Behaviorism Cognitivism

By August 1, 2017 Education

Many bookmans have commented on how behaviourism, cognitivism, and constructivism have influenced the research in the field of educational engineering. At this point in your pupil calling, you have had an chance to read stuff on each of these larning theories or attacks. How would you depict your beliefs about larning in relation to these theories? How will this pick of beliefs affect your future thesis work? You may choose one or more of the theories listed or supply another that is scholarly and recognized in the literature. Regardless of how you approach your reply, it must specify cardinal footings and theoreticians, supply elaborate concrete illustrations, and must be scholarly in tone. [ Important – although this is an unfastened book inquiry, it asks you to province your current beliefs and associate them to plants and theoreticians YOU HAVE ALREADY READ. You may mention them informally. Avoid the enticement to " Google ” or " Wikipedia ” a theory or theoretician and reexamine their plants in the limited clip that you have. Think about your beliefs, sketch your ideas, and utilize your resources to farther back up your statement ]

Akio Yamanaka

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University of Northern Colorado


In my first twelvemonth as a doctorial pupil at the University of Northern Colorado, I asked Dr. Ku and Dr. Lohr if they thought I was a behaviourist or a constructivist. At the clip, I was merely get downing to larn about larning theory in a Psychology category, and all the theories in the text edition seemed to do sense when I read about them separately. Throughout my calling as a doctorial pupil I have continually altered my place through assorted theories. My current apprehension and application of acquisition and its relationship to theories is more matter-of-fact. I believe that the proper usage and application of larning theories depends on the context to which it is applied. What follows is a brief treatment sing my beliefs about larning in dealingss to each of these theories.



Behaviorism, popularized in the 1950s and 1960s, is based on an objectivist ontology and empiricist epistemology. Behaviorism draws many of its rules through experimental research in psychological science ( i.e. , Pavlov ‘s experiment with his Canis familiariss ) . Advocates of behaviourism consider the head to be tabula rasa, or a clean slate. These include people like John B. Watson, Edward Tolman, Clark Hull, and B. F. Skinner. Skinner, in peculiar, is celebrated for presenting operant conditioning, which is where behaviour is altered through support. Programmed direction is an illustration of a scheme that uses behaviourist theory.

I believe that the stimulus-response type acquisition is uneffective, peculiarly in assisting pupils derive higher order accomplishments. However, I do believe that behaviourist larning rules can be applied to certain subjects for specific intents. For illustration, geting typing accomplishments is an illustration that is frequently brought up by those in favour of direct direction. Besides, in secondary linguistic communication acquisition, rote memorisation of vocabulary is necessary in going a adept communicator in a different linguistic communication. In such instances, direct direction and rote memorisation are good schemes of learning and acquisition.


Information processing theory is frequently tied to cognitivitist larning theory. The Atkinson-Shiffrin Memory Model from the late sixtiess introduces the assorted phases of information processing from centripetal input to long-run memory. Harmonizing to their theoretical account, there are three types of memory: centripetal memory, working memory, and long-run memory. Centripetal memory holds information merely for a brief sum of clip. When processed, information goes to working memory. Working memory, which consists of short-run memory and short-run shop, is the phase where more processing occurs. George A. Miller introduced the charming figure seven plus or minus two to bespeak the spots of information that can be processed through working memory. Paivio ‘s dual-coding theory suggests that there are two channels from which information becomes processed: ocular and audile. Cognitive capacity can be maximized by utilizing both of the channels.

Using schemes such as dry run and unitization, information becomes transferred to long-run memory. Long-run memory is where cognition is for good stored. It is believed that one time information is stored in long-run memory, it is ne’er lost. However, information from long-run memory must be stored expeditiously to enable easy retrieval. Endel Tulving ‘s find of episodic and semantic memory suggested that there were two information treating systems in long-run memory. Episodic memory was for specific events and semantic memory is general information. In instruction, the focal point is on semantic memory.

My personal belief about cognitivism is that it strengthens our apprehension of larning from where behaviourist left off, and that its constructs can be applied to constructivist methodological analysis. Behaviorists believed that the head was a clean box and, therefore, minimized its importance as a map of larning. However, when cognitivists opened the box, it revealed cognitive procedures that could break depict human acquisition and battle.

