Learning Theories : Theory Of Behaviorism

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Learning Theories Essay
Behaviorism focuses on a new behavioral pattern being repeated until it becomes automatic. The theory of behaviorism concentrates on the study of overt behaviors that can be observed and measured (Good & Brophy, 1990). It views the mind as a "black box" in the sense that response to stimulus can be observed quantitatively, totally ignoring the possibility of thought processes occurring in the mind. Some key players in the development of the behaviorist theory were Pavlov, Watson, Thorndike and Skinner. Edward Thorndike did research in animal behavior before becoming interested in human psychology. He set out to apply "the methods of exact science" to educational problems by emphasizing "accurate quantitative
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Cognitivism and Instructional Design
Although cognitive psychology emerged in the late 1950s and began to take over as the dominant theory of learning, it wasn 't until the late 1970s that cognitive science began to have its influence on instructional design. Cognitive science began a shift from behavioristic practices which emphasized external behavior, to a concern with the internal mental processes of the mind and how they could be utilized in promoting effective learning. The design models that had been developed in the behaviorist tradition were not simply tossed out, but instead the "task analysis" and "learner analysis" parts of the models were embellished. The new models addressed component processes of learning such as knowledge coding and representation, information storage and retrieval as well as the incorporation and integration of new knowledge with previous information (Saettler, 1990). Because Cognitivism and Behaviorism are both governed by an objective view of the nature of knowledge and what it means to know something, the transition from behavioral instructional design principles to those of a cognitive style was not entirely difficult. The goal of instruction remained the communication or transfer of knowledge to learners in the most efficient, effective manner possible (Bednar et al., in
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