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BEHAVIOURIST APPROACHES TO LEARNING AND TEACHING Education Foundations, Sec., Week 5, Semester 1, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "BEHAVIOURIST APPROACHES TO LEARNING AND TEACHING Education Foundations, Sec., Week 5, Semester 1, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 BEHAVIOURIST APPROACHES TO LEARNING AND TEACHING Education Foundations, Sec., Week 5, Semester 1, 2012

2 Overview  What is learning?  Behaviourist view of learning  Key premises and concepts  Knowledge, learning, and motivation  Applications in classroom instructions – Explicit and direct instructions  Behaviourist approach to classroom management  Advantages and limitations  Stimulus and response mechanism  External and observable behaviour  Contiguity  Classical conditioning  Operant conditioning  Reinforcement and punishment  Learning as a- b-c  Learning objectives  Task breakdown  Modelling and thinking aloud  Practice and drilling  Kinaesthetic activities  Constant formative feedback  Group consequences  Token economy  Contracts

3 What is learning?  The parrot’s learning to count/ greet  Learning to smoke  Learning the lyrics of the Sesame Street song  Learning to ride a bike  Learning English, maths, history, …  Learning the times tables / a formula / an algorithm  Learning about thinking, learning, and self  Learnt helplessness  …

4  Permanent change rather than temporary  Assimilation or adaptation  Due to experience rather than natural maturation  Definitions of learning and underlying epistemologies  Behavioural, psychological, or psychical?  Conscious and rational, subconscious, or holistic?

5 Behaviourist view of learning  Change in behaviour  Subject to active control and shaping by external factors  Outcome-orientation

6 Key premises and concepts  Psychology as the science of stimulus and response “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select— doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors” (Watson,1930, p.82). John B. Watson (1878-1958)

7  Focuses on objectively observable and measurable actions and behaviour “The mentalistic problem can be avoided by going directly to the prior physical causes while bypassing intermediate feelings or states of mind. The quickest way to do this is to confine oneself to … only those facts which can be objectively observed in the behavior of one person in its relation to his prior environmental history. If all linkages are lawful, nothing is lost by neglecting a supposed nonphysical link” (Skinner, 1976, p.23). Burrhus F. Skinner (1904-1990)

8  Contiguity principle  Learning by association  Formation of S-R relation

9  Pavlov’s dog experiment  Involuntary (emotional or physiological) association / responses  Unconditioned association:  Neutral stimulus  Unconditioned stimulus  Unconditioned response  Conditioned association:  Conditioned stimulus  Conditioned response Classical conditioning Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936)


11 What are the UCS, UCR, CS, and CR in this ad?

12 Operant conditioning  Behaviour as operants rather than respondents  Thorndike’s cats  Skinner’s pigeons

13  Reinforcement  Positive  Negative  Schedule  Continuous  Intermittent – fixed or unpredictable a) Interval b) ratio  Punishment

14  Learning as a-b-c (antecedent-behaviour-consequence)

15 Knowledge, Learning, and Motivation  Knowledge: a repertoire of behaviours or behavioural capacities  Learning: formation of appropriate S-R association  Motivation: schedules of positive and negative reinforcement

16 Behaviourist principles of classroom instruction  Explicit and direct instructions  Clear communication of learning objectives (Kizlik, 2012; Linder-Crow, 2000) 1) Focus on student rather than the teacher Bad objective statementsGood objective statements To acquaint students with behaviourist learning theories Students will be able to identify 3 behaviourist learning principles To familiarise students with neo-behavourist learning theories Students will be able to describe neo-behaviourist learning theories

17 Learning objectives as behavioural antecedents 2) Contain action words (verbs) of behavioural goal Students will understand the rhythm of the poem by Edgar Allen Poe. Students will be able to describe and demonstrate with a percussion instrument the rhythm of the poem. Students will appreciate the composition of English words. Students will be able to apply the rules of word composition. When asked, ‘Is cttn an English word?’, students will reply, ‘No, because it has no vowels. All English words must have at least one vowel.’

18 Task breakdown  Task analysis


20  Behaviour modelling  Skinner’s pigeons video  lated lated  Thinking aloud and justify thinking rationale  Explicit teaching video 

21  Practice and drilling (first 1.5 minutes)  =related =related  Using kinaesthetic movements to help retention   Using paper folding to do multiplication by fractions

22  Monitoring and constant formative feedback  Formative feedback video (2 minutes)  =related =related

23 Behaviourist approach to classroom management  Group consequences  Rewards or punishments given to a class /group as a whole for adhering to or violating rules of conduct  Good behaviour game  Token economy programs  Tokens earned for academic work and positive classroom behaviour can be exchanged for desired reward.  Contracts  Agreement between teacher and student specifying behaviour and its reward or punishment

24 Advantages of behaviourist instructions  Effective strategies for teaching action sequences that need to be automated  Widely applied in teaching young students and students with LD  Effects in eliminating SES-related differences of school achievement

25 Limitations  Dependence on extrinsic forms of reinforcement  Neglect of complex thinking processes leading to behavioural performance

26 References  Kizlik, B. (2012) How to write learning objectives that meet demanding behavioural criteria,  Linder-Crow, J. (2000) Writing behavioural leaning objectives and assessment,  Skinner, B. F. (1976) About Behaviorism, Vintage Books, New York.  Watson, J. B. (1930) Behaviorism, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

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