A Little vignette on BK’s house cleaning 1
BK has two kids who are the most playful children in the world. Every time he comes back from his work, he is shocked by the messy room they made. BK and his wife have been talking a lot as to how they can teach their kids to clean up their room. One day, after learning about operant conditioning from his school, BK has decided to use reinforcement strategies in an attempt to change his kids’ behavior. He knows that his kids really like to play a Wii game; hence, he has decided to use a Wii game as a reinforcer. BK told his kids, “From now on, if you guys clean up your room after you have played, I’ll let you play a Wii game for one hour”.
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e., numbers or the given information needed to find the answers). By such practice and drill on math problems, learners are shaped to find the right answer and are finally generalized in this situation (i.e., a certain type of math problems).
Thinking along the same lines, what about a teacher-led instruction and direct instruction we normally do? What about a bunch of instructional activities based primarily on the reinforcement contingencies? These instructional events are all the examples adopted the behaviorist learning mechanics, showing us how often we exploit behaviorist view of learning in our instructional practice. Particularly in an age of the current overemphasis on standardized test— i.e., honing a test taking skill is becoming an over-arching educational purpose—the mechanics of behaviorist learning plays a pivotal role in the way to teach indeed.
A Little vignette on BK’s house cleaning 2
For the first couple of weeks his reinforcement strategy has been working well. Yet before long, BK noticed that his little son, who always makes the room messy the most, imitates what her older sister cleans up the room. Honestly speaking, even if both are supposed to clean up the room, mostly his older daughter is always in charge. What his little boy does is simply to stuff his toys into somewhere in visible places. So BK thinks that it’s time to change his strategy. At this point he changes his strategy into making use of social cognitive theory, in that he frequently noticed that his son was doing a good job on cleaning up his mess as his daughter has done. That being so, what BK intended to do is using his daughter as a model for his son, so that his son imitates what her daughter does. To do this, BK intentionally and repeatedly gives praise on her daughter’s work and gives an extra bonus contingent upon her work. Another game amongst BK, his daughter and son has begun.
This story is pretty much the same as the first vignette. Yet in delving into the second vignette, we could find that BK’s son did not get any direct reinforcers or rewards, as opposed to the first vignette; instead, he learned a certain expectation what’s going to happen to the consequence of a certain behavior. And in this case he was informed this by his sister’s work, specifically from the consequences of his sister’s behaviors. That is to say, there is a vicarious reinforcement at play in this case, so as to establish the association between stimulus and response. In a sense, social cognitive theory is much in line with the behaviorist view of learning, in that this approach is still emphasized on the way to change the desirable behaviors by conditioning the environmental events. Yet it is important to note that social cognitive theory takes personal factors into account to address how humans learn, in addition to the environmental and behavioral aspects of learning.
Let me unpack this scenario to flesh out this theory of learning. In this scenario, BK’s son...