Topics: Reinforcement, B. F. Skinner, Reward system Pages: 3 (902 words) Published: January 27, 2013
B.F. Skinner's theories on discipline in the classroom have helped to mold the way teachers instill discipline in their students for decades. His theories were not directed at classroom behavior, but his findings have influenced and led the way in many classroom discipline methods since the 1960s (Charles & Senter, 2004). This essay will discuss the impact of B.F. Skinner's theories on discipline in the classroom. Behavior Modification

Skinner wrote many articles and essays on "how our voluntary actions are influenced by what happens to us immediately after we perform a given act" (Charles & Senter, 2004, pp. 33). These papers led to the theory of behavior modification which is used everywhere in the educational field. Behavior modification refers to the use of reinforcement in order to shape the behavior of a student. Constant Reinforcement

Skinner noted in many of his works that "much if not most of our voluntary behavior is shaped as we receive reinforcement immediately after we perform an act" ( Charles & Senter, 2004, pp. 45). This theory led teachers to use constant reinforcement as a form of discipline in the classroom. This type of reinforcement allowed students to learn new desired ideas, rules, and skills. This type of discipline must be done every time a student does something correct (Charles & Senter, 2004). Intermittent Reinforcement

After rules and skills are established a teacher will then need to rely on intermittent reinforcement in order to remain a level of discipline in the classroom. Since the behavior is established the need for reinforcement lessens. The use of reinforcing stimuli is only needed for discipline occassionally (Charles & Senter, 2004). Reinforcing Stimuli

In order to maintain discipline in the classroom according to Skinner's findings the use of reinforcing stimuli is necessary. Some examples of this type of reinforcement "knowledge of results, peer approval, awards and free time, and smiles, nods, and...
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