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Behavioral Learning Theory
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Behavioral Learning Theory

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  1. Behavioral Learning Theory Behaviorism as a theory was primarily developed by B.F.Skinner Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  2. Descriptive summary of the theory • It loosely encompasses the work of people like Edward Thorndike, Tolman Guthrie and Hull. What characterises these investigators are their underlying assumptions about the process of learning. Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  3. Descriptive summary of the theory (cont.) • In essence, three basic assumptions are held to be true. • First, learning is manifested by a change in behaviour. • Second, the environment shapes behaviour. • Third, the principles of contiguity (how close in time two events must be for a bond to be formed) and reinforcement (any means of increasing the likelihood that an event will be repeated) are central to explaining the learning process. Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  4. Descriptive summary of the theory (cont.) • For behaviourism, learning is the acquisition of new behaviour through conditioning. Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  5. Assumptions of Behaviorism • To understand learning processes, focus on stimulus and responses • Internal process should be excluded from the study of learning. • Learning is evidenced by a behavior change Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  6. Two main types of Learning • The first being Classical conditioning which addresses learning of involuntary responses, for example when the sound of a bell alone stimulates saliva flow in dogs. Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  7. Two main types of Learning (cont.) • The second being Operant conditioning where there is reinforcement of the behaviour by a reward or a punishment. The word ‘operant’ refers to the way in which behaviour ‘operates on the environment’. • Briefly, a behaviour may result either in reinforcement, which increases the likelihood of the behaviour recurring, or punishment, which decreases the likelihood of the behaviour recurring. Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  8. Your turn! • With a partner, list two examples of operant conditioning that you have used or that you see regularly in your classroom. • Try to think of a “behavioral” example and an “instructional or academic” example. Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  9. A-B-C Model • Behavior is sandwiched between • Antecedents (a stimulus that comes before the behavior) • Consequences (a stimulus that comes after a behavior) Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  10. Consequences • Reinforcement • Punishment Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  11. Reinforcement • Positive reinforcer: “Rewards” or something desirable is received after a behavior occurs • Negative reinforcer: “Escapes” or something undesirable is avoided after a behavior occurs Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  12. Punishment • Presentation punishment: An undesirable stimulus is received after a behavior occurs • Removal punishment: A desireable is lost or removed after a behavior occurs Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  13. Your turn • With a partner, list consequences (reinforcers and punishers) that you OR your organization uses on a regular basis to produce the behavior you desire in your learners. • Which ones are effective? Why or why not? Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  14. Antecedents • A prompt or cue that comes before a behavior that results in the correct behavior being achieved. Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  15. Your turn! • Alone, answer the following questions: What antecedents do you use on a daily basis to get the behavior you wish from your learners? Are the antecedents effective? Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  16. Like it or Not---From the behaviorist perspective, • the teacher MUST be active in getting the behavior they wish from their learners. • if the teacher is not actively involved, they will not regularly see the behavior they wish or be certain the behavior was learned. • if a learner does not learn (demonstrate the behavior) then the teacher did not teach it. Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  17. Application of Behaviorism to Instruction • Teaching that is behaviorist in nature is often referred to as • Direct teaching • Explicit teaching • Expository teaching • Teacher-led instruction Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  18. Behaviorism (cont.) • What areas of the Australian Qualifications Framework might behaviorism address? Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, or Evaluation? Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  19. Phases in a Behaviorist Lesson • Orientation: overview, explains why, etc. Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  20. Phases (cont.) • Presentation: explain how to, steps, demonstrate how to. • Presented in very small steps with mastery of each step the goal • Numerous examples with teacher demonstrating correct responses • When difficulty is encountered, additional explanations and examples given. • Constant evaluation of ALL students understanding. Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  21. Phases (cont.) • Practice phase • Structured practice: whole class led through each step of the problem with teacher leading and checking for everyone’s understanding. • Guided practice: students work on a few examples alone at their desks. Teacher circulates and monitors, providing corrective feedback and reinforcement • Independent practice: learners given a few examples just like what had been learned to practice alone. Feedback is not necessarily immediate (i.e. next session). Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  22. Guidelines for Practice • From a behavioral perspective, students should only practice what they already know how to do. • Provide short but intense practice sessions (no more than 15 minutes). • Monitor carefully and provide corrective feedback and reinforcement • Incorrect responses which are not corrected become part of the learner’s behavior and impede progress toward subsequent learning Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  23. Guidelines for Practice (cont.) • Do not engage students in independent practice until have 85% success in guided practice • Space structured practice close together with guided and independent sessions gradually further and further apart. Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program

  24. Your turn • In small groups, describe a lesson in which you have used the behaviorist approach (just one lesson for the entire group). What do you know now that would have made the lesson better and improved the likelihood that students would have learned better. How would you change that lesson? Paris, N.A. Kennesaw State University- M.Ed in Ad Ed program