I think about the instruction system in Japan where there was a nationalized policy to cut down the figure of information that pupils would hold to larn. At the clip, everyone believed it was a sensible solution to the job that Nipponese pupils were merely memorising a big burden of information without being able to use it efficaciously. The thought was to take down the figure of facts, regulations and rules to analyze, and pass more clip linking larger thoughts. Unfortunately summational rating revealed that pupils were non larning any better than they were earlier. One observation can be made from this failed policy. The Nipponese policymakers failed to understand that the figure of information spots was far less of import than happening ways to lump information. This illustrates that, whether the acquisition environment is a talk or a dynamic argument, instructors have the power to convey cognition or ease an environment that reduces cognitive burden.


Constructivism is a theory with the cardinal belief that cognition is constructed by the person and that it is a uninterrupted procedure. There are a figure of types of constructivism. Fiddling constructivism is a combination of information processing and cognition building by the person. Extremist constructivism is attributed to von Glasersfeld and the thought that cognition is constructed based on single experiences. Social constructivism is attributed to Vygotsky, stressing the thought that cognition is a shared experience between people. Situativity theory, which is associated to the plants of Lave and Wenger, can be argued as another type of constructivism where the accent is on societal and physical context.

Constructivist larning theory should non be confused with constructivist methods of direction. Generally, constructivist methods assume a ) pupils are of course motivated ; B ) pupils actively construct method, instead than hold it transmitted by person else ; degree Celsiuss ) significance is created through linking new information with anterior cognition ; d ) cognition can be personally or socially constructed ; and e ) cognition is best constructed in reliable acquisition contexts where ailment structured jobs parallel existent life issues and jobs.

Problem-based acquisition ( PBL ) , which has been extensively studied by Jonassen is an illustration of constructivism. PBL focuses on a particular job to be solved. Inquiry-based acquisition ( IBL ) is another type of constructivist larning scheme. IBL, which is similar to PBL, focuses on oppugning and supporting an reply to a job based on grounds. Discovery larning promotes deep larning through pupil battle.

I believe that constructivism is appropriate for the changing nature of scholars in a society that is altering quickly. When I was in high school, plagiarism in an English category meant that a pupil had copied off of another pupil or had copied off of Cliff notes. However, with the prevalent usage of the Internet, non merely are book notes available, but besides, discourse and feedback to those books, mp3 and YouTube videos that helps depict or make mental theoretical accounts, among many other ways in which information is delivered. Therefore, it seems as though happening the correct reply is less of import than happening a good reply supported by good grounds. Acquisition and transportation of such accomplishments will be cardinal for a pupil ‘s life-long procedure of acquisition.


My current subject of involvement for my thesis is researching a constructivist charter school and better understanding how inquiry-based acquisition is being used as a method of direction. In peculiar, I am interested in the different experiences of the decision makers, instructors, and pupils, and how the interactions among them create a community of larning. I believe that my matter-of-fact belief and attack to understanding larning theory can be applied in two ways.

First, understanding constructivist rules will assist me better understand my place as a research worker utilizing a constructivist methodological analysis to analyse whether or non inquiry-based acquisition is so being efficaciously and expeditiously utilized in the schoolrooms. Besides, I will be interested in seeing whether or non direct instruction-type methods are being utilized for lower-level or fundamental accomplishments. Many constructivists do non deny the fact that direct direction could be utile in certain learning environments. I would wish to see how and when different larning methods to direction are used to maximise acquisition.

In decision, I was reading the Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, I was surprised to happen that in the glossary of footings, there was no definition for the word acquisition. My apprehension is that larning varies, based on context and intent. I believe that we no longer live in a universe where there is merely one solution to a job. Possibly my current research in constructivism has affected the manner I perceive the educational experience. Nonetheless, I steadfastly believe that it is of import to be able to understand and use the different theories based on the cardinal end of assisting pupils go successful non merely during their surveies, but besides, after their surveies as good.


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