Behaviourist Theory : Cognitive Developmental Theory, And Socio Cultural Theory

2694 Words Nov 22nd, 2014 11 Pages
The theories/approaches established by historical and contemporary pioneers provide valuable insight, underpinning the understanding of how children develop, allowing teachers to enhance the holistic development of every child. This essay will analyse the: behaviourist theory; cognitive-developmental theory; and socio-cultural theory.
Behaviourist Theory
Behaviourists regard behaviour as a response to a stimulus; pioneering the belief that internal cognitive processes are unnecessary when explaining behaviour. This view is supported by the behaviourist John Locke who proposed that children are born as ‘blank slates’ (‘tabula rasa’) whereby children are shaped by experience (Neaum, 2010). The behaviourist approach assumes that the process of learning is the same in all species; therefore concluding that human and animals learn in similar ways. Early behaviourists include Edward Thorndike, Edward Tolman and Edwin Guthrie conducted experiments on animals, under carefully observed conditions (Collin, 2011). However the three theorists, most associated with behaviourism are: Ivan Pavlov, John Watson and B.F. Skinner. These theorists identified two types of associative learning: classical and operant conditioning; these methods underpin the behaviourist perspective.
Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) was a Russian psychologist who inadvertently discovered classical conditioning; a way to view the functioning of the nervous system, this remains his greatest psychological contribution…
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