Essay on Behavioral Learning Theories

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Behavioral Learning Theories

Most theorists agree that learning occurs when experience causes a change in a person's knowledge or behavior . Behaviorists emphasize the role of environmental stimuli in learning and focus on the behavior, i.e., an observable response. Behavioral theories are based on contiguity, classical and operant conditioning, applied behavior analysis, social learning theory and self-regulation/cognitive behavior modification. Early views of learning were contiguity and classical conditioning. In contiguity learning, two events are repeatedly paired together and become associated in the learner's mind. Pavlov took this idea one step further in his experiments on classical conditioning where a …show more content…

A 6-week inservice program focusing on the principles of operant conditioning and positive reinforcement was implemented. The study was designed to evaluate the use of behavior management strategies in the classroom, and positive results were found in the decrease in restraints and crisis incidents. Crisis incidents were defined as a child being required to leave the classroom because of unacceptable behavior, e.g., persistent noncompliance. As the revised treatment module began to work, community special education programs began to send students for short term diagnostic placements, and a plan is in development for "transition classrooms" intended for children who no longer need intensive treatment but are not yet ready to return to the community. Applied behavior analysis provides teachers with methods for encouraging positive behaviors and coping with undesirable ones. Negative reinforcement and forms of punishments like reprimands and social isolation can help alter behavior, but should be used with caution. Teachers can reinforce desirable student behavior through attention, recognition, praise and other reinforcers. An article entitled "Food For
Thought: Teacher Nonverbal Immediacy, Student Learning, and Curvilinearity" touched on immediacy behaviors as a type of reinforcer. The article states

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