Learning TheoriesLearning Theories are one of the main reasons I decided to take classes around educational technology... I was hoping not to have to discuss them. Mostly because I don't like discussing them because they can be long, boring and sometimes hard to synthesize for me. That being said looking at them in how they are used in connection with teaching through an ed-tech lens is a neat approach. Each theory has its purpose within a school setting. I do not think one is more important than the other. When used effectively specific instructional approaches based upon a designated theory can have a greater affect on a child's learning. Here is how I see myself utilizing the theories within my classroom.
BehaviorismBehaviorism is defined in Peggy A. Ertmer and Timothy J. Newby article on Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features From an Instructional Design Perspective as "Behaviorism focuses on the importance of the consequences of those performances and contends that responses that are followed by reinforcement are more likely to recur in the future" (p. 48). Essentially we are looking at the infamous works of Pavlov, Watson and Skinner.
When I reflect on how this theory relates to my teaching career, I see an acceptance of the usefulness of this philosophy; along with a connection in how my hidden curriculum is largely based on the concepts of which consequences occur based on specific actions I want from my students throughout the school day. When I started teaching I wanted to be the teacher who was child centered, I wanted to let the students decide what the rules should be, let the students choice carry the flow of the class. Now I have shifted to a more realistic approach to behaviorism in that it is useful mostly in the structure of the day. The more that my students react in the way I have conditioned them too (in respect to social protocol within the classroom), the more praise, I seem to give them. Now I see this as a mostly positive aspect within my classroom because the more the students follow the daily routine, the more curriculum content we are able to sift through as a class.