by changing behavior• Explicit response-consequencecontingencies• Reinforcers that are truly reinforcing
Strategies ForUndesirable Behaviors• Noncontingent reinforcement• Reinforcing other incompatible behaviors• Appropriate forms of punishment• Inform learners ahead of time what behaviors will bepunished• Describe unacceptable behaviors in concrete terms• Explain why the behavior is unacceptable• Administer punishment right after behavior• Be consistent!• Teach and reinforce more appropriate behaviors
What’s in it for you?• Because most behavior is learned according to theprinciples of instrumental conditioning, learning theorycan help teachers figure out how to change behavior.• If behavior can be learned, it can be unlearned as longas the right steps are taken and the right reinforcementsor punishments are given.• Student learning will increase due to more attention ontask and less on behavior issues.• More productive and peaceful environment for all
Conclusion• Try working these ideas into yourclassrooms and throughout the school• Further sessions for follow-up and morediscussion“A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply bethe best one can do under the circumstances.The real mistake is to stop trying.(B.F. Skinner)
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