In the education field, teachers often spend as much time engaged in classroom management as they do teaching. Additionally, it seems that teachers are being held increasingly responsible for teaching proper behavior.
Classical Conditioning: Classical conditioning resembles an involuntary response; it is sometimes referred to as signal learning and refers to where the stimulus occurs just before the expected behavior is to occur. Classical conditioning can occur unintentionally. Too frequent exposure to humiliation, failure, or other negative feedback may lower in individual’s self-confidence and lead to withdrawal. For example, if a child is constantly corrected during a reading exercise, the child’s feelings of humiliation may ultimately be replaced by a fear of reading aloud.
Operant Conditioning: Operant conditioning is similar to classical conditioning in that both are concerned with how we can teach others how to behave. Operant conditioning adds the concept of reinforcement or a reward. The basic idea of operant conditioning is that behaviors, which are followed by something pleasurable, will be reinforced; the reinforcement will result in the behavior being repeated. Reinforcement can further be classified as either being positive or negative. Positive reinforcement involves presenting a reward immediately following the desired behavior, like taking a child out for ice cream following a school play that they were nervous about participating in. Negative reinforcement is the removal of a negative stimulus following a desired behavior. Allowing a child to not do their chores for a week after bringing home a good report card is using negative reinforcement.
In a drumming class, a teacher was having a difficult time getting the students to listen when she wanted their attention. It was a class-wide problem not related to specific students, so she had been trying to find an effective solution. Visual cues did...
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