A Portrait of the Student as a Young Wolf. Using Canine/LupineBehavior Models to Increase Classroom Motivation. “Wisdom begins in wonder.” --Socrates I wonder what’s for dinner. The Ideal Student. The Actual student. If dogs , why not students?. Dogs and students (or teachers).
A Portrait of the Student as a Young Wolf Using Canine/LupineBehavior Models to Increase Classroom Motivation “Wisdom begins in wonder.” --Socrates I wonder what’s for dinner.
Humans and wolves (and house-wolves such as Gwyn) • Distance runners • omnivores • hierarchical social structure • group hunters • fluent in body language • readily motivated
Neither is inherently reinforced by formal education “You want it so badly? You pick up the stupid thing.” :
Our student: friendly, articulate, and willing to perform manageable tasks.
Motivation Reinforcement: Positive Negative no reward marker Play/prey drive Status
Reinforcement Anything that, occurring in conjunction with an act, tends to increase the probability that the act will occur again.
Good Reinforcers Immediate (“YES!!” “NO!” “TOUCHDOWN!!”) timing is information
Important note: Reinforcers are relative! Think about it. Gwyn would do almost anything for a piece of raw liver. Would you? You would do almost anything for a million dollars. Would Gwyn?
Poor Reinforcers • Overly deferred (grades) • Unfocused (given for vague tasks) • Unwanted rewards • Nagging and scolding (if it doesn’t stop immediately when the behavior changes, it’s nothing more than noise)
Reinforcers • Positive reinforcer • Negative reinforcer • No-reward marker
“What you are doing now is good, and will gain you something, so do it some more.” Positive Reinforcement:
Positive Reinforcement: advantages • Highly motivational • Shapes precise behavior
Positive Reinforcement: disadvantages • Can lose impact quickly • Can focus student on reward rather than task “Mom, I am not a billionaire! A billion is like a thousand million; I’m worth a hundred million. A hundred million is just a hundred million.”
Positive Reinforcement: overcoming disadvantages • Conditioned reinforcer • Variable schedule • Jackpotting
Conditioned Reinforcer • Instant--focuses on specific behavior • Promotes long-term work (“keep going”; “you’re getting there”; e.g., people work endlessly for money, a conditioned reinforcer for things money can buy) • ALWAYS leads to tangible reward • Must be reserved for “real” task--a specific, realizable goal
Gwyn’s CR Game Part 1 • Find the glove!
Variable Reinforcer: think slot machines (or cartoons) • Constant reinforcement only for learning stages • encourages improvement • longer schedule, more powerful motivator • exception: puzzle or test, which must be rewarded each time “Oh, good Lord. Let him have the damned cookie.”
Jackpot • earned and unearned • can be used to mark a sudden breakthrough, or • to motivate an unwilling, fearful, or resistant subject
Aversives • “Natural” aversives • Negative reinforcers • Punishment
“Natural” aversives • Product of “natural” distaste or social conditioning • Must be overcome (using whatever creative measures are necessary) before progress can be made
Negative Reinforcement “What you are doing is not good, and something bad will happen unless you stop.”
Negative Reinforcement • Based on student control--can be halted or avoided by changing behavior • Linked to clear, specific task • Stops immediately when new behavior begins “Mind if I turn my hearing aid down?”
Results of Negative Reinforcement • Student confidence • Self-motivation
Punishment: too much, too late • Based on student weakness--change in behavior will not affect outcome • Based on student confusion--no idea of how to escape the punishment
Results of Punishment Flight
No-reward marker • “That will not be reinforced”; “Save your strength”; “That’s a blind alley” • Neutral--no aversive • Informative
Game 2: Train the dog We need 4 volunteers
Behavior shaping: performance without pain • Single large goal broken into a series of feasible intermediate tasks (no one can write a book) • Each specific task is selectively reinforced • Reduction in repetition • Increase in quality
1.Dog holds forefinger unwillingly 2.Dog holds forefinger willingly 3.Dog opens mouth for forefinger 4.Dog reaches for forefinger 5.Dog holds paper roll 6.Dog reaches for paper roll 7.Dog picks up paper roll 8.Dog holds dumbbell 9.Dog reaches for dumbbell 10.Dog picks up dumbbell from 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 feet 11.Dog retrieves dumbbell next to unscented anchored leather article 12.Dog holds leather article 13. If averse to leather, desensitize 14.Dog reaches for leather article 15.Dog picks up leather article 16.Dog picks up leather article from 2, 4, 6, 10, 12 feet 17.Dog retrieves leather article next to unscented leather article 18.Dog holds metal article 19.Dog reaches for metal article 20.Dog picks up metal article from 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 feet 21. If averse to metal, desensitize 22.Dog retrieves metal article next to unscented anchored metal article 23.Dog retrieves leather article next to unscented anchored metal and leather article 24.Next to unscented anchored leather and two unscented metal 25.Dog retrieves metal article next to unscented anchored metal and leather article 26.Dog retrieves metal article next to unscented anchored metal and two unscented leather 27.Dog retrieves metal article next to gradually increasing combinations of anchored unscented metal and leather up to 10 unscented articles 28.Gradual removal of anchors--if dog retrieves unscented article, repeat steps 19 to 24 as needed 29.Introduction of “cold” vs. “hot” scent 30.Introduction of foreign scent 31.Dog does scent retrieve in distracting areas Shaping the scent retrieve
Self-reinforcement I suppose it should be enough that I heard it…
Prey drive • The “Aha!” moment • “Killing” a problem • Following movement • Physical activity
“Getting USDA approval means a lot to you, doesn’t it?” Status • Most powerful motivator--stronger than food or sex drives • Linked to tangible rewards and prey drive