In this assignment I am aiming to explain three different theories of learning (behaviourism, cognitivism and humanism) and how they contribute to the motivation, experience and aspirations of learners. Behaviourism
Behaviourists have a clear definition that we learn in response to external stimuli. Anything from a sweet smell to the layout of classroom, the clothes someone is wearing. They reject the thinking of psychologists who are mainly concerned with introspection. Which is the examination of a person’s conscious thoughts and feeling. There are a number of Behaviourists The first one I am going to talk about is probably the most well know behaviourist Pavlov (1849-1936). He is well known for his work with dogs. It started with research into the digestive system of dogs. Pavlov found that the dogs started to salivate at the mere sight of the food bowl. Pavlov then carried out an experiment using a bell with the dogs. Pavlov trained the dogs to salivate at the sound of the bell. Pavlov describes this as classic conditioning of behaviour and learning though association. The conditioning became so good that the dogs were turning up before the bell was even rung. In response to this conditioning Pavlov found that reinforcement had to be introduced to get the repeated affect. This was called operant conditioning. When the behaviour happened if it was positive then it is reinforced with love. When it was undesired it is ignored or punished. Following Pavlov was a gentleman called E.L. Thorndlike (1874-1949).Thorndlike developed and continued on Pavlov work developing more experiments to help deeper understand behaviourism. Thorndlike used kittens in his experiments. Thorndlike placed the Kitten a box and a piece of fish outside of the box. At the first attempt the kittens were unsuccessfully at releasing the catch to open the door. As the experiment was repeated the kittens got quicker and quicker at opening the door. At the end of this experiment Thorndike coined the term law of effect. Which is a behaviour which leads to pleasant consequences is likely to be repeated. The next theorist I am going to cover is B.F Skinner (1904-1990) who is the most recent theorist. Skinner also used animals for his experiment. The animal which, were used in this experiment were rats and pigeons. Skinner placed these animals in a box which had a leaver, through trial and error the animals worked out how to press the leaver to release the food. The key findings from the experiment which makes Skinner stand out, was the reinforcement. It was the key to behaviour shaping and development. Reinforcement shaping was found that with student with learning difficulties they improved with the reinforcement. This was mainly found in the acquisition of language. The last theorist I am going to look at is the only one who didn’t use animals in his research. Benjamin Bloom. Bloom is considered by many to take a behaviourist approach with his Taxonomy of learning. Bloom created a systematic approaching to planning a session. Bloom first broken it down into three learning types
* Cognitive: mental skills (Knowledge)
* Affective: growth in feelings or emotional areas (Attitude) * Psychomotor: manual or physical skills (Skills)
* Think feel and do
The cognitive domain (Bloom, 1956) involves knowledge and the development of intellectual skills. This includes the recall or recognition of specific facts, procedural patterns, and concepts that serve in the development of intellectual abilities and skills. There are six major categories, which are listed in order below, starting from the simplest behaviour to the most complex. The categories can be thought of as degrees of difficulties. That is, the first ones must normally be mastered before the next ones can take place The Cognitive domain involves the development of intellectual skills. Developing the short term memory and long...