Behavioral Learning Theories Applied

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Behavioral Learning theories Applied

Education is quite the central focus in our current society. As the economy advances, education becomes of greater importance and our student’s future is strongly dependent on their educational opportunities. As many theorists have proven, there is no one way of teaching that targets an entire audience. Instead, every child has their own unique learning style that they respond best to. Any educator that takes on the responsibility of teaching must familiarize themselves with the different approaches so they observe the “No child left behind” act and fulfill their duty as a teacher. The many different approaches to learning include Behavioral, Social Cognitive, Information Processing, Constructivist, and Brain-based. The behavioral approach is concerned primarily with measureable and observable aspects of human behavior (Good & Brophy, 1990). Behavioral learning theories focus on the ways in which pleasurable or unpleasant consequences of behavior change individuals’ behavior over time and ways in which individual model their behavior on that of others (Slavin 2006). The emphasis is put on responses to experiences, especially reinforcement and punishment, as determinants of learning and behavior. The 4 prominent behaviorist and key players in the development of the behaviorist theory, that I like to relate to, were Watson, Pavlov, Thorndike, and Skinner. Pavlov’s main interest was physiology but it was the Classical Conditioning theory that made him so famous. Classical Conditioning is a learning process that occurs through associations between an environmental stimulus and a naturally occurring stimulus. Both Thorndike and Skinner- although differently expressed- delved into the formulation of Operant Conditioning. Operant conditioning is a learning methodology that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. An association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior through operant...
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