Friday, 3 March 2017

Behaviorism in the Classroom

Before I express my view on behaviorism, I would like to share a real incident that had happened with me while I was in my primary school. One day I was ironing my father’s shirt and by mistake it got burned. I was afraid that he might scold me but to my surprise, he encouraged me to make mistakes in the future, but the only difference was to make new ones every time. I learned to make mistakes thus learning the right way. The little incident made me realize, that my father actually encouraged my learning habits along with the habit of minimizing errors.

What is behaviorism in Education?

Behaviorism is a learning theory that only focuses on objectively observable behaviors and discounts any independent activities of the mind”. 
 In my teaching tenure, I have come across many behavioral incidents of students and have applied a few methods to correct them. Various behavioral methods can be used in school as well as at home. If teachers, parents and students work in tandem with each other, then it works like a miracle.

An example of behavior methods is listed below:

When a student misbehaves in his class, the teacher and student decide to minimize the distractions as a solution. Provisions include that the student will be punctual, will sit in front of the teacher, will raise hand for questions/comments and will not leave his seat without permission.
There would be consequences for the actions taken. Consequences may be positive or negative, expected or unexpected. Consequences occur once the teacher decides to do a particular pattern of behavior action. Positive reinforcement is the encouragement of the students that increases the probability of response. This type of enrichment occurs frequently in the classroom. Teachers usually inculcate positive growth by:

1. Smiling at students after a correct response.
2. Commending students for their work.
3. Selecting them for a special project.
4. Praising students' ability in front of the parents.
5. Reward them when they are correct, and ENCOURAGE them to do well when they are not on the right path.

Using behavioral methods in the classroom can be rewarding for both students and teachers. Behavioral change occurs because of a reason; students work for things that bring them positive feelings, and for approval from people they admire. In dealing with the students, I have found that if a good behavior goes unrewarded, then it will be extinguished. Consistently ignoring an undesirable behavior will go far toward eliminating it. When the teacher does not respond angrily, the problem is forced back to its source--the student. 
Almost every teacher rewards students with words of praise. However, all students respond better when rewarded for doing well. On the other hand, encouraging students to come back when they go wrong is far more beneficial to the psyche of the student. I am sure that this approach will help to improve the behavior and attitude of the students in a positive direction.

Mrs. Deepa Sharma
The Mann School

1 comment:

  1. ...they are living files,as I mentioned in my blog, we have to be prepared for their unexpected responses.Their responses may be different at similar situations on different occassions,,,,rightly said Ms. Deepa