Saturday, January 25, 2014

Learning Theories --> Behaviorism

This week, my group and I were asked to research behaviorism. I already had a pretty good idea what behaviorism was thanks to my college psychology classes as well as my education classes (love my Tar Heel education)! This assignment really focused in on what behaviorism is and how can I apply it to my work as a media specialist.

1. What have I learned about behaviorism?

--Throughout this process, I was reminded that behaviorism is essentially conditioning. While there are two types of conditioning - operant and classical - I believe that the one that is easiest to apply in a teaching/learning environment is operant conditioning, in which you use reinforcement to encourage or deter behavior. When there is a desired behavior, you use positive reinforcement to encourage the behavior to continue. When an undesirable behavior is displayed, you use negative reinforcement to stop the behavior from occurring again.

2. What does this mean to me?

--As a middle school teacher, I see that consequences and rewards do work with my students. My kids will do just about anything for a reward (especially if that reward is candy). When they exhibit behaviors that are less than desirable, there is a system of consequences (negative reinforcement) that is meant to teach them not to behave in that manner.

3. How might I use this information for work as a school librarian?

--Behaviorism is very simple to use in a school library. This could be used to teach students the norms for behavior within the library. Without these rules and norms in place, students can cause a lot of damage in a place like a library (especially my students). Using positive reinforcement for a successful trip to the library and negative reinforcement for students who behave inappropriately will ensure that the library is respected and enjoyed by both students and teachers.