I will explain the psychology of learning and the theories I use in my practice. Analysing these theories and teaching methods will give rise, to investigating how these will help in teaching and learning ‘In a nutshell, a principle is a value, belief or ethic relating to something you do and the theory is that which explains why it works’.(Wilson 2009:350) In delivering of a lessons, educator must keep in mind SMARTER objectives.
Investigating these theories the focus must be on the implication they have on my practice. These are only useful in so far as they can help the learners achieve the lesson aims and objectives. (Wallace 2007:93)
Behaviourism is where a person learns through responding to stimuli so as to optimise their own situation. This means that humans have a need to learn so by adapting to a changing environment around to be able to survive. For instance a learner who has some sensory impairment will adapt their own learning styles to accommodate for this barrier by adapting method and using experience they are able to achieve the same learning outcomes as other learners.
Pavlov’s theory is known has classical conditioning ‘He is remembered for the salivating dogs which illustrates very usefully the central behaviourist idea that behaviour can be predicted, measured and controlled, and that learning a matter of stimulus and response (Wallace 2007:97).’
Thorndike’s theory is known as trial and error. He places a hungry cat into a cage, and put the food outside the cage. So the cat used trial and error to discover how to get to the food outside the cage. This process was timed and recorded for each attempt. It was found that each time the experiment was repeated with the same cat the time taken was reduced proving that the cat had indeed learnt.
‘Behaviourism promotes extinction. This occurs when the reward is with-held from the animal. Therefore learning that was originally stamped in by pleasurable experience is eliminated, when there is a lack of satisfaction.’ (Sylva & Lunt 1989: 119)
Neo-behaviourist built on the work, introducing new theories and suggested that human behaviour is goal-oriented (Wallace 2007:97) Skinner’s theory promoted operant conditioning, placing a rat into a cage which had a food tray a light and a lever, Skinner investigate the notation of operant conditioning. These investigations were the basis for Thorndike theory of the law of effect. His apparatus was a lot simpler; a rat was place in a box with a lever and a food tray.’ After press the lever the rat will receive a reward. This is similar to employment, a worker, does a job then gets paid for it (Sylva & Lunt 1989: 119).’
Skinner preferred the terms reinforcement and behaviour modification to pleasure, satisfaction and punishment. Teacher use positive reinforcement so to encourage learning. Negative reinforcement modifies the learners’ behaviour. This is used to correct undesirable behaviour by making a point that this will not be tolerated and any...