If we want to teach a nine-year-old to keep quiet in class, every time the desired behavior gets elicited we should reward with a token.
With time the nine-year-old learns to associate keeping quiet with tokens.
It states that these thought processes are the ones that influence our understanding and interaction with the world around us.
All three theories are a basis for teaching and learning as they all can be used to enable one to acquire new knowledge. Its aim is to understand behavior, predict behavior and control behavior.
The three main categories of traditional learning theories include: constructivism, behaviorism and cognitivism (University of Wurzburg, 2007).
Behaviorism focuses on the idea that every human behavior gets acquired through conditioning.Break down the skills and concepts to be learnt into small units that get easily understood.Using direct instructional strategies or teacher-centered instruction is another way of using behaviorist theory to teach. Since the end desired result is known, we can instruct the learner on how to gain the objective.The behavioral approach emphasizes on experiences, especially reinforcement and punishment, as determinants of learning and behavior.Classical conditioning is a type of learning in which an organism learns to connect or associate stimuli (Santrock 240).For example, if you want five-year-olds to master the concept of filling and emptying then arrange the classroom in a way that they are able to tell the empty tins, the full ones and the liquid to be used in filling and emptying.Arrange all your materials in a way that is obvious to elicit your desired response.The best way to teach a four-year-old how to write letter “a” using behaviorist theory is to show him the motions followed when writing letter “a”. F Skinner’s operant theory, a perfect way to teach is to reinforce accomplishments with appropriate feedback (University of Wurzburg, 2007).By controlling punishments and rewarding, we can shape behavior.The first teaching method that can be employed from the behaviorist theory is to arrange the environment.This should be done in a way that will elicit the kind of response that we desire, like in the Pavlov experiment with the dog.