Behavioral Learning Theories and Cognitive Learning Theories
It postulates that learning is the change of function in observable behavior as a result the responses to the stimulus within the environment. Skinner stresses on the need of reinforcement which strengthens the desired response. As a result, the antecedents of the newly learned behaviour are influenced by the consequences of previous behavior (Huitt, &Hummel, 1999, p. 3). B. F. Skinner’s operant conditioning is a practical insight to classroom management issues. Considering the fact that the theory stresses on the need for reinforcement, teachers can implement this by pairing good performance with secondary reinforcements like verbal praises as well as awards in order to encourage good performance and behavior. This theory also calls for use of questions as stimulus and answer as response. Through asking questions, the teacher is able to get possible answers from the students’ thus encouraging participation in classroom. In Thorndike’s theory, trial and error is the basic concept regarding the law of exercise where connections are established because of repeated pairing of the stimulus and the response. The practice of the law of effect and exercise are essential for an effective learning process. Learning should be sequential in the sense that the items to be learned should be presented according to their level of difficulty.
For example if a classical song is being played that the students don’t know or like the teacher can play it repeatedly so they can get an understanding of it and eventually the students will enjoy the music because of the repetition of the song being played. There response to the song might be in the way of moving their bodies, tapping their feet or nodding their head.
Donahoe, W. (1999). The selectionist connection. Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior. Vol. 72, issue 3, pp. 451-454. Web.
Huitt, W. & Hummel, J. (1999). Educational Psychology. Web.