The Importance Of Behaviorism In Teaching Mathematics

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In the past, schools believed in teaching mathematics the traditional way with direct instruction and route memorization of facts and procedures. In recent years, there has been a shift in the educational system in moving towards different approaches to the teaching of mathematics. School are beginning to adopt new mathematics curriculum with includes the use of manipulatives, small group work and developing cognitive thinking skills. Theories about how children learn have been classified in various ways. These theories have a significant bearing on how mathematics is taught. Two schools of thought that have dominated psychology of learning since the beginning of the twentieth century are: the behaviorist and the constructivist approaches. Behaviorism is a theory which implies that the learner responds to environmental stimuli without his/her mental state being an influence in the learner’s behavior. Individuals learn to behave through conditioning (Kairak, 2012). Roushandel (2012), postulated that Behaviorism is the idea that behavior is acquired through conditioning. It measures behavior by a learner’s response to stimuli. A learner’s response to stimuli can be reinforced using positive or negative feedback. Behaviorists presume all behavior as a response to a stimulus. They theorize that what we do is determined by the environment we are in, which provides stimuli to which we respond, and the environments we have experienced in the past, which caused us to learn

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