Educational Implication of Skinner theory

December 21st, 2009 by Jashodhara Purkayastha

B.F Skinner’s Operant conditioning theory is a kind of learning process where a response is made more probable or more frequent by reinforcement. According to this theory, an individual learns to behave differently if the new behaviour is rewarded and the old one is ignored. Then the reward behaviour gets conditioned.

This theory is based on reward and punishment, hence it has much importance in education.

1) This theory helps in changing the behaviour of a child.

It reminds me of an incident in the classroom when I was a teacher in the primary section. The boy was a repeater in the class and used very filthy language in the class. One thing I noticed in that boy was some hidden talents. I made that boy the monitor in the class and asked all other children to praise him when he is controlling the class. With the help of other children, within a month his behaviour changed and he was promoted to the next class in the second rank.

2) This theory helps in the formation of good habits.

A mother with a child came to me with the complaint that the child is very lazy to brush teeth in the morning. I told her mother to give him some rewards. The mother got angry with me and said, in this manner, the child will get spoil more. I just told her to keep some conditions. I asked her to give him attractive pencils or erasers which does not cost much. After a week she thanked me.

3) The rewarded behaviour encourages the students to learn more successfully.

When students get star, excellent,v.good etc, their interest grows and it is easier for the teacher to teach adequately.

4)  It enables the teacher to change the environment and control the behaviour of the students.

When the child does not like the teacher, the school authority should change the class or division of the child so that he improves.

5) This theory is helpful in social learning and learning of skills.

By arranging some programme of different festivals, celebrations, annual day, etc. may help develop the social skills.

This theory can bring a fruitful change in the behaviour of the students and make the classroom lively.

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