Behaviourist Learning Theory

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My Practice Currently, a substitute teacher I teach five to thirteen year old students with and without special educational needs. I take on many different roles while substitute teaching and enjoy discovering, investigating and reflecting upon these vastly different classrooms and schools. This essay will explore a mixture of learning theories used in diverse contexts which are perceived as precursors or complimentary to one another. I have come to observe that my practice reflects a multitude of learning theory relationships, particularly; behaviourism, humanism, cognitivism, choice theory and social-constructivism. The prevalence and order of these theories and their constructs depends on factors such as subject content, student behaviour…show more content…
Kohn argues that using ‘lures for learning’ can result in students experiencing anxiety (1993, p.8). Also in special education settings students are possibly subjected to ‘Skinnerian manipulation’ (1993, p. 8). This highlights the role of criticality in classroom management and the importance of teasing out underlying assumptions through reflection (Brookfield, 1995). It raises ethical awareness to the behaviourist choices we make as teachers as we ought to recognise that we are not looking to alter the personality of young students through behaviourist techniques, but rather reduce anti-social behaviours. Contrary to this, in Kohn’s view, behaviourist teaching is seen as a ‘controlling’ technique and as a way to increase learning performance. In this instance, however, it is a management technique that contributes to the implementation of other theories such as social-constructivism and cognitivism, discussed further…show more content…
And so I further consider the approaches of choice theory from Glasser (1988) as it draws from both humanist tradition and cognitive theory (Porter, 2000). Glasser asserts that behaviour is determined by the student’s choice, not teacher control (1988). Under choice theory there is potential to influence and create quality teaching and learning experiences through focusing on the students’ needs and the teacher’s ability to practice positive relationship habits such as caring, befriending, trusting and supporting (Glasser, 1998). It is an encouraging approach to call upon in the future as it reminds the teacher to consider their own behaviour first, before responding to the

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