Weekly Digest #69: Behaviorism in the Classroom
Some of the most prominent learning theories in the history of psychology stem from a behaviorist approach. Behaviorist theory is focused on ways to change observable behaviors. While we are trained as cognitive psychologists (and not behaviorists), behavioral theory still has purpose within the classroom. In an upcoming blog post, we will discuss how and why behaviorist principles can be beneficial for the 6 strategies for effective learning, but today we provide several resources explaining behaviorism and how it can be used within the classroom.
1) Behaviorism by Melissa Standridge.
This article provides a brief overview of behaviorist theories, followed by concrete examples from the classroom where behaviorism can be applied. One thing to note is that the primary focus in this article is on classroom management and, while this is an appropriate application of behaviorism, our primary purpose will be to discuss behaviorism as a useful tool for learning. We provide this resource as a good introduction to behaviorism.
2) Behaviorist and Cognitive Views of Learning by Ryan Fitz
In this blog, Ryan Fitz describes the difference between behaviorist and cognitive views of learning. While he again focuses on classroom management for behaviorism, it is helpful to note the difference between the way that we (as cognitive scientists) approach learning situations and how that differs from the behaviorist approach.
3) How Might Educators Use Behaviorism to Direct Classroom Behavior and Learning? by Jordan Johnson
As a response to this question, Jordan Johnson provides an explanation of the somewhat subtle difference between using behaviorism for classroom management and for learning.
5) Behaviorism in Practice by Elizabeth Stein
Elizabeth Stein provides evidence-informed ideas about how to use behaviorism to encourage students to use behaviors that will lead to increased learning.
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