Behavorism in Childhood Education

I found this interesting article demonstrating how educators use the behaviorist theory in classrooms, with students to promote good behavior, and also stop negative behavior. If a student speaks out of context, or puts their hands on another student their behavior will be reprimanded and will not be rewarded. If a student does well on their test, raises their hand to answer a question they will be rewarded and complimented for their positive behavior. This method teachers are using is B.F. Skinner model for operant conditioning in which learned behaviors can be modified, reinforced, or eliminated by using positive or negative responses, and rewarding behavior.


3 thoughts on “Behavorism in Childhood Education

  1. This is a very good post! In fact, operant conditioning is applicable not only to childhood education, but in our everyday life as well. For example, we know that if we devote more time on studying, we are likely to be ‘rewarded’ with a better grade. On the other hand, operant conditioning sometimes can enhance negative behaviors such as gambling behavior. According to Nolen-Hoeksema (2014), people who frequently gamble are seldom rewarded, but they continue to do so in anticipation of unpredictable win. In this situation, behavior is learned under occasional reward, so a constant reward is not needed to maintain that behavior. Therefore, it is harder to eliminate a learned behavior in this condition.


  2. I think this is subjective to certain students or people. Not every kid have the same learning ability as others. Although behaviors do impact the learning of certain kids but maybe there difficulty of learning something makes them act a certain way. This will bring the self esteem of others kids who can’t perform down because while others are getting rewarded, those who struggles to become better are not being acknowledge. It’s a 50/50 balance with this theory.


  3. I read the article you posted and nodded in agreement at everything that was written here. I work with children and I also agree with the behaviorist approach. For example when one of my students is misbehaving I will take away lets say “gym time” away from the child because of their inappropriate behavior. After acknowledging that the behavior they committed is wrong then they try harder to correct the mistake next time so their “gym time” is not taken away.


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