Friday, February 5, 2010

Behaviourist Approaches

Behaviourist theory leads in the opposite direction to humanism. It is based on
manipulation of behaviour via specific stimuli. Behaviourism exerted a significant influence on educational reform during the first half of the twentieth century (Blackman, 1995). Its main tenets were that: Learners are not intrinsically motivated or able
to construct meaning for themselves. Human behaviour can be predicted and
controlled through reward and punishment. Cognition is based on the shaping of behaviour. Deductive and didactic pedagogies, such as graded tasks, rote learning and memorization, are helpful.Although few educationists accept the full behaviourist agenda in its pure form, elements of behaviourist practice can be observed in many
countries in teacher-training programmes,curricula and the ways teachers actually operate in classrooms. Forms of direct or structured instruction, which have an important place in this Report, share a key element with the behaviourist tradition: the belief that learning achievement must be monitored and that frequent feedback is crucial in motivating and guiding the learner. Box 1.7 summarizes the behaviourist approach to education quality.

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