Behaviorist and Cognitive Views of Learning and Theory into Practice

Behaviorist and cognitive views of learning have long been debated amongst educational philosophers, with each side having its own merits and drawbacks. In this essay, I will explore the two theories in relation to theory into practice by examining how they can be used to develop effective teaching approaches.

Behaviorist and Cognitive Views of Learning and Theory into Practice

The behaviorist view of learning is based on the work of B. F. Skinner and other pioneers who believed that learning is explained best when it is seen as a set of behavioral changes due to external stimuli or consequences (Gobbo & Sèguin-Lévesque, 2017). From this perspective, learners are viewed as conditioned responses to environmental experiences rather than active agents in their own learning process (Sternberg & Sternberg, 2013). Behaviorism sees learning as an associative process where students learn through repetition and reinforcement techniques such as positive or negative reinforcement (Carpenter et al., 2012). The teacher’s role in this approach is to provide stimulus for desired behaviors and then use rewards or punishments depending on whether the student has demonstrated desirable behaviors or not (Schunk et al., 2008).

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