Behaviourist approaches to learning and teaching. Education Foundations, Sec., Week 5, Semester 1, 2012. Overview . Stimulus and response mechanism External and observable behaviour Contiguity Classical conditioning Operant conditioning. What is learning? Behaviourist view of learning
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Behaviourist approaches to learning and teaching Education Foundations, Sec., Week 5, Semester 1, 2012
Overview • Stimulus and response mechanism • External and observable behaviour • Contiguity • Classical conditioning • Operant conditioning • 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 • 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
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 • …
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?
Behaviourist view of learning • Change in behaviour • Subject to active control and shaping by external factors • Outcome-orientation
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)
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)
Contiguity principle • Learning by association • Formation of S-R relation
Classical conditioning • Pavlov’s dog experiment • Involuntary (emotional or physiological) association / responses • Unconditioned association: • Neutral stimulus • Unconditioned stimulus • Unconditioned response • Conditioned association: • Conditioned stimulus • Conditioned response Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936)
Operant conditioning • Behaviour as operants rather than respondents • Thorndike’s cats • Skinner’s pigeons
Reinforcement • Positive • Negative • Schedule • Continuous • Intermittent – fixed or unpredictable • Interval • ratio • Punishment
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
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
Learning objectives as behavioural antecedents 2) Contain action words (verbs) of behavioural goal
Task breakdown • Task analysis
Behaviour modelling • Skinner’s pigeons video • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erhmslcHvaw&feature=related • Thinking aloud and justify thinking rationale • Explicit teaching video • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h4q-bok644
Practice and drilling (first 1.5 minutes) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cwODCQ9BnU&feature=related • Using kinaesthetic movements to help retention • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yStzJjLXdxM • Using paper folding to do multiplication by fractions
Monitoring and constant formative feedback • Formative feedback video (2 minutes) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY0U7axgdHY&feature=related
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
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
Limitations • Dependence on extrinsic forms of reinforcement • Neglect of complex thinking processes leading to behavioural performance
References • Kizlik, B. (2012) How to write learning objectives that meet demanding behavioural criteria, www.adprima.com/objectives.htm • Linder-Crow, J. (2000) Writing behavioural leaning objectives and assessment, http://www.apa.org/ed/sponsor/about/faq/objectives.pdf • Skinner, B. F. (1976) About Behaviorism, Vintage Books, New York. • Watson, J. B. (1930) Behaviorism, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.