“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten”
Behaviorism is described as a developmental theory that measures observable behaviors produced by a learner’s response to stimuli. Responses to stimuli can be reinforced with positive or negative feedback to condition desired behaviors. Punishment is sometimes used in eliminating or reducing incorrect actions, followed by clarifying desired actions. Educational effects of behaviorism are key in developing basic skills and foundations of understanding in all subject areas and in classroom management.
According to behaviorism, knowing is giving the correct response when exposed to a particular ...view middle of the document...
A final example highlighting the behaviorist theory is rote memorization. Rote memorization may include memorizing addition or multiplication facts or memorizing state capitals.
The behaviorist approach to teaching has practical applications in education. In particular, understanding basic skills and core subject knowledge. The approach of using positive and negative reinforcements to elicit desired behaviors of students is also useful in establishing and maintaining classroom management.
ON SKINNER AND BEHAVIORISM
Behaviorism is a term that was coined by John Watson 1913. There are many variations on behaviorist approaches, but B.F. Skinner's approach is probably the most widely known among educators. Skinner developed the notion of operant conditioning—persons operate on their environment.
According to this theory, what is important in behavior is the consequences, or what he calls the stimuli (reinforcers) that follow a response. The stimuli tend to increase the probability of a recurrence of a particular response. H. Douglas Brown, in a book about language-teaching practices offers the following example: A baby observes bell tinkling after accidentally touching it. Continued "accidental" responses are reinforced by stimuli (reinforcer)—a tinkling bell. Now touching the bell is deliberate. Learning takes place. Skinner felt that if we wish to control behavior (teach something) we need to attend carefully to reinforcers.
Operants are classes of responses. Crying, walking, sitting down, batting a baseball—all are emitted and governed by the consequences they produce. Skinner wrote Verbal Behavior in 1957. In it, he argued that language is a system of verbal operants. If an infant says "want milk" and caretaker gives milk, the operant is reinforced, and over repeated situations, becomes conditioned. Skinner claimed that children come into the world with a mind that is a tabula rasa — a clean slate — bearing no pre-conceived notions about the world or about language. These children are then shaped by their linguistic (and other) environment, slowly conditioned through various schedules of reinforcement. In short, language behavior is the production of correct